Punched in the Feels

The first thing I must do is say THANK YOU for the extraordinary support given to me on my blog post from last week. I’m still blown away by the kindness and support. My last sentence of the blog was, “I hope I don’t regret this” and regret is the furthest thing possible. I received many Facebook comments and private messages, comments on here and even some new followers. Thank you!

Tomorrow morning I have my genetic counseling appointment at 9:30 a.m. and my new primary care doctor’s appointment at 11:00 a.m. In a weird way, I am both looking forward to and dreading these appointments. I’m worried about how I’ll feel afterward. Will I feel better about going? Yes. Will I feel better about my health and the upcoming medical “to-do” list that will follow these appointments? I’m not sure. I have to bring my mom’s BRCA test results to my genetic counseling appointment tomorrow. I thought it would be no big deal but when I got the email with the test results, I started crying. I felt like an idiot for crying about something I already knew was positive four years ago. I guess I looked at it, and it made me realize that soon enough it’ll be my BRCA test results I’m reading. I don’t know how to feel about that.

Empowerment is not what I’m feeling right now. Although some would say that’s what I should feel. What I should feel and what I really feel are two very different things. Trust me, I’d like to feel a certain way about things, too, but I don’t. Not yet, at least. I want to punch the voice inside my head that is telling me to get over it and stop worrying. The voice that’s telling me none of this is a big deal or anything to worry or be upset about. Maybe someone reading this feels that way too. I wish I felt that way, but instead I feel angry, scared and somehow I strangely feel alone.

I could see that when I told Mitch I felt alone it hurt his feelings. That’s not what I want. It’s not at all due to a lack of support from my friends and family. It’s hard to explain. I guess I just feel like none of my friends are having to deal with this shit right now. Not that I would want them to. I know that sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m not. I’m not saying, “Poor Aubrey, why me???” And I do not wish this on anyone else. I guess I’m just nervous about being in uncharted territory. I’m nervous about facing this because no matter what the results are I really don’t know that I’ll feel any better or worse.

I read some blogs over the weekend that were super helpful. It made me feel like what’s going on in my mind isn’t anything new. It was almost weird to me that some people felt the same way I do. Not weird in a bad way, but I guess in a way that shows me I’m not walking through a door that has nobody on the other side. This isn’t making sense. It is in my head. Something that did make sense was written in a blog that I was referred to. It said something along the lines of, “Now that you know you’re BRCA positive it’s not an emergency. You were BRCA positive before, and you’ve been fine all along. No need to rush to any decisions now.” Right on. I liked that.

If the results are positive for the BRCA mutation, I think I know what I’ll do. A full hysterectomy would be the first thing I’d push for. I don’t think I’d elect to have a prophylactic double mastectomy since I’d be getting screenings every six months. It’s the cancer of the ovaries, uterus, endometrial lining and cervix that scare the shit out of me more than breast cancer. Not that breast cancer doesn’t scare me, but the “down there” cancer is a silent killer. No thank you. I’ve already had one aunt pass away from ovarian cancer. Not to mention I lost a coworker at the age of 25 to a rare ovarian cancer a few years ago. I’m not under any false hope that removing those parts would give me a clean bill of health the rest of my life. I know there is still risk, but for me, with my personal struggles and my family history it would make me feel 1,000% better to say sayonara, reproductive organs! Of course, this is all wrapped up in a beautiful bow here on this blog. Making the actual decision to do these things may make me feel differently once I know my results.

An ugly thought crossed my mind a few days ago. I felt bad for Mitch because he gets to deal with this with me. I guess he got the short end of the stick when the wife wagon came through. I bet he wished he didn’t pick me. Isn’t that an asshole thing to say? Sigh. It is, but I said it to myself because, well, I was being an asshole to myself. Of course, when I told him this he was very reassuring that he doesn’t feel that way at all. I know he doesn’t. It would just be nice for him to not have to worry about me.

I went to see Mockingjay with my mom on Saturday. Good flick, btw. Something that struck me about the movie was a line that I can refer to (and should be chanting without room for air) is the following…

“It’s the worst torture in the world, waiting when you know there is nothing else you can do.”

Yeah. No shit.

Something I realized today is that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and tomorrow is my genetic counseling appointment. It got me thinking about the fact that had it not been for so many people donating to things like the 3-Day (an event in which I have heavily participated in since 2010), then we wouldn’t have things like BRCA testing. If this weren’t a thing then, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have my risks measured scientifically. So here it comes, my shameless plug for donations. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? If you’d like to donate to my 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day fundraising efforts, please click this link. No amount is too big or too small. Each year there seems to be a new reason for me to walk. I’m tired of having reasons, but I’m thankful this testing is available to me and so many others.

Please think of me tomorrow morning if you have a chance. Say a prayer. Send good juju. Light a candle. Hold your cell phone up in a dark room and wave it around in the air (like you just don’t care, but please do care!) or whatever it is that you do. I’ll report back on here to share about how things went at my appointments.

Thanks for reading, and I welcome positive feedback!
Aubrey

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4 thoughts on “Punched in the Feels

  1. JennNu says:

    Not only do we have things like BRCA testing thanks in part to Komen, but the epidemiologist/geneticist that discovered it , Mary Claire King, is a Komen scholar right here in WA State at UW! Btw, Komen awarded her another $200K grant this year for continued research. Yay, Komen research and I pray your appointments go smoothly and you get “negative” results back.

    Like

    • You’re right, Jenn! I love that Mary Claire King is right here at home. It’s super awesome to be near someone that has made such a gigantic impact on the world of genetic testing. Thanks for your support, love!

      Like

  2. Sally says:

    I’m reading this on your day of appointments…sending you all the best always. I watched you slowly put one foot in front of the other at the end of 60 miles in Tampa Bay. I’m not sure who was more excited about you completing that walk you or me! And you did it!!! I know you can do this – it’s okay to have a range of feelings because that makes you, you! I know I’m on the other side of America but if you ever need to talk call me. I’m that crazy pink hair cheerleader
    who will walk by your side whenever you need me.

    Like

    • Sally, you are such a loving person. Your smile makes me smile. When the days are tough and the information is overwhelming I will try to think of those miles in Tampa we spent together. You’re awesome, lady. Much love!

      Like

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