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Showing posts from June, 2014

BRCA and Genetic Testing

What would you do if you had an opportunity to learn a piece of medical information about yourself that years ago, was not even an option? What if that information told you that in your lifetime, you had a high likelihood, or even a possibility, or having a certain type(s) of cancer? And finally, what if knowing that information required that you make life-altering decisions about what to physically do with your body?

This is the case for many women who are faced with the question of whether or not to undergo BRCA testing. The BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are genes that we are all born with. If there is a mutation in either one of these genes, it indicates a condition called Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome. This is a condition that is genetic and is acquired through birth, when the mutation is passed down from either parent; it does NOT have to come from the mother. If a person tests positive for this mutation, it substantially increases their risk for breast cancer, …

Finding My Way Back To Nursing

My entire life I have have either wanted to be a nurse or have been a nurse. I don't remember the exact time and place of when it became so apparent to me that this is one of the things I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but I do remember the desire being there from an early age. My mom is a registered nurse (RN) so from as far back as my toddler days, it was ingrained in me what a noble and worthy calling this profession is.

I graduated from UMASS Amherst in 1993 with my BSN and proceeded to work several different nursing jobs over the course of the next fifteen years. I worked on an inpatient adult psychiatric unit, I worked for a home care agency jumping around from the psychiatric specialty to adult medical surgical, and then finally, into maternal child health. My dream job came though in 1999 when I began working as a pediatric nurse at a children's hospital. I would stay there for ten years, working on the same unit, day in and day out.

My last day of work there …