A Letter From Dad…

As a parent, you always want to protect your kids from harm.

But as the one who passed the BRCA2 gene mutation onto both my eldest and youngest daughters, it’s a little strange to think about you’re being the one to actually have had a hand in causing harm…well, not intentionally, of course, but it still grates at you for the dice to roll the way they did.

Anyway, for all you other Dads out there who also may have this situation my advice is: don’t beat yourself up. Instead, take heart and applaud the fact that women have this test available to them that will give them real hope and a real shot at practically eliminating both breast and ovarian cancer for the rest of their lives. And if you have sons make sure they get tested, as well, so their present or future daughters will know about it and can make their own “previvor” decisions some day.

We of the “prostate watch” group only wish we were as lucky! Maybe someday they’ll conjure up a genetic test for that one! Hurry it up, Research!

My eldest daughter, Heather, had to find out the hard way about the BRCA2 gene mutation by contracting breast cancer back in January, as the test was made at that time, and thankfully after a hugely successful chemo treatment program she’s now cancer free and it’s my understanding it’s very unlikely to recur.

Today my youngest daughter, Amy, gets her shot at reducing her risks for both breast and ovarian cancer by having a double mastectomy with a subsequent breast reconstruction plastic surgery performed in the weeks to come (like her big sister Heather had done).

Disturbing for a guy to think about (much less a guy who is the father)? You bet! Wish we could trade places so I could help spare her the emotional and physical pain associated with it all.

But, I can’t, so I’ll just have to be content with being very proud of her courageous decision to move forward with it, interrupt her life for a while to recover and then come out of it knowing that she has a better chance than I do of never having to worry about cancer treatment! (As long as she doesn’t start smoking or breathing in asbestos for kicks, that is!)

Good job, Amy! I promise that your parents will be here for you during this recovery period so let’s get on with it so we can get back to making music! Amy’s a GREAT singer, by the way, and her band “Petty Love” is one of the best blues bands in the city!

After she’s done recovering you should come out and hear them and celebrate life!

In the meantime we’ll just be content to celebrate the fact that she’s providing the kind of example that other women will learn and grow from that may also help them to make their own life-enhancing decisions about avoiding breast cancer.

Michael Jones—(Dad to Amy, Heather, Holly, Kyle, Chris, Dee and Nicole)

Check back to her blog, occasionally, as she’ll be updating during her recovery so you can see how she’s doing!

I’ll step back, for now, and just go on being “Dad”.

We all love you Amy!

5 thoughts on “A Letter From Dad…

  1. GOD Bless you Mike & Family Cancer took away my oldest Brother & Father catching it early is a blessing. Prayers are with you all….Love from the Struble Family

  2. My niece had a gene mutation and had her breasts and stomach removed. It’s been over 2 years now and she is doing well. good luck to both your daughters.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your niece. My dad has been such a big help in all of this and I’m very thankful to have a strong support system. Thank you so much for reading and I’m so happy to hear that your niece is doing well!!! 🙂

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