family tree

family tree

Friday, January 8, 2010


Unraveling is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "to disengage or separate the threads of : disentangle b : to cause to come apart by or as if by separating the threads of 2 : to resolve the intricacy, complexity, or obscurity of : clear up."

What am I talking about you ask? ! Well, it is how I feel! It takes one action, one event, one thought, one peice of information that can be the one thread that creates the ball to unravel. It just amazes me. I envision a large hand pulling a thick string, slowly pulling. As this hand is pulling, you start to see the excess string fall to the ground, and floating around the ball are moments, memories, events, situations, actions. They are just spewing out everywhere. It is like opening up Pandora's box!

Ever feel this way?

To explain further, I am the ball, and the news of a very close family friends worsening illness is the hand pulling the string. My thoughts and memories of her and her impact on my life and my families life has made me extremely sad and devastated my family. It is as if we are all reliving some of lifes most difficult and precious moments all over again. I suppose that is what the news of an impending death will do to most people. However, as you may or may not know, I lost my younger brother at the age of 18years old to brain cancer. It has been almost 14 years since he died. Which seems impossible to me. Anyway, this particular friend of our families played such an intricate part in my brother's life, as well as being there for my family after Erik died. She now is near death and her impending death is digging up alot of old memories and experiences that we all had together. I am also thinking alot about my brother and his life, and how the hell my parents buried their only son.

It is these unexpected moments in life that define you, and remind you how we must treasure the life we are given. My mother said to me the other day that, "it is us who are healthy and living that are the miracles in this world." And I get what she means! There is so much bad, illness, unknown around us, that we can only be so lucky to live through it all. To be able to say you made it through the day dodging and weaving all that comes your way, is quite a miracle. My mother's ability to fight breast cancer and come out a survivor is a miracle, my knowledge of being BRCA + is a miracle because I can now care for and do something to enhance and prolong my life.

Everyone in their lifetime will be dealt curveballs, it is about not getting hit by them! I like to think that I have learned something from every curve ball in my life. I've definetly been hit by a few as well, but it is these teaching moments that are so difficult sometimes to go through and experience.

I think of the BRCA gene as yet another curve ball in my life. With my sister and mother both being carriers is another curve ball in itself. I not only think of myself and my family, I worry about my sister and her future family and my mother and father. I guess we all worry about something. I also suppose it is in these moments in life that we come together and we bond and support. I know not in all cases or all families. I have seen first hand what tragedy and hardship have done to some families. I am so thankful and amazed that my family has stuck together. Now don't get me wrong, we do not always agree or go at the same pace with things, but we are always on the same page in the end.

So, what happens when the ball unravels? I guess you have to experience the pain, the grief, the emotions and hope that in the end you can smile and embrace the teaching moment.

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Excuse my BRCA vacation!

It has been a bit since I have written. I have been taking a bit of a BRCA vacation.
This is what amazes me about this "diagnosis" if you will! There are days, weeks, months when I feel like this gene has taken over my mind and body; I feel like I can not escape the thoughts, fears, questions, and decisions to be made. And then out of the blue I just stop thinking about it. I completely block it out, I run from the thoughts and I just block it out.

There are definitely certain moments in life that remind me of what is "really" going on. Like the time I was bathing my little 8 month old daughter and was laughing at little chubby cheeks that she has and looked at her little chubby boobies and thought about what she may be faced with 20 years from now. I just find the tears well in my eyes and I ask the ridiculous question why! It is a very surreal process to be told you are BRCA +.

So I guess I am starting to think about the choices I have to make about my health. I know I am going to have both surgeries. The question is when. I don't want to just put it off and try to strategically place it into my busy schedule and then have it be too late. I think that is one of my biggest concerns. I am 34, and I just worry that something is growing at this very moment, and I have already waited too long. This is however the most important decisions of my life at this moment. And it can not be made lightly. This is not just about changing myself physically, I know there is and will be an emotional piece as well. That is actually what I worry about most. That seems crazy to me sometimes, but I do believe I worry about my emotional self more. What if I can not get through the emotional loss of my parts. What if I hormonally go crazy? What if I no longer feel like a woman? I don't know, what if, what if, what if????

The only thing I am confident about in the choices I have to make, is that I have to make a choice and decide when!

I think I am back from my BRCA vacation!
Thanks for listening!