On the NYTimes Well Blog, 21-year-old Emma Pierson eloquently shares the impact of having learned she carries the BRCA1 mutation, a finding associated with a 98% chance of developing cancer in her lifetime. You'll read how...
- "The truth can hurt in two ways. It can worsen your options...or it can make you irrational..."
- Knowledge of something you cannot do anything about "is both irrelevant and painful: it's obsessed me and made me behave irrationally.
- Emma looked for purpose in her misfortune: I "accept the existentialist's idea of crafting your own...So I...believe that I have been given this mutation so that I can discover how to overcome it."
She concludes, "While I believe this knowledge has made me live better, I am not sure it's made me happier.... [O]ne thing remains constant: I'm no longer so eager to illuminate my fate."
Next: How Healthy Survivors deal with "the cruel weight of a paradox: you can never know whether you want to know until you already do."