It seems that the questions change at the doctor's office as I get older. Or, maybe it's just the doctor's responses to my answers. He has my file. He knows my family history. This time when he asked me to remind him if anyone in my family had ever had breast cancer, he took his reply one step further.
Me: "My grandmother (mom's mom) had it."
Him: "Not your mom?"
Me: "She died at age 44."
Him: "Hmm." (followed by wrinkled forehead. I do not care for the wrinkled forehead) "Anyone else in the family?"
Me: "My mom's sister had ovarian cancer. And my dad's first cousin had breast cancer."
Him: "Hmm." (Seriously? Doesn't he know me better than this now? He was with me all through my pregnancy with my daughter and through various lumps and bumps. He needs to cut this out, NOW!)
Me: "What? Do you think I have it?"
Him: "I recommend you get the hereditary gene test. Since your mom passed so young, we don't know what would have happened to her. We would have certainly asked her to do it. You should get it done. Based on the results, it could be fine, it could be something we monitor, or it could be when you are 45, we take them off and rebuild."
Oh. My. God.
So, after weeks of phone tag, I went to get the blood test. I received genetic counseling from a special woman designated for this purpose, felt the lab tech tap repeatedly on my veins to find a good one, heard her call them "tricky" and "complicated," and then proceeded to lose focus, go all gray tunnel vision, and find myself later reclined in a chair with a juice box in my hand that I don't remember receiving.
You would think after two kids, a thyroid problem and annual blood work, I would be used to a blood draw by now. Apparently I am not. Once they let me go, a LONG time later, I had to make a stop in the hospital lobby to sit on a bench for a while. My legs just didn't feel strong enough underneath me. I've got to think it's more than the needle. I think it's the part about potentially getting my chest lopped off that is getting to me.
But hey, Angelina Jolie did it, and she looks better than ever. Maybe I need to rethink this whole thing. If there is a problem, then I can custom order my dream breasts AND save my life. That's not a bad deal, I guess.