I have certainly learned a lot about Breast Cancer, much more than I ever thought I might. However, I have also tried not to learn too much. A friend of mine shared an excerpt with me from John Piper’s Desiring God entitled “Don’t Waste Your Cancer”. One of the key points he makes in this excerpt is “You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God”. The excerpt goes on to say, “For every hour you spend researching or discussing your cancer, spend 10 hours researching and discussing and serving your Lord”. I have really tried to spend more of my time in scripture than reading about breast cancer, and I feel that it has taken the focus off the cancer itself and all that must be endured because of it.
With that being said, ignorance is not a virtue. It is important to be asking the right questions and getting the right treatment. Thank goodness for my husband who is really good at this. Last Friday was an example of a time when it was necessary to take in a lot of information about a specific detail of breast cancer. I met with the Genetic Counselor, Elizabeth to learn about and be tested for the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutation. These specific genes are tumor suppressors and when there is a mutation, this leads to a higher probability of developing breast and ovarian cancer. We asked the question that if we have already decided to have a bilateral mastectomy, what would be the benefit of having the testing done. The answer was two-fold. If I am positive, then there is a chance that my mom and my daughter would be positive as well. If I am positive, it would also mean a higher likelihood of ovarian cancer, and I would want to consider having my ovaries removed in the future. We will not have these results for another 2 weeks, and as you can imagine, we are praying for this specific test to be negative.