Melissa Mask

First post: Mar 12, 2016 Latest post: Dec 28, 2016
That shoe finally dropped ...I stalled as long as I could. 

As a young child, breast cancer was an ever increasing part of the fabric of our family. It was something we grew more accustomed to over time and along the way added words like ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. As a child and even a teen you don't really understand the complexity of it all. 

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was very young, then a grandmother, an aunt, a great aunt and  the list continued to grow to include my mother a 2nd time when I was in my 20's. Some family members passed and more were diagnosed over the years. I was referred for genetic counseling. Needless to say I wasn't shocked with the BRCA2 diagnosis. 

I was 31 years old with a 41/2 yr old and a 9 month old.   I knew what options I had, but given my age and stage in life we chose more frequent screening. I was not prepared for prophylactic surgery or chemo (pill form) of any kind. So began years of MRI and mammograms every six months. Often, my genetic diagnosis caused second and third reviews out of caution. We continued this way for 6 years.

In 2008, a suspicious area called for a biopsy that was benign, but led to the decision to have a full hysterectomy reducing my risk significantly. We resumed the frequent screening and managed another 7+ years.

Last month, routine mammo lead to another mammo lead to a biopsy. (My radiologist joked with me I was one of few who have gotten to have 3 different types of biopsies.  I definitely have my "fave").  I received the call March 2nd it was malignant. Stage 0, grade 3 DCIS, VERY SMALL.  Not surprising. Not really at all what I wanted to hear. 

A wonderful woman I admire and look up to once spoke of her breast cancer journey as getting on a pink bus. It appears I have been given a ticket to ride this pink bus with her and so so many of my family members and dear friends. And so begins my pink journey....funny how already it is changing the way I feel about that innocent color. 

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