My name’s Jess Mackenzie.
And this is my ridiculous family: my mom Jane, my dad Bob, and my brother Matt.
I’m a nineteen-year-old creative writing major at Virginia Tech!
My family has recently been diagnosed with the CDH1 mutation, which causes a disease called Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer. It gives us an 85% lifetime chance of developing stomach cancer that is virtually undetectable until stage four, as well as a 50% chance of getting breast cancer. There might be a link to colon cancer too.
I’m preparing for my genetic testing that will take place next month, and I have a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation. Most people who test positive opt to remove their stomachs entirely. My dad, aunt, and grandma all had this operation done last month. The doctors didn’t find anything suspicious when my dad went for an endoscopy, but after the surgery they found fifteen foci of cancer cells. FIFTEEN! That’s scary stuff.
This blog will chronicle my personal experience with CDH1, starting with the discovery. There WILL be rants. I hope it will help some people with their own journeys! :)
I’m a proud supporter of No Stomach for Cancer! It’s a really great resource for those of us dealing with HDGC. Their site has a lot of information about the disease and a truly wonderful online community. Check it out! :)