My oldest was off to Middle School and my youngest kids were still in Elementary School, but my life hadn't changed much. My routine was the same as it was the year before minus potential hospital stays. I was still recovering from my BRCA+ journey of multiple surgeries, but the life I had been living was about the same with maybe a little less chaos since the kids were all in school fulltime (Finally! Can I get an Amen?). However, this darkness started to consume me when I wasn't prepared. I didn't plan on having to pick a side, but the dark was drowning out the light. I felt lost and didn't know how to cope. Until an unexpected opportunity came into my life.
It's no secret that I have been feeling lost and wayward over the last few months. I was trying to find myself again. I have been sorting through all the "life clutter" to rediscover my purpose and find my center. Thankfully, I have learned that this phenomenon happens to all of us from time to time, for different reasons. We get a little caught up in moment-to-moment living and forget about the big picture. It helps me to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. Maybe that helps you, too. Today, I want to share with you what I have learned on my path of rediscovery.
Have you ever had the problem of having too many options? Having endless opportunities? Having the ability to go in any direction and accomplish any goal? I am talking about both big and small goals. It's a real problem for me. I know that sounds like I am whining, but it's really a big deal. And yes, I realize this is a total first world problem, but hear me out because you might see yourself in me. When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had two, very specific dreams.
I entered August optimistically. I was scared and nervous for my upcoming preventive mastectomy and breast reconstruction, but ultimately optimistic for the outcome that was being laid out in front of me. On the way to the hospital I felt nothing but gratefulness and luck. Surgery was seemingly uneventful, but my recovery at home was anything but. I was having a hard time. Read on and share my story if you think it could help someone else. ~Love to you all!!
I started to actually think about being "prepared" I realized that I don't know as much about this next step as I thought I did. My husband and I have a great understanding of the "what" and the "how" of what's to come, but we don't really have a good handle on the aftermath of it all. Everybody's experiences are different and reading different women's journeys is both helpful and frightening at the same time. So, this morning I started to think of everything I didn't know. My head was spinning.
In 2008 I was told that I am a BRCA-2 carrier, which means that I have a gene mutation which significantly increases my risk of breast, ovarian, and a few other cancers. Most doctors recommend the removal of ovaries and a preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction of the breasts. However, we were told to finish having children and then wait a few more years before scheduling any of the major surgeries. I was on target to start preventive surgical care in the next few years when a tiny tumor appeared in my last breast MRI. Lucky for me, it was benign and not an issue. However, it caused me to speed up my decision making and start looking at a calendar, pronto. These breasts are ticking-time-boobs and they need to go! As nervous as I feel right now, it's nothing compared to what I could feel if I ended up with a breast cancer diagnosis because I procrastinated when I could have done something.