Sunday, August 1, 2010

DNA Testing

A Moment in the Life of Michelle

As my guiding spirit and I address the topic of genetic testing, a wave of calmness bathes not only my body and mind, but my essence as well.

Take a deep breath………..Exhale…………….

We are both exploring the topic of DNA testing, first my spirit with innate knowledge, guidance, and support, and myself as I begin this exploration with strength and curiosity.

The first results of my family history, genealogy DNA test came to me, not by the Texas company that received my cheek sample in early June, but from Derek in Australia via an e-mail yesterday. He wrote that it appeared “we have a 5th cousin match on chromosome 19 with Family Finder” and would I send him more information on my family genealogy.

How could this be? I asked myself as I began my investigation into not only the reference to the DNA test results, but to Derek’s specific question.

In response to my disbelief, this morning’s second e-mail from Derek included a copy from his results that includes my name. Hopefully, within a few days I will receive official notification about my genealogy DNA as it relates to people and places throughout the world.

The other arm of my DNA testing was revealed three hours ago when I received documentation from my new oncologist that I was BRCA2 positive as determined by a Utah company. That means I’m a carrier of a mutated gene that makes me more vulnerable (at higher risk) for ovarian and breast cancer. Or to put it another way, two of my three diagnosed cancers (ovarian, aka, primary peritoneal and breast) are a result of genes I inherited.

What else does this positive result mean? I will find out in time. But, I know I will be guided in this medical DNA search with my guiding spirit, doctors, and curiosity.

Take a deep breath………..Exhale…………….


This writing was inspired in Writers Workshop this week at The Wellness Community in Santa Monica.

The art was inspired in Art Therapy last week at Premiere Oncology, also in Santa Monica, California. This piece, “A Moment in the Life of Michelle” was modified from, “A Day in the Life of Michelle,” mixed media, July 2010.


  1. Michelle,
    First of all, your art is beautiful!
    But, oh my goodness, BRCA....I wish you had known this a few years earlier, but it may be helpful even now in determining future treatment. I have not had this test done. I'll talk with my doctor to see if I am a candidate. I am excited to hear of your DNA genealogy testing & anxious to hear more as you learn more. I was in the hospital this week for surgery for acute appendicitis! I've turned the corner on my recovery today and am feeling much better.
    Love & best wishes,
    Susan L

  2. "Acute appendicitis" Who invited this character into your life? Does your recent hospital stay mean you are clean and free now of that little pest?

    I'm learning that being BRCA2 positive opens up the world of PARP Inhibitors. Just when and how it will enter my treatment plan is still a mystery. Now back to Google for more research on PARP Inhibitors..