The mammogram went well today, as those things go. My breast doctor was out sick so I had to reschedule the clinical exam but luckily I was able to keep the mammogram appointment and get it over with. There was no way I could wait three more weeks to get it done after already waiting over a month since I scheduled it.
Mammograms are just awkward; it’s not every day you get to stick your boobs in a giant machine and have your chest and body manipulated by someone else trying to fit you into the machine. I don’t find them all that painful, however. The technician I had today actually seemed surprised – “this doesn’t hurt you?” – but while it’s slightly uncomfortable, I really don’t think it hurts. Thank God.
It seems that as time passes, I’m becoming less and less affected by all of this BRCA stuff. It’s never going to be something I don’t think about at all, but it’s been a long time since it was a focal point in my life. I can’t remember the last time I cried over it, and although I do worry before MRIs and mammograms and while waiting for results, these appointments don’t devastate me the way they used to. I don’t often think thoughts of why me? and this isn’t fair. This is my life and the fact that I carry this genetic mutation is just another part of it. I’m still me, and while I may have this cross to bear, I’m usually confident in my ability to fight whatever needs to be fought.
Even today, I “came out” as BRCA-positive to another coworker. It used to be such a big deal, such a dirty little secret I had to keep to myself. Today it was just have you heard of “the breast cancer gene?” – always in scare quotes because we all have the BRCA gene, I just happen to have a mutation on it – and then well, I have that, so I have to get mammograms and it sucks. Kind of like I’d say that the weather sucks or that I hate Mondays: no big deal, just a fact.
And that’s what all of this is now. Just a fact in my life, a thing that rears its head every so often when I get a screening or meet with a surgeon or get lectured on how I should look into freezing my eggs for eventual ovary removal. There’s obviously some anxiety surrounding the seven to ten day waiting period to receive my mammogram results, but it’s just another part of my life. I don’t know if dealing with all of this has made me stronger or if I’ve done that on my own, but there’s no questioning that somehow I am stronger. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.