Hubby has obviously been in on it since the first time the phrase “prophylactic bilateral mastectomy” came out of my mouth and wholeheartedly supports my decision to do this. Until a couple of months ago, the “circle” consisted of just the two of us. I’m still conflicted on whether this is something I’m ready to share with a wider audience, but I’m writing this blog, so here goes – widening the circle. I’ve shared my story with a few close friends and they have been extremely supportive. Getting past the initial concerns and discovering what this all means, they offer their ears, shoulders to cry on, time, opinions, and support.
The conversation with my family was hard. Mostly because I felt guilt (and still do) for adding this to their plate. My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June – same time I was going through my little “adventure.” I felt the lump the day before mom’s colonoscopy that lead to the discovery of a large tumor. My biopsies were the same day she had her initial surgery. Her diagnosis came when I was still waiting for my results. I flew to Europe to see my family in August and told my father and my sister. Dad’s reaction was much like my husband’s – terribly concerned, scared, angry that this is haunting our family. He listened to my thoughts, asked tons of questions, played devil’s advocate, but ultimately expressed his sincere and complete support of whatever decision I was going to make. My sister’s reaction was similar, but her point of view and concerns made me consider things I hadn’t thought through before. Mom still doesn’t know. She just had her sixth chemo and is recuperating before the next round of tests that will show us what is going on in there. If the tumor shrank down enough, her surgery is tentatively slotted for January. I’m holding off until we know where the chips will fall. We need her to focus on staying positive and giving this thing all she has got.
While I sometimes do have my moments of “girl, are you crazy?” or “why would you do this to a perfectly healthy body?”, I’m comfortable with the decision and ready to get this over with!