As I am becoming more familiar with the BRCA positive community it seems we all generally go through the same stages. I guess it is normal that I am now at the “why me” stage. First, it is anger but mostly now just sadness. I know most that go through some sort of grief/stress process ask the question....why me? Is it because I am strong enough to handle it? Is it just bad luck? It is for no reason at all?
Some of my friends ask me how I am doing and I am torn between telling them
everything is fine and actually telling them the truth. I’d be lying if I said
that a fear about my impending surgery or my children’s future doesn’t creep
into my mind daily. At work, at the gym, at home, running, even hanging out
with my friends it is with me and will be forever. I can’t go back to the days
of just assuming I could chose a healthy lifestyle and live until I was 100 or the days when I had zero fears over the health of my children. It is like a box that has been
opened that can never be shut again. Nothing will ever be like it used to
be. That makes me a little mad,
well maybe a lot mad.. I can do everything I can, feed them healthy food,
encourage an active and healthy lifestyle but the odds are stacked against
those of us with the BRCA gene. It was bad enough when just dealing with my mom
having breast cancer but now it is a lifelong battle of dealing with something
much worse--the fear of cancer for my children and the affect of knowing you are at increased risk. I can do
whatever I need to do to eliminate my risk but I cannot protect them, forever.
Just like I am processing this information now at 31 they could be even younger
when they have to process it. I am glad they are so small that they won’t
really remember me having the surgery and I surely hope my new breasts is so
awesome that Carter won’t notice the difference between her and I as she goes
through puberty. I just fear the day that she puts it all together. Nama had
breast cancer and looks different, mommy looks different, what does that mean
for me? Will she put it all together and question why we look different?
Question her own risk? Assume she, too, will have to have breast reconstruction
because both her grandmother and mother did? I honestly don’t know at what age
you begin to discuss things like this with a child but I will have to at some
point share this information. I hope until that point, that I can keep it
hidden. I hope that she can grow up like any other girl in the world. A girl who
will be excited to develop into a woman and not be deathly afraid of having the
very things that define you as a women turn against you.