BRCA or no BRCA?
With losing a lot of family members to ovarian cancer it became apparent there was a genetic link. After I lost my mother when I was 17 I needed to be tested for the BRCA1 gene, I later did this aged 25. I am one of three girls in my family and two of us inherited the mutated gene…
You are the wind beneath my wings
My mum was diagnosed in 2004, here are a few days in her dairy that year. “Don’t forget book for nurse “the smoke jumper” being one entry and “still feeling good” another. My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and still held down a job and the family all on her own.
She was whizzing down to London with me at the weekend to watch the lion king, I guess to distract me from the devestation that was ahead.
My name is Charlotte Wood, most people call me Charley. Im a normal 26 year old girl with a lovely boyfriend who I have been with for years. My mum passed away when I was 17 which was a very difficult time for me. I have two sisters of which I am extremely close to. I have the most amazing set of friends a girl could ask for, even though we are now spread across the country and in fact the world we always remain in contact. We organise trips away abroad and have an absolute ball. These friends have helped me through many a difficult time in my life, especially the most recent hurdle, a double mastectomy.
This gene makes you 85% more likely to get breast cancer and 65% more likely to get ovarian cancer, these are astonishing figures. In comparison to the general population who have a 12% chance of getting breast cancer less than 1% of ovarian cancer.
Take a genetic quiz if you want to look at your risk..
To know more about risk have a read of this Facing our risk
After some counselling and various appointments I had the blood test and nervously went to receive the results with my sister. There was a 50% chance that I was to inherit this gene. The words “I’m sorry Chatlotte” left the doctors mouth and I just knew it, I burst into tears the news couldn’t have been worse.
The process of wanting to know if you have the gene to meeting a surgeon takes well over a year. I lost count of how many different people I had to go and have appointments with! I found the appointment with the psychologist quite emotional as they really delved into my experience when my mum died. The psychologist asked if I thought I was going to get cancer, she even asked if I have ever thought about killing myself.