my bland and mostly dull life with knitting thrown in for interest

Monday, September 29, 2008

A sigh of relief....

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see an oncologist to have genetic screening, known as BRCA Analysis, done for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. This is done by simple blood draw and sent off to a company named Myriad Genetic Laboratories in Utah. They run a screen and test you for mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Be sure to check out Myriad for more info on the BRCA Analysis.

I have strong family history with both types of cancer and more importantly, one of my sisters tested positive on her BRCA1 test done last year. Having a parent or sibling carry a mutation on one of these genes gives you up to a 50% chance of carrying the same mutation. This test is by no means full proof, and simply testing positive is not an indication that you will have either of these cancers in your lifetime. But having the information can aid you in your surveillance of the diseases.

Because my sister tested positive, my insurance covered the FULL cost of a Comprehensive Analysis (that's testing on both BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes) which can cost up to $3,000. I had a full consultation and blood draw with Dr. Rebecca Eisenberg on September 10th. My blood was then sent off to Myriad, tested and returned to MA. Today was the day I went in for my results. Dr. Eisenberg kindly asked if she could sit down and then told me "NO MUTATION DETECTED". We both smiled widely and I said "YEESSSS!" This is good news for me and my children (because they need not worry about carrying the mutation). A sigh of relief, for sure. I will continue to be on top of my health and yearly examinations as well as continue to be aware of the various symptoms of both breast and ovarian cancers.

Be sure to click on The Brest Cancer Site each day to donate a FREE mammograms!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Reeling in the last bits of summer....

MA Green clock in downtown Waterbury, CT/NH gals weekend/Spanky the rascal/CT gals weekend

I've had some serious fun this summer. August was just a busy as July and I put plenty o' miles on my V'dub this summer. The poor thing started sputtering and basically freaking out on me and I had to get er' fixed at good ole Montesi Volkswagen while in North Haven. I sat and knit the 4 1/2 hours I waited. One of the women who work there asked me about my knitting. It happened to be my orange Everlasting Bagstopper from She had never heard of Knitty before and by the time I left the shop, she had already gone online and printed off 4 patterns for various stuff! She was so thankful and excited. She said she hadn't knit in a while and this got her juices flowin'! Gotta love unexpected knitting encounters!

So - back to my great summer. I'm a lucky gal - I had not ONE, but TWO 'girls weekends' in August. The first weekend of the month, I headed North to New Hampshire with my local crew, Kristen D, Maria C & Stacey O. We stayed at the condo of Stacey's father, Charlie. Nice spread - great views, beautiful pool and the air there....oh, so fresh and clean smelling. This was our first trip to NH together, but our 4th year getting away for a kid/spouse free weekend. This trip proved to be a great time. We left there with some hysterical phrases (for example: My biscuits are burnin') and a good time under our belts. These girls are good people.

The last week of the month, I headed down to Stamford, CT with my longtime gal pals, Gretchen M, Tara W and Laurie S. We had one missing due to sinus and back issues...yeah, YOU Jennifer C.! Tara booted her hubby and two tikes so we could take over her place with no distractions! You know, only getting together with these ladies a couple times a year, we wind up having a lot of catching up to do! We hoity toitied it up and had dinner at a very nice restaurant on the water, The Saltwater Grill. It was a very nice meal, but the best was eyein' all the flamboyant richies sitting out on the patio. I guess it's not a requirement to have good taste when you've got a lot of money! Some of the get ups were quite interesting. Tara had wanted to show us beauties off at her local tavern too, but we had enough libations flowing at her place, we never made it over there! "No, really - Tara does have friends!" Ah, she's got a picture to prove it!. We had a great time and are already thinking about where to get together next! They may be Boston bound for the next one!

Now it's September, school has started and life is falling back into the usual routines. We all were in need of our routines again. I'm back to working my two little jobs: laboratory technician in the Artavanis-Tsakonss Lab (check me out on the Lab Members tab) and retail diva at Raspberry Beret. Keepin' myself busy and helpin' the family pocketbook out at the same time! I've gotta get back to my knitting group this month too. I just gotta! I'm knitting things on my commutes and in the evenings hangin' with my knitting pals would be a great addition to my "routine".