I'm a mother to three and wanted to do everything I could to be around for my children for as long as I could, after experiencing the loss of my own mother, when I was thirteen, to breast cancer. It's as simple as that. I've been determined to do my due diligence and find out exactly how I could best accomplish this, what I thought, impossible mission.
I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene in 2005, after my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, tested positive months earlier. Huntsman Cancer Institute provided the best genetic counseling we could have asked for. Through the years, we've traveled around the world, and every doctor I've met has asked, "Heather, when are you going to be ready for surgery?", including my most recent international doctor, Dr. Steven Tucker.
It's now taken me ten years to find the right answers and layout my path towards taking the fear out of my life. I'm so blessed to have found the perfect surgeon for me, Dr. Chrysopoulo of PRMA in San Antonio, who performed a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with one-step reconstruction using Alloderm. That's a lot of words for...I wasn't diagnosed with cancer, but I still had a mastectomy to remove my breast tissue. I flew from Singapore to Texas for this surgery, that's how much confidence I had in Dr. C and the PRMA team.
My next step will be to have an oophorectomy, tentatively planned for December 2015, to completely release all of my fears of BRCA1 potentially winning. In the meantime, I'm a teacher, a baker, a travel writer and a dreamer.