As most of you know I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in January 2008 after repeated inaccurately read mammograms and ultrasounds. I was blessed to have been treated by exceptional people who supported my participation in a clincial trial. After 6 months of intensive weekly chemotherapy my tumors disappeared on PET scan. I began anti estrogen therapy and that worked for just over 3 more years when the same cancer reoccured in one of the same spots it was previously in my liver and breast. I tried 2 more types of antiestrogen therapies but both proved not to be keeping the cancer under control. In February of 2012 I underwent a radiofrequency liver lesion ablation and just recently a double mastectomy to remove the cancer. I am not sure what the next step will be. More chemotherapy, another antiestrogen drug , a PARP inhibitor trial?
I had no idea that I was at high risk for breast cancer despite yearly physicals and review of family history with licensed medical professionals. It was not until I received the big CA diagnosis that a smart oncologist shared with me that since my father had pancreatic cancer I could have inherited a genetic mutation that significantly increased my breast cancer risk. After genetic testing this suggestion was confirmed and I had inherited the BRCA2 mutation from my father. If I had known I know that my incurable stage 4 diagnosis would have been a stage 1 curable one. After all the BRCA2 mutation was discovered in in 1994 the year that my father died at 56 years of age. As early as 2005 researchers were finding a relationship with pancreatic cancer and the BRCA2 mutation. Guess it takes longer then 3 years for information to reach the average medical care consumer. Today there are still more than 1 million people in the U. S. who carry a mutation that makes them at high risk for cancer and are unaware of it.
My children and siblings have a 50 percent chance of also carrying the mutation. When men carry the mutation it's particularly alarming because they often times will not develop cancer, but their female children will. Surprise! Worlds get torn apart and the cycle continues. This cycle must be stopped.
I am truly grateful for every second of my life and I thank God every day for all the gifts he has given me. My doctors tell me my disease can be managed. I pray for a cure. I pray we can fix our genes. I am privledged to be turning 50 years old on June 12, 2012. Please support and help grant my birthday wish and support FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered in their "Fix Our Genes" campaign. My goal is 500 dollars representing 10 dollars for every year of my life. Any amount would do even one dollar per year!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Sincerely with much Peace,Love and Hope,
Carey M Herrington