Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sisterhood and getting off the cancer seesaw

It never ceases to amaze me the strength of women I meet. I speak with new women nearly every day who are either high risk and have (or waiting for results) BRCA or fighting cancer themselves. Every single woman’s experience is their own and individual but each story mirrors another in that it reflects strength and solidarity against the horrible existence called cancer.

I spoke with two women them morning on-line. One lives in the United States and one life only a few hours away. Their stories are heartening. One is 31, no children and one is mid 40's with children. Both are currently undergoing the expander process. I shared with them laughs as they answered patiently my questions of both of process and the ever feared pain. They are both doing well and quickly became a further extension of my sisterhood.

This sisterhood is one that no one chooses to be in but in such a short time it is one that I feel is such a tightly knit family that I would feel lost without it. Both of the women I spoke with today (as well as others) mentioned the relief of once the surgery was done. Image! To not have to worry about the dormant evil and if it will display itself it all its fury. That relief alone is an experience that can not be put into merger words.

During this time of searching for answer repeatedly there is never a lack of messages and outstretched arms for me to fall on. I do not have cancer and I could not do cancer so why ride the health see saw? Time to get off.

Sisterhood - the BRCA family. I feel blessed today.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fear - an emotion of control

Fear. It is a feeling that we all have: that as human beings we feel.

The fear of having pain, of not being able to control pain. The fear of something going wrong. It is a 'feeling' that whether is based on fact or heart felt emotion it is one that alters the living experience.

I do not hide my fear, from my language or here as I write. I address it, analyze it and hopefully in the end work through it. My mind fluctuates currently between a very bad and a very good scenario - type of see saw if you will. On one hand I live through 'Eva's' experience, as it continually distorts and worsens. The digestion of this is difficult if not humanly impossible to not alter my view on having surgery if it is ultimately at the expense of health. Health is the reasoning for a mastectomy in the first place. If it ultimately it worsens qualities of life then why any individual would proceed down that pathway.

The brighter end of the seesaw has seen amazing results from surgery. My girlfriend's process has been in her words” painless". I saw her breasts this weekend and I say "sign me up!" After 3 children, I look pretty good, but I am all for perky!!!. The fear of unknowing, of seeing end results is dramatic for the human psyche.

The complete idiotic mind conversation I have had is "What would a man think of my body?” Why do I care?!?! The whole if a man truly loves me argument comes into play here...fear...
It doesn’t matter of you have a PhD or simply high school. Fear, if left to roam can unjustify the most justified means.

I further digest...