One Last Bridge to Cross

It's been three years since I received my BRCA2+ diagnosis, two and a half years since I said goodbye to Bertha and Helga, and T-21 days until I kick my lady balls to the curb. That's right, I said

L A D Y    B A L L S.

In addition to an increased risk of breast cancer, BRCA mutation carriers are also at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

I've always known I'd take preventative action, but accepted early on in this journey that there was a mountain of emotional work I needed to do first.  I gave myself a simple test to determine when I was prepared to take action. Without hesitation, without tears, I needed to be able to say,

I'm having a hysterectomy, because I choose a life without cancer.

I needed to be in a place where I could focus on what I was gaining. At 37, giving up on having natural children was front of mind. The two ideas balanced out over the next couple years, but it really took turning 40 for me to be prepared to take this step - Hello menopause!

So I have 3 weeks to prepare. I'll have my last coffee tonight, and slowly ween myself off sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol over the next 18 days. I've learned pain management and recovery goes best for me when my system doesn't have unnecessary stimulants or irritants. 

This go around, I'll also be working on building core strength. Yoga, and sit ups, and planks - oh my! This sounds simple, but Buckshot thinks headbutting me while I'm holding a plank is hilarious (I swear he laughs!) and jumping across my belly while I crunch is an Olympic sport.

There is still a lot to process, a movie queue to fill, comics to stack on my nightstand... but nothing I can't handle.

Recovery Essentials

Prepping for recovery is nearly as important as preparing for surgery. It is definitely more fun! In addition to filling up my Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime queues, I've been stocking up on lots of little things to keep me happy and distracted. 

Saying Goodbye

Janaury is a month of goodbyes for me.

I started by saying goodbye to most of my hair. This was actually a bit over due. Every few years, I get tired of the expense and effort of long curly hair and revert to a bob. Saying goodbye to 6 inches of hair also means saying goodbye to braids and ponytails and hair tossing.

I'd be upset, but I also just gained an extra 5 hours a week to do anything but maintain my mane. 

Now the timing of this first goodbye is directly related to the other goodbyes I'm saying this month. They say these things come in threes...

Read More