Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DNA test results

Today was supposed to be a day of rest, but to no avail. While en route to the mall (Sara said she needed some "retail therapy"), we got a call from the hospital requesting our presence. The genetic testing results had come back early, so we busted a U-turn and were Tripler-bound, towards our new home away from home.

Tripler Army Medical Center

On the way to the hospital, I asked Sara what she thought the results were going to be. We had both succumbed to the fact that she MUST have the gene mutation. There could be no other explanations to her early aged cancer diagnosis.

The genetic counselor, Susan, walked in and said, "I have good news." She handed us the paperwork faxed in from the lab, and across the top it said "NO MUTATIONS DETECTED." We were shocked.

This is great news for us. It means that she will be able to keep her right boob and we won't have to worry about the increased ovarian cancer risk that is caused by the BRCA mutation. They were recommending an oophorectomy if she was BRCA positive. For those of you not up on your medical lingo, an oophorectomy is a surgery where they remove the ovaries.

They drew some more blood for one more genetic test. Now, they are going to test her DNA for p53 mutations. Susan says she is pretty sure this test will come back negative, but she wants to be able to rule it out completely. Following is an excerpt from wikipedia.

p53 is important in multicellular organisms, where it regulates the cell cycle and thus functions as a tumor suppresor that is involved in preventing cancer. As such, p53 has been described as "the guardian of the genome," "the guardian angel gene," and the "master watchman," referring to its role in conserving stability by preventing genome mutation.


p53

Random fact of the day - In 1993, p53 was voted molecule of the year by Science magazine.

After Sara had her blood drawn, we had a nice conversation with Susan. We were discussing the developments in chemotherapy and the benefits that have come from breast cancer patients in the past participating in clinical studies. In the past there has been some confusion as to when a lady was considered a "breast cancer survivor." Does it take 5 years, 10 years, or longer post recovery? She gave Sara a pin of an angel wearing a pink ribbon and said, "Sara, you are a breast cancer survivor!" Breast cancer is now considered a chronic illness, and is not a terminal diagnosis. As soon as a person is diagnosed, they are considered a survivor. How encouraging?!?

On our way out of the hospital, we met Indy.

Indy, a Certified Therapy Dog

Indiana Jones (aka Indy) is a 4-year old retired show dog who visits Tripler a few times each week. His handler gave me his business card and told us to email them to set up a canine therapy appointment after Sara has surgery. This dog is AWESOME, and I have a new best friend in Hawaii.

Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: REJOICE! --Phillipians 4:4

7 comments:

Taylor Design said...

I got chills when I read this post, you guys! We are so happy that her genetic test came back with good news. The never ending smile on Sara's face in your photos puts so many things in perspective for us. Many thanks from the bottom of our hearts that you two are such an inspiration to so many.
"So do not throw away your confidence, for it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." ~ Heb. 10:35-36 ~

Brittney said...

Hi guys, Just wanted to say that the Merzes Love you too! I look forward to reading your blog daily. It just warms me up to see how you two are handling everything. What an INSPIRATION!And by the way, Elie can't wait to meet her new cousin (either can Aunt Brittney)! Lots of Love, Eli, Brittney, and Elie

Kim said...

Praise be to God! I can't wait to see you guys... let me know when you are coming back so I can "prepare a few things..."

Hugs!

Kim

"You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the shelter of Shaddai, saying to Yahweh, "My refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust!" You who say, "Yahweh, my refuge!" No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent; he has given his angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go." Ps. 91:1-2,9-11

Bob and Sue said...

Such great news from the epicenter of the battle; praise the Lord, and praise to the prayer warriors. Daniel 10 suggests that there is a battle between the angels of God and the minions of evil going on behind the scenes that we cannot see. When a multitude of prayer is offered angels are given more power in the struggle.

Thank you for the regular posts and pictures from warm-sunny Hawaii. The snow has melted and the spring rains come and go here in Michigan although it is still cold. But as Jesus said we know the future by the signs. In the Holy Land, when the wind comes from the east they knew it would be hot and dry, and from the west, the rains would come from the sea. The longer days and slowly climbing temperatures here remind us that soon the grass will begin to turn green and one day there will be tiny buds on the trees. The next time we notice, the trees will be in full leaf and the early flowers will push their way out of the warming earth. So too we know the signs surrounding the two of you and when we look at the pictures you send of Sara we know by her glow and shining smile that the Lord’s anointing is upon her. The victory is at hand. Hopefully we can come to Texas while you are there and see you both on person.

Grace and peace
Aunt Sue and Bob

Tam said...

Brady & Sara,

Derek and I have been praying for you guys since we heard your story. What an encouragement to see you handling things with such an attitude of faith. Congrats on the baby news. What a piece of hope in the midst of such trials. We're praying for all the details to work out smoothly in the coming days and that Sara would experience full healing. Thanks for keeping us updated. May God continue to use you and your family of 3! to bring attention to Him & show the love of Christ. Love Tamara & Derek Phillips

Meredith Copley said...

Dear Sara,

Anne Moore forwarded me your blog, and I just wanted to comment and let you know we are praying fervently for and with you. It is so encouraging to hear how you are turning to to Lord and your family. Love to hear the updates and know how to pray for you and your precious baby! our God can move mountains!Love, Meredith (Allred) Copley

Mindy Haig said...

That was certainly news worth delaying a trip to the mall! I am so happy to hear your good news, I know there is a way to go, but every little bit of good news makes it easier to fight the battle!
Love, Bob & Min