3/07/2016

Spring Mornings and Prophylactic Mastectomies

I woke up earlier than normal today and decided to get out of bed and have my cup of coffee alone and in the sun of my kitchen nook.  In all the running of every day between work and school, I wanted to just take a moment. Today is going to be a beautiful spring day.

Tomorrow is my first appointment with a breast cancer doctor that specializes in breasts. I've been sitting on positive BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 results for about ten years now, and after seeing a few doctors and plastic surgeons (scary ones!) here and then over the years, it's finally time to decide for good whether or not my prophylactic mastectomy will take place.

Andrew (my husband) and I have talked it over so many times that we're both great with the idea of lowering my cancer risk to 5% or lower, especially after it being around 94%. But facing it actually happening is another story. So I'm trying to get back to center and start just being quiet and aware. Turning the phone off. Turning the TV off and just being.

You see, my mother was first diagnosed when she was 32. After going through the cancer twice, she had a double mastectomy and had to fight the cancer. My grandmother had it before her, albeit older. Grandma's brother and sister had it. My aunt had it, didn't seek treatment, and it metastasized to her brain and killed her. On top of that we just lost Andrew's mom to colon cancer a few years ago, so we're a little antsy with the C word.

That being said, after a long hiatus on my blog, I'm going to try to detail everything that is going on with this journey. I have Hughes Syndrome, which is a disease that predisposes my blood to clot. Because of that I see a hematologist fairly often and am on blood thinners. I also cannot have children because of that. My hematologist and my ob/gyn have been on me for some time to reconsider the surgery, but lets be real. These are my girls. I grew them all on my own and I really don't want to have them amputated. I have so many conflicting emotions on this, and on top of all that, so many people look at me when I tell them and think I'm crazy. I called my dad yesterday and he thought it was nuts. That I should wait until I "have" to cut them off, i.e. until I get cancer and it's needed.

Can you live with the proverbial ax hanging over your head? I can't. I'll be starting law school next year or the first semester of 2018 and I really don't want to deal with this on top of all of that. Surprisingly, my mother and her other sister are of the same opinion. That I need to just wait until I get cancer. Quite honestly I don't want to have cancer drugs/poison coursing through my body on top of my Hughes Syndrome and various other autoimmune diseases that I have to fight on a good day. But that's just me. The good news is Andrew is super supportive and since we chose not to have kids due to my illness (we could try, but the possibility of a clot killing me is VERY likely) I would like to be able to actually live and enjoy my life.

So why am I getting this prophylactic mastectomy? What is my reasoning? Well, first, I believe that we should live life by choices and not by being forced into reacting to something. A choice that you make fully aware of the consequences is a choice that is more informed and less emotional than one that is reactive to say, cancer and the possibility of dying. Second, I believe that living life healthy and well includes living with your mental and emotional stability intact and I don't think a person can do that if they are always wondering if the big C is just around the corner. Third, I don't want to make my body even HAVE to try and fight the big C, much less the poison that is pumped into your body if I don't have to. And finally, after seeing my aunt before she died, watching Andrew's mother die, I really just don't want to experience that. I don't want my husband to have to go through it again. If that means amputating the boobies and having cold shiny breast mounds (We'll talk more about that phrase later) then so be it. I love life. I won't be trapped by my DNA.


Unfortunately for you reading this blog, it's probably going to be very stream of consciousness. I'm sorry for that. There are so many things running through my head at a moments time about this that I just really need to get it out. And if you're starting on this journey, you'll know what I mean. Please feel free to comment below.


Also, here's a photo of my awesome (but messy) kitchen nook!




Also here's a picture of Paris in spring because, I mean, it's PARIS in the SPRING. Come on!

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