In the Family
Last night, we had our third Southeast Michigan FORCE meeting. This one was a special viewing of a documentary “In the Family” created by Joanna Rudnick–a woman who tested positive for the BRCA mutation at the age of 27. The film documents her journey dealing with this life-saving information. Throughout the film, she visits with several families, all affected by the BRCA mutation. Joanna did a great job of mixing her personal journey with the journey of others. She let us into her private life as she spoke with doctors, her boyfriend and others about her heart-wrenching decisions.
As I watched the film, I felt really sad for her and others who know this information before they are married and have the opportunity to have children. It’s so much more complicated for them than it was for me. On the other hand, they are fortunate to be able to prevent cancer with this knowledge. Had I known earlier, I may have opted for a bilateral mastectomy and skipped the whole cancer deal. But what would I have done about my ovaries? Would I risk keeping them to have children? Would I have had children earlier? I can’t even begin to contemplate the answers to any of these questions. And thankfully, I don’t have to think about them. But I DO. Because there are other people in my life who may face these decisions.
I realized this morning, there’s no time for sadness. Too much work to be done in this fight! I’m so proud of my 3-day team for the huge efforts that got us to this amazing goal. Every penny gets us closer to where we need to be in the fight against breast cancer. But there’s still ovarian cancer and September is ovarian cancer awareness month. Although it seems they are getting closer, detection is still a problem. Why? Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be from so many other things. And what about the unique situations that women with the BRCA mutation face? Surveillance? Surgeries? We need to continue to support these women while also making sure funding continues to support research to address these cancers and the mutations.