Six years ago I learned that I carry a BRCA genetic mutation that significantly increases my lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as others. Although it did not seem so at the time, this knowledge has turned out to be a blessing many times over.
First and foremost, it enabled me to make decisions – yes, they were excruciatingly painful – not to allow my genetics to determine my destiny. Thanks to modern science, technology, and medicine, I underwent a series of surgeries that I believe saved my life. A blessing.
More than that, thanks to my BRCA mutation status, I’ve connected with a terrific community of fellow mutation carriers, healthcare professionals, and awareness advocates. This incredible network of people not only provided support and resources when I needed them myself, but constantly helps me give back to the many hereditary cancer mutation carriers who are behind me in their own journeys. A blessing.
Today, my own journey as a hereditary breast and ovarian cancer previvor took me to the New York Stock Exchange, where Invitae and its guests rang the closing bell, signaling the end of the trading day. It was an incredible experience and a blessing, too.
As my BRCA mutation status has brought me blessings and allowed me to bring them to others, may it be that I continue to receive and give blessings in the new year.
Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.