Friday, August 12, 2011

Telling People

As this situation has progressed I've needed to inform various people of certain aspects of everything.  Its been easiest to talk to the people closest to me - I've kept them informed the entire time.  From the time I said, I'm going to get the genetic test done, I've been updating these people - my parents, my husband, my sister, my cousin, and a couple friends.  So as something new develops it's just a little update I need to provide - no big deal.

But recently I've had to tell people who have not been part of this journey to date, such as my daughters grandmother, I've mentioned this situation a few times in previous blogs, but I finally got together with her and explained it all.  Luckily (?) when you say "let's go to lunch sometime, theres something I need to talk to you about" that something comes out a little more naturally than it would just randomly out of the blue dropping it on someone.  It was still difficult, and I realized I had to provide alot of the filler information to get from point A to point B.  I can't just say I'm BRCA2 positive so I'm having a mastectomy. 

I also experimented (not intentionally) with just dropping it on someone when I told a not so close coworker at our weekly meeting.  I'm not sure why I told him, he's the head of another department, and our departments rely heavily on one another.  If he was my supervisor I definitely would have told him, and honestly I needed to tell him I was going to be gone for an extended period of time, he's shared alot of his own medical things with me, anyway, I started out saying I will be gone from the beginning of October through the middle of November, and of course he looks confused, so I tell him it's a medical thing. Then he looks concerned, and I've already learned that I don't want people to think I have cancer when I don't, plus I know what curiousity is like, and I kind of feel like telling everyone so that while I'm gone they're not gossiping and when I get back they're not staring at me trying to figure it out.  so I just told him, "I have a genetic thing that has increased my risk of breast cancer to 84% so I'm having preventative surgery."  We exchanged some fairly awkward dialog on the subject, and then went back to what we were meeting about to begin with. 

It becomes easier and easier to discuss.  I think sometimes people expect me to be emotional and display my fear, and maybe cry a little bit.  I wonder if when I don't, they think I have blinders on to what will happen, or that I don't understand the magnitude of what I'm going to do to my body, or what it means for my future.  But it's like anything else I've dealt with really... You can't live in that state constantly.  I am (sometimes) scared.  I do (sometimes) cry.  It's honestly enough that it occupies my mind the way it does, I can't allow it to also have me in a constant emotional state.  I just don't think one can function properly like that, and while all this is going on, I still have a job to do and family that depend on me to be sane.

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