I love this journey. I haven’t had a lobotomy and I’m not sure I’m in any better emotional or mental state than I was the last time I wrote. I love adventure and this is an adventure that sucks about 96% of the time, but the other 4% is really cool. I am grateful that this was presented to me because I feel like I can do something with this. I can be something for someone else, especially if I can just get through this. And I can, because I have incredible friends.
It’s a very narrow percentage of the population that carries the BRCA mutation so we are a fairly concentrated bunch but we have somehow managed to find each other regardless of the geographic barriers that present themselves. I think we gravitate to each other because most people won’t understand what we face, sometimes we don’t even understand. And sometimes, I think, we get overwhelmed with the scope of it, with coping, with trying to keep our game faces on. Finding others who can relate is so cathartic.
For the most part there are only secret societies: locked groups on Facebook so that we can safely and confidently post pictures of very vulnerable moments, share our stories, our challenges, our successes and our heartbreaks. I have met amazing women from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe. I have met a woman who lives in another country but we share a mutual friend, a former nurse who I helped write an appeal for and who now keeps tabs on me. But Instagram is where I’ve found and fostered my closest relationships.
I know some people think social media may be the ruination of a generation, but I can’t feel that way because it’s brought these amazing, courageous women into my life.
I got this text today at work and really had to fight to not laugh out loud. The kinds of questions that are acceptable from fellow mutants: how’s your boob? Are your ovaries okay?
Simultaneously silly and serious, these are coping mechanisms.
I’ve been dragging my feet, still. The last time I was at my surgeon’s office on 1/12, they wanted me to make my next appointment for 3 months out. I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to think about it, I was frustrated and I was sad. I still am. I had told the nurse that day, a Tuesday, that I would call and make my appointment by the end of the week. I never did. Today, after asking about my boob, she held me to calling and setting up my next appointment. So I sucked it up and I did, and on World Cancer Day no less. How appropriate.
Thank you, friend.