Rachel’s interview with BRCA+ Playboy-girlfriend Trisha Frick, part two

As promised, here is the second part of my interview with Ms. Trisha Frick, girlfriend of Hugh Hefner. I received very positive feedback regarding the first part. As you can tell, Trisha is very open and insightful. She explains her opinions and decisions and is honest about the situation. I am so grateful that she has decided to share her story, and I encourage other readers to do the same. You never know who you’re helping!

And again, I have to note that this interview was very spontaneous and all over the place; it was more of a conversation than anything, hence the random topic jumps. Enjoy!

Rachel: When you got tested for the BRCA mutation, were you worried about insurance?
Trisha: No not really. By that time, the law had passed that it can’t be held against you. I know a lot of women out there are still worried about getting tested because they think their insurance will go up. I got tested through one insurance company, and then I got on my own insurance with them knowing I had the gene. So it is possible. My rates didn’t go up, my deductible didn’t go up.

Rachel: Hopefully in the coming years, more and more people will start to learn about the gene itself and learn about the insurance laws. Do you have any ovarian cancer in your family?
Trisha: No, thank god. But I still get tested every six months.

Rachel: How do they test for that?
Trisha: They use ultrasound and the CA-125 blood test.

Rachel: When you’re older do you think you’ll have an oopherectomy?
Trisha: Probably. It depends. The chances of ovarian cancer are increased, but not as alarmingly as they are with breast cancer. Especially BRCA2 versus BRCA1—it depends on which one you have. When it comes to that point, I’ll probably be married so it’ll be easier to make that decision. Just the whole going into menopause right away is a huge thing to think about.

Rachel: That’s a good point, I never even considered that.
Trisha: My aunt had her boobs done because she had breast cancer, and then when she was done she immediately had her ovaries out. And so she went through menopause, and it was hard on her to go through menopause at an early age.

Rachel: So do a lot of people—at the Playboy Mansion and your friends in general—know about the BRCA gene and your mastectomy decision? Do you talk about it with them?
Trisha: My friends in general know it, and the people that I’m close to—the core group at the Playboy Mansion—know about it. And they’re very supportive. They just say, “whatever makes you happy. Whatever you need to do in life, do it.” I don’t think that everyone outside of the BRCA community understands it completely, but they understand the generalization of what you need to do and they’re very supportive which is good. I came to the Playboy Mansion with Hef and others knowing I had this. And they still accepted me.

Enjoying Sunday Funday at the Playboy Mansion…many thanks to my gracious host, Mr. Hugh Hefner, and his lovely girlfriend (and my tour guide) Trisha Frick.

Rachel: Oh interesting! So you were open about it?
Trisha: Yes, I was open about it before I came here. I told them that at some time, I’m going to have a mastectomy done. I didn’t say when exactly, but I said that at some time in my life I’m going to have this done—and they were very accepting of it.

Rachel: That’s great. I’ve learned that most people are accepting of it. I think the oldest generations are the most freaked out by it. Sometimes they say, “why don’t you just wait to see what happens? They could come out with something!”
Trisha: I’ve heard that, even from younger people. But I don’t want a recall on a drug and still have a chance of cancer. I don’t want the side effects from a recalled drug.

Rachel: I agree. I think my peace of mind is more valuable than waiting for some sort of miracle drug to be produced.
Trisha: They’ve been trying to figure out cancer for years. I don’t see them, in the immediate future, saying, “Oh, here’s the miracle cure!”

Rachel: Nope! So, back to your surgery. Is there a time frame you’re looking at?
Trisha: It’s just really when the insurance starts moving and I know I have approval, and then, when can I fly my mom out here?

Rachel: That’s so smart. I don’t know how I would have done it without my mom.
Trisha: The insurance is the big hurdle for me. You have to deal with the after-math of the prophylactic mastectomy too, more than just the physical and mental issues; the financial issues, the billing issues.

Rachel: Okay wrapping up…do you have any words of wisdom?
Trisha: Don’t second-guess yourself and go with your gut!

…Well, you heard the girl! Go with your gut! Don’t let other people make your decisions for you. You are your own advocate!

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4 thoughts on “Rachel’s interview with BRCA+ Playboy-girlfriend Trisha Frick, part two

  1. Rachel, just stopping by, checking in, and letting you know you did a GREAT job on the interviews! They were both really interesting.

    Keep up the good work!! You rock. 😉

    -Renn

  2. I love the interview,
    you are a very inspiring young lady Rachel. I believe good things will come in your journalistic future keep up the good work!
    Your mom’s cousin Kathy Saalfrank

  3. I absolutely love your blog. It’s so informative yet positive! I just had a prophylactic mastectomy on November 2nd, so I’m still dealing with drains and all that fun stuff. It’s so great to see someone that has the same views about it as I do. I actually came back BRCA and BART negative, however with my great grandmother-59, grandmother-51, mother-41 and cousin-36 all on my maternal side being diagnosed with breast cancer at said ages. My fathers side is unknown. My mother actually was initially diagnosed, had a double mastectomy, underwent chemo and the cancer came back 8 years later. Both grandparents are deceased from it and my mother is now terminal. None of them were tested for the gene unfortunately. Luckily my cousin has hit 5 years cancer free so that has been my silver lining. She was tested for BRCA but came back negative so they said it was sporadic. However when I was tested and came back negative as well even my genetic counselor said that seemed weird to have so many people affected in a direct maternal line and to be negative for it to be genetic . Granted I didn’t HAVE cancer, but still. Technically I was a 36F bra but could not find them so I had to buy 38F. I have always wanted a reduction yet insurance never wanted to cover it because they saw it as elective surgery. From your pictures it looks as if I’m similar body structure to you, no one says it would be elective! Being 28 years old I didn’t want to continue the fight for a reduction and then just end up having to go through all the negatives of potential cancer shortly after so since my insurance was going to cover a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction, I went with that, mainly to cut down my chances but also to get that reduction as an added bonus! It’s actually a good thing because my breast surgeon sent me for a mammogram, ultrasound and MRI. Mammo and ultrasound came back clean so I thought I was in the clear until I had my MRI about a week and a half before my surgery and they found a spot on my right breast. When I got that call, on one hand I thought it was over, but yet on the other hand that was my validation that I was indeed doing the right thing and made the right decision having the procedure . So here I am about a week and a half post op, reading your blog. Sorry for the book but it’s so nice to hear some one else that’s young and going through this as opposed to older women who seen to have some sort of attachment to their boobs or think I’m crazy for what I did. Also, sorry for any crazy typos, as I just typed all this on my phone haha!

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