The Agony of Waiting February 01 2017

The hardest part of my experience with testing for the cancer gene has been the waiting. Whether it’s waiting to see a doctor, waiting to get a test result or just the mental back and forth of the "what if" scenarios that play out in my head....waiting is a slow, anxious journey.

Cancer runs rampant in my family. I am getting the genetic testing that looks for mutations in 28 different genes known to be linked with the risk for cancer. If the test finds a dangerous mutation, I'll have to decide if I want to take preventative measures to stop the growth of cancer. It's not an easy decision to make or even think about at such a young age.

I feel like I've been through all the stages of "waiting". I've tried educating myself to map out all the different possibilities and options. I've tried to reduce my stress by distancing myself from the reality of the results. I've also tried to think about my priorities and deepen any meaningful relationships in my life. I know that seems like a lot in a two-week period, but let me tell you, time moves at a sloth's pace when you are waiting for test results.

Of all the waiting I’ve done, waiting for the results meeting was the worst. Why do they schedule a time for impending doom or guilty happiness? It seems so wrong. It's supposed to be a comfortable experience. The room is decorated nicely in calming colors, but all I feel is anxiety. Fear of the unknown. On one hand, I want the results so that I can have answers, which in turn leads to options. But, on the other hand I don't want to face reality.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should have genetic testing for the cancer gene. I have chosen to educate myself just so I can reduce any risk. It's a decision only you can make. I am just taking you along in my journey and the emotional roller coaster I have experienced.