Over the past couple of months I’ve been researching and finally went for genetic testing…a big and scary move for me. After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last March and with my dad passing away from stomach cancer when I was 15 it has been weighing on my mind. So I ended up going to the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown. My genetic counselor took a ton of info about my family history, explained what they tested for, and of course the cost. Two of the big ones I would be tested for were the BRCA gene and a gene called the Lynch Gene, which leads to rarer cancers like stomach and ovarian (My grandmother and great aunt both died of ovarian cancer).
I had no idea that detailed genetic testing cost between 4-5k. Yikes. Anyway, Chloe who was my counselor built a case and sent it to my insurance company. Then I had blood drawn and they had decided they were going to test me for 23 different cancer strands if my insurance approved. So fast forward to this week…my insurance APPROVED the testing and I got the results! Can you believe this…a health insurance company that is on your side;) HA.
Well guess what!? I tested NEGATIVE for all 23 genes. That is huge news and a big relief. Good to know that I’m not exactly a ticking time bomb of mutated genes. Of course it’s not a guarantee as I found out…there can still be other cancer triggering genes that they haven’t discovered yet but at least I have a road map for the future. I wanted to share this with you because if you have a crazy family history of cancer or other genetic diseases you should look into testing! I don’t have great insurance and the fact that the doctors were able to build a guess that I should be tested is great for you. I always feel like knowledge is power.
I had a really great week this week otherwise. Aside from good news on my health I decided to do something very nerve racking on Sunday. DC’s No Pants Subway Ride in my underwear :/ Another Yikes. For a former yoyo dieter and a former master of hating her own body Sunday was a big day for me. Samy k from our show (Sarah, Ty, and Mel) decided to join me and off we went. I have to tell you it was so liberating to walk onto the metro and truly not care what people thought. For the most part everyone was really curious and I think envious they weren’t joining in. A couple of middle school kids did tell me I had shrimp legs…which I don’t think this was a compliment but I gave them some candy anyway
Aside from being a fun community event it also was also inspiring. The awesome men and women of all shapes and sizes who joined in deserved a lot of credit. I love being to the point in my life when I’m beyond caring. Don’t get me wrong…it took me most of my life to get to this space but I wanted to encourage you to go for something out of your comfort zone this month. You never know what emotional burdens it will lift or new discoveries might come. Below are some before and after pictures of my weight transformation and the No Pants ride. The pictures of my brother and me were when I was in college so just over 10 years ago.
Also, I would love your help. I really want to expand and grow my heyfrase brand. Specifically, I want to start advertising on my blog so if you have experience in that or as a social media coordinator I’d love to talk. I’m also looking for an assistant producer for my podcast. These positions would be unpaid at first but we can figure something out. It would be part time and as soon as any of my projects started generating revenue you would get a cut. If you know anyone or if you’d like to share your ‘out of your comfort zone’ challenge with me I would be honored to hear it. Feel free to comment below!