Upon being told this, we were also told that any child we have will be at a 50% risk of getting this gene, it's a flip of the coin. My dad, who tested positive for PALB2 after me, now has two daughters who are the carriers of this gene.
I have decided after a lot of doctor appointments with the top geneticist's in the country to remove my breasts on November 13th. My sister will be removing her's soon after. I'll be honest, this was a tough pill to swallow. I think for the first month or two I cried at least once a day. My husband and I had only just been married 9 months at this point and we both lost our grandparents 8 months prior. To say it has been a challenging year would be an understatement.
With each new challenge, we sit down together and say, "Alright, what do we got to get done." Honestly, it's usually me saying that then he answers with, "We got this."
So here's what's next, we set up an appointment with an IVF doctor to begin the process of freezing our eggs. IVF is the only way to remove embryos that carries the gene, then reimplant the ones that don't. Unfortunately, IVF for genetic mutations is not covered under any insurance law, so this cost will come out-of-pocket to us.
With feeling the pain of this genetic mutation and what it does to the body I knew I couldn't morally pass this onto a child. We have an appointment with an IVF doctor in January and we're scrambling to understand how we will be able to move forward financially. I know it has been a tough year for a lot of people but we're on a bit of a ticking clock. Because of my age, I may be able to still get enough healthy eggs. Additionally, my age plays a factor in my chances of carrying a child to full term and not losing it.
For now, we plan to freeze the embryos until we're past my mastectomy and breast reconstruction which will take several months. If you know us at all, you know we're such parent people. Brandon is meant to be a dad and I'm meant to be a mom. I've been this way since I was a kid. We both have a tremendous amount of love to give and we both want to fight for that love and we're hoping others want to fight with us as well.
Currently, we're not sure how many rounds of IVF we will have to do to achieve our goal. We do know that a special test will have to be designed to subtract the embryos with this gene. In all honesty, it could end up costing more than $40,000 in expenses but for now, I'm hoping to achieve our goal of $20,000. I know this may be an impossible goal but our love seemed impossible and somehow we beat the odds in finding each other.
For anyone who is a parent already, I'm sure you understand what lengths you would go to, to protect your child. I know we haven't had a child yet but I would put my body through hell to ensure that they have the best possible shot at life when they come into this world.
Absolutely any little bit helps, even if all you can do is share our story on your social media, that's a huge help as well! Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey. We can't express enough how much this means to us!
Below you can find the website for CNY Fertility, which is the company we will be using due to their high success rates and affordability.
I've also attached an article from my blog where I discuss finding out about this genetic mutation.
Here's the story of how Brandon and I met and fell in love.