As my car exited the I-95 ramp to downtown, I looked towards the tall hospital buildings reaching to the sky. I suddenly realized that I or my daughter have been a patient in each of them except one…until now.
Yesterday, I officially became a patient at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. It doesn’t seem real yet. Frankly, I don’t want it to be real.
This spring a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer and discovered the CHEK2 mutation. The discovery led to a domino effect for the rest of our family to be tested. I drew the not-so-lucky straw of carrying the same genetic mutation.
- Aggressive Screening. Every six months undergoing a 3D mammogram and contrast breast MRI, as well as years of tamoxifen to block hormones.
- Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy. Bye Bye Boobies. Toodle-loo TaTas. Got to Go Girls.
No one said life was easy, but damn I could use a vacation on a remote island right about now. Then again, I have never backed down from one of life’s shitty cards and I don’t plan to right now. I march forward with determination, positivity and a hell of a lot of prayers – thankful for my kick ass support system and resiliency that I’ve cultivated over the years. (Shout out to my better half for always knowing gerber daisies are the way to my heart.)
You might have guessed by now, but I plan to share this journey. I don’t share for thoughts and prayers, but in hopes my experience might help someone else. I have seen it happen time and time again as folks go through eating disorders, premature births and pediatric cancer and every other topic I’ve written on. I also share because this is my own therapeutic outlet.