I’m hoping this blog remains semi-anonymous at the moment for fear that this personal journey could intermingle with my professional life, so I’m uncertain what I want to say here. I’ll start with some basics.

I’m a 30-something woman who loves making music, cooking/eating delicious (usually healthy) food, spending time in nature, and strength training. I have a PhD and job I am incredibly passionate about. I’m the mother of a toddler and the wife of a journalist. I’m a friend, a daughter, a niece, a cousin.

I also have a mutation in my DNA. Specifically the BRCA1 c.1953_1956delGAAA mutation. Thanks to this minuscule error I inherited, I have up to an 87% lifetime chance of developing breast cancer and a 50-60% chance of developing ovarian cancer (a disease that took my mother’s life when I was 14).

In these pages I’ll be attempting to make sense of this journey I am on — considering medical options, musing about the future, and likely ranting incoherently whenever I feel the need to do so. I may also share some of the positive things I’m doing to cope and how I’m attempting to be kind and compassionate to myself in this process.

If you are another person facing a genetically-based high risk of cancer, stumbling upon this blog during frantic late night or early morning google searches, I hope you find some comfort in knowing you’re not alone. If you’re a friend or loved one who I’ve shared this with, I hope it gives you a glimpse into my experience. But primarily, this is for me. A space to honor and process my feelings in the best way I know how.