Friday, February 6, 2009

a retrospective week

Having a genetic mutation, whatever the gene may be, is a weird existence. It is like the angel and devil characters on your shoulder, and the battle of who has a louder voice on certain days

Some days you feel empowered and that there is an inner strength that other non-carriers just don’t have. It is on these days I could have a patch sewn on my chest in blinking lights “BRCA Positive and Proud!” Look at me I could scream - I am brave and I shall conquer!

Then there are days that I wish I didn’t know of this sleeping giant. This thought of a metaphoric fight of ‘good and bad cells’ within in me wreaks havoc with my imagination. I recognize the power of the mind is one that can not be dismissed. I know all that, my inner voice screams it but this week my heart is the one that reigned.

My 'friend' Eva (I wish to be respectful of this persons privacy) at the young age of 32 recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy. I view this woman, like all women who have made this choice, courageous beyond any printed words I can add numerous adjectives to. She opted, after careful consideration, for the new "all in one" process that completes the reconstructive process immediately. I am not up on medical procedures but this process has apparently been used frequently in the States and the UK. After 5 1/2 hours of surgery the results according to doctors and nurses were incredible. Unfortunately the pain for Eva was just as incredible and it was heart retching to hear her using descriptors as torture for her existence.

Weeks went by and the healing was slow and the pain was unrelenting. Now I am all about looking at the world "glass half full" You really don't get anywhere in the world with a negative attitude. It was hard though for me not to parallel my own existence and decision making process with what I was hearing from Eva.

Unfortunately it only got worse, and one of Eva's breasts got infected...and make a long story short (or is it too late?) she turned septic and had to have one of her newly reconstructed breasts removed this week.

I have never felt so helpless frustrated and …well afraid. To go through all what she had and to have this set back. I recognize it will all be fine in the end...though she now has a long journey ahead of was hard for me to not equate this journey as my own. I have had many of my other friends go through the process with no hiccups and I try to focus on those.

This is where I truly start my own mental journey to the operating room.