Some people view my decision as radical. Drastic. Unnecessary. Some would even go so far as to call it self mutilation.
I mean really? Who starts lopping off body parts because they are afraid that there might be something wrong with them? That they might get sick.
I do. As do others.
I call it easy. Rational. Pro-active. Life.
My whole life, it has never been a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” I’m talking about cancer. The dreaded and almost over saturated topic these days. It seems like everyone knows someone who has it or has died from it. It has sadly become….common. Throw in the brilliant, yet excessive, marketing of inescapable dosages of pink throughout October, and it is almost to the point of annoying and ignorable.
People with cancer, people fighting cancer, people dying of cancer, people dead of cancer.
Cancer awareness, cancer societies, cancer centers, cancer support groups/blogs/journals/forums, cancer fundraising, cancer walks, cancer prevention.
But, there is another population.
There is a group of us that fall into a grey zone. We are the ones that are destined to get cancer. It is in our genes. We surf below the radar in society.
We do not have awareness efforts or rallies or walks, centers or societies. We struggle through our decisions, navigating a system, without a diagnosis of the big “C”. There is no machine to put us into and process us through, no roadmap. Milling about, we do not realizing we aren’t alone, chopping off our breasts in the dark and slinking back into life hoping that no one will notice. How do you explain this to people? Nullification.
I have spent almost every day of my life waiting for the diagnosis. Wondering when the day would be that I finally get it, just to be able to get on with it. To face it, fight it, and survive. Or die. The waiting is torture.
That grey zone is where I have lived most adulthood.
At some point I found out about prophylactic mastectomy. A radical, albeit rational, response to breast cancer. I waited, hopefully not too long, until I was done having children. I just had my second, and last, child a year ago.
So, it is time.
It is time for me to take power back from cancer and demand my life back. I have a five year old precocious little girl and an imp of a one year old boy. I have so many years ahead of me. I need them. I will do anything for my family, my years, my life.
I will even remove my body parts.
This story begs to be told. Not only for my own sanity, but for all those facing this or knowing others who are facing this. Let it be a road map for all of those to come. Let it be the oasis for all of those who have traveled it before. Let us find each other through it; teach each other, support each other, love each other.