Are You BRCA Aware?

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.34.30 PM I received $150 from AstraZeneca, and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/AstraZeneca.

These days I can hardly remember what we did over the weekend or that I need to grab milk from the store. But, for some reason I can remember a day years ago when a college classmate spoke about the discovery of the BRCA genes. It was the first time I had learned that there was a genetic link between breast and ovarian cancer.

Honestly, I don’t remember much more about her presentation because I thought the subject matter didn’t pertain to me. In my mind, I thought about my family and we didn’t have a history of breast or ovarian cancer so I mentally checked out.

I’m asking you not to check out today.

What is BRCA?

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes involved with cell growth, cell division, and cell repair. Although they are most commonly associated with BReast CAncer, approximately 15% of women with ovarian cancer also have BRCA gene mutations.

I was given the option to undergo genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Considering my young age, the doctors felt that genetic testing was necessary for answers. The process was relatively easy. It was only a few weeks after submitting a blood sample that we sat with the hospital’s genetic counselor who throughly went over the results. I had tested negative for both the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.

I have learned a lot about the BRCA genes over the last several years. I still kick myself for not paying more attention in class that day and for assuming that since I didn’t have a family history of cancer that I was off the hook.

As a former cancer patient, it is not uncommon to share your BRCA status. I think because we’re all very interested in understanding this complicated disease. Several of my survivor friends are BRCA positive while some are not. I even have two friends who are BRCA positive but have NOT had cancer and luckily with that knowledge they are able to better manage their health.

Very simply, being aware of your BRCA status can empower you in making choices for your health and preventative breast and ovarian care.

Facts About BRCA:

– Women with BRCA gene mutations have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
– In the general population, 1.4 percent4 of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while up to 40 percent of women with BRCA 1/2 mutations will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.
– An estimated 15% of ovarian cancers are linked to BRCA mutations.
– BRCA gene mutations can play a key role in serous ovarian cancer, the most common form of ovarian cancer.
– Nearly one half of women with ovarian cancer who are BRCA-positive have no significant family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Thanks for not mentally checking out. Learn more about BRCA and the risks for ovarian cancer at My OC Journey. While my experience was specifically with breast cancer, the link between BRCA and breast and ovarian cancers is very important to the overall health of women. Educate yourself, share with your friends and family, and #beBRCAware.

Are you considering the BRCA genetic test? Read my experience and get more info about BRCA and why it is important to be aware.

White Wardrobe Capsule

white wardrobe capsule

There are so many rules about when it’s ok to wear white. I’ve been called many things; a rule breaker isn’t one of them. But, I like wearing white when we record videos. I recently read an article that said white can be too stark and reflect too much light on camera. But another article said that black makes you look old and emphasizes dark circles and fine lines. Eek. I certainly don’t want emphasize any of those things. It was the Ipsy Unboxing {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Ever After High: Spring Unsprung Party

Tons of really great ideas for an Ever After High party. Food, crafts and decorations for an Ever After High: Spring Unsprung party.

I am so stoked to be part of the Netflix #StreamTeam! I was hand selected to be part of their exclusive blogger network to help share the awesomeness that is Netflix streaming. Disclosure: Netflix provided me with a device and a year long subscription to stream content. All opinions are 100% my own.   Last month, Netflix premiered the brand new animated feature based on the popular Ever After High doll franchise. To celebrate, we whipped up an Ever After {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

All Good Things Come To An End: Parenthood


Follow my blog with Bloglovin We know well that all good things must eventually come to an end. Parenthood was brilliant. Honest and heartwarming, tragic and heartbreaking. I expected to cry my eyes out throughout the finale but surprisingly held back the tears until the very end. With 12 minutes left of the episode, I texted a friend and said “I’m not crying yet” but montages set in the future kill me. Every time. Early last year, I was lucky enough to {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

That 90210 Podcast Idea

90210 podcast

So I won’t delve too much into my love of podcasts in this post because Megan and I have an episode all about our favorite podcasts coming up over on our YouTube channel. But, I have to talk about this one.   Ready for a super bizarre string of events? Last week, Georgia Hardstark of podcast Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia shared a screen shot on Instagram of a podcast she had just starting listening to. In the comments {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Friends Trivia Throwdown


{This giveaway is now over} Thanks to Netflix for allowing me to be part of their #StreamTeam! They have provided me with a subscription and device to stream content. As always, all opinions are my own.  It’s a Netflix #StreamTeam/Long Story Short crossover event! When the entire Friends series debuted on Netflix earlier this month, I KNEW I had to get Megan involved somehow to help promote it. See, Megan is what one might call a super fan. I feel like {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Lovely Starbucks Lovers Taste Testing!

YouTube channel, Long Story Short

So many exciting things happening over at Long Story Short! 1. Right before the holidays, Megan and I, were contacted by a major brand who wants to work with us! We can’t dish on all the details just yet but let’s just say there will be a few more taste testing videos in our future. 2. We started an Instagram for our channel! Follow us at @MeganAndWendyLSS where we’ll post outtakes and clips the day our videos drop on YouTube. {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Already Overwhelmed


If you’re anything like me, you were waiting until the 5th to start all those new year resolutions. It only made sense, right? Who wants to start a detox diet on a Thursday? And forget about organizing anything because Christmas still needed to be boxed up. Well, here we are. Monday, January 5, 2015. I spent all weekend feeling anxious and overwhelmed about the things I planned to start today. This includes, but it not limited to 1) a 21-day {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Following Suit with a 2014 Recap


I am going to follow Megan’s lead here and share a recap of 2014. Because, if I’m being honest, 2014 was tough. But, it’s all relative, right? I did one of these posts in 2013, too. And, this sort of post is a perfect one to get my fingers and brain back into blogging mode. I’m feeling sort of refreshed and motivated after my two-month hiatus. Truth? I contemplated not ever blogging again. But, I have missed parts of it {Read More}

[Continue reading...]

Top 5 Crime Dramas and a Netflix Giveaway!


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. Thanks to Netflix for allowing me to be part of their #StreamTeam! Without their generosity, this awesome giveaway wouldn’t be possible! As always, all opinions are my own. Did you catch the final episode of Serial? If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, I command you to download the podcast app on your iPhone and search Serial Podcast. You’ll find 12 weeks of I-CAN’T-GET-ENOUGH storytelling about a man serving a life sentence for a murder he {Read More}

[Continue reading...]