February 17, 2016


...or, Everything Must Go

I'm restarting the conversation for a little bit while not really expecting anyone to pay close attention.  I have another round of dealing with this coming up.  Not more cancer itself, but what I have to do to get some risk reduction and deal with the implications of the BRCA1 mutation.  Despite being over 5 years out from diagnosis, this is part of the ongoing reality.

One month from today, St. Patty's Day, I'll be having surgery to get rid of my other looming risk, the ovaries.  For those of you who don't recall, the BRCA1 mutation comes with about a 40-60% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer along with the breast cancer (and others).  Let's just call it a 50/50 shot for the sake of ease.  I'll actually be having a hysterectomy along with it, too, for a variety of reasons.  Having a hysterectomy/oophorectomy is very routine, and it feels weird to share it with you in many ways.  Especially weird because people don't tend to share much about their reproductive bits voluntarily ("Attention all: This is the day that I will enter menopause!  Thank you."), and also because it does sound rather mundane.  

I wish I could tell you it feels mundane and routine.  I wish I could tell you that it doesn't bring up a whole lot of feelings and issues similar to the cancer itself.  It seems very petty to make a big deal out of it at this point.  There will be a part of me that is going to keep feeling that way.  But here I go spilling my thoughts again.  The biggest themes will be relief and loss...

So I'm just putting it out there for starters.  I'll be out of commission for 3-4 weeks.  I have good support and lots of people pulling together to offer help.  Hell, I may be the only person I've known that gets a theme party brunch thrown for it--like a reverse baby shower. 

I'll spill some thoughts along the way when things well up inside me and need to have an outlet.  Thanks, guys.