Today, is national PTEN awareness day. July of 2016, is when we finally had Genetic testing done to officially see if I had Cowden syndrome. More than likely we knew that the results where going to come back positive because when we went down the the list of criteria. I marked off almost every signal one.Hearing the news was sad but at the same time it also brought answers to my entire health history. Life with Cowden syndrome is very stressful because there are many doctors appointments, scans, and surgeries. People with Cowden syndrome also have a lifetime risk of developing different types of cancers.
For me, they wanted to start early screening for breast cancer because I already had my thyroid taken out at the age of 18 years old. Due to having many nodules and a very large gourder. Sadly, during this time I ended up discovering a lump on my left breast. I didn’t know if it was cancer but I did have this feeling that I need to get this lump checked out. I eventually diagnosed with early stage of breast cancer known as DCIS in both of my breasts at the age of 25. Let’s say there was a mixture of different emotions when I was told the news that I had breast cancer. Sadness because I was young, happy that it was caught early before it can turn into invasive DCIS and then anger because the medical staff first told me “it’s a fibroid, very commonly seen in women your age”. They also would also say “you do not have cancer”. Even before and during the process of getting my biopsy done.
When I think about my life with Cowden symptom, I see power, strength, and determination. Along with the strength, I do honor the scary moments that this rare condition comes with but I do not let it take over my life anymore.