It’s been awhile since I’ve written about BRCA, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot again lately.
Somewhere in the past few weeks, I’ve gone from not caring much about the fact that my boobs are trying to kill me to being more than ready to just get them the hell off of me. I have an appointment scheduled for January, during which I’m going to schedule an appointment for an MRI (seriously, these hoops they are making me jump through? Ridiculous), and I think it’s gotten me thinking. I don’t want MRIs every year. I don’t want mammograms every year. I don’t want the threat of cancer hanging over my head every day for the next however-many years until I get surgery. I said I’d wait until thirty, but can I handle five more years of this? I really don’t think so.
Every time my breasts are tender, or my skin looks red, or anything seems different or out of the ordinary, my mind jumps to “It’s cancer!” Who wants to live like that? I don’t, and the fact is, I can choose not to.
I know everything there is to know. I know the surgery I want (I don’t yet have a surgeon picked out, nor have I met with any). I know that, according to medical recommendations (and my mother), I have years before I have to make this decision. I’m terrified of surgery, because I’ve never even had my wisdom teeth out. I’m terrified of painkillers and the fact that they might make me throw up for weeks (and if there’s anything I’m scared of in this world, it’s vomit). I’m increasingly weirded out by the fact that I’ll have no feeling in my breasts. I’m not thrilled with the idea of weeks passing before I can get through a normal day without some kind of help. Strangely, I’ve sort of gotten over the worries about what I’ll look like afterwards – this was originally my main concern, and now it’s just something I’ve resigned myself to. It’ll be different, yes, but I’ve got a supportive man in my life right now. Should that ever fall through, any man I date better damn well accept my boobs, because they may be fake and they may look weird and they may be numb 24/7 but they’ll be a freaking badge of honor after all of this crap.
Anyway. I’m tired of worrying about it. I’m tired of stressing out about the work I’ll miss, or how long it’ll take to get back in the game. I’m tired of worrying about gaining weight if I can’t exercise, I’m tired of worrying about complications, I’m tired of WORRYING ABOUT BREAST CANCER every day of my life.
So what it comes down to is that there’s no way I can spend five more years knowing I’m going to have surgery eventually. I just want to get it over with and move on with my life. I want my risk of cancer to go form 87% to 2% and I want that as soon as possible.
Of course, I’m making this sound like a Huge Momentous Decision, and really it’s not. I want to get surgery in January, so obviously this coming year isn’t going to be the year. Next January, the boy will be gearing up for a deployment so I can’t do it then (which, really, would’ve been an ideal time – I sure do love when the military throws a wrench in my plans!). I’m toying with the idea of January 2013, unless cancer creeps up on me first, in which case I’m whacking them off as soon as I can.
I’m a doer. I stress out over things I can’t control because I just wish I could DO SOMETHING to fix it. But this? This I can control. I couldn’t control my genes, I can’t control when or how I’ll get cancer in most other parts of my body… but I can control whether or not I get breast cancer. And I think it’s time to start taking control and making plans. Like the say – cancer, you picked the wrong bitch!