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BRCA Choices For Prevention

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A few weeks ago I headed to Duke for a consult. Unfortunately Duke only has one doctor that takes Tricare Prime so I quickly realized that going there was a mistake. Thankfully I had the option to schedule a “second opinion” appointment with a doctor at UNC, which I did. If you have Tricare Prime make sure you call them before you go to any appointments that are similar in nature. They do allow second opinion appointments but they have to be pre-approved.

Last Tuesday I met with Dr. Geherig for the first time and I really like her. Everyone looks for different things when they go to a doctor. I look for someone who can answer my questions, will listen to how I feel, and will ask me what I want. I don’t want a doctor that will go along with me, I just want them to hear me out before they shoot me down. Thankfully Dr. Gehrig did just that. She talked to me a little about where I was in this process, and she didn’t waste much time educating me on BRCA because somehow she already knew that I had done a lot of my own research (which I have). After talking to me about some of the things I’ve been going through she gave me the mic and asked me what my thoughts were. I was very honest with her and told her exactly what my plan was. I told her that I want to have a hysterectomy and double mastectomy if that’s what she thought was best. She agreed that I was a good candidate for both and answered all of my questions about both (other than the questions she couldn’t answer about my breasts).

She told me she would pit in my referrals and sent me on my way. I left that appointment feeling optimistic and at peace with the choices I plan to make.

I will write more about each of these surgeries, but for now I will close with a little advice.

When you are faced with these choices you need to find a doctor you love. They need to be honest with you, while respecting your feelings. They need to lay out all of your options and answer any questions you have about those options. You are going to form a long-term relationship with this doctor so please, please don’t settle!

I could have chosen to go the MRI, Mammogram, and Ultrasound route, but I’m not choosing that. I don’t ever want to hear “you have cancer” even if it’s only stage one; even if it’s just starting to grow. I personally feel like I have a choice that will lower my risk to 1% and I want to choose that! Every woman is different and I would never push my choices onto someone else. You have to do what is best for you and your family.

You can read all BRCA related posts here.

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