Wow! It's been awhile since I've posted! That's a good thing I think.. My second anniversary came and went. Here I am almost 4 years from when I found out my BRCA status. Now I'm past the mastectomy and reconstruction, and on to the ovaries.
I wish I could say that the mastectomy made it so I didn't have to worry about cancer anymore, but it didn't... I still worry. I worry far less about breast cancer than I did prior to the PBM, but I won't lie... it still consumes me on occasion. I guess the big point is that it doesn't consume me ALL THE TIME. It has recently come to my attention that no one (besides me and my husband) has looked at my boobs since my follow up with the plastic surgeon after the exchange! So last week I called the high risk clinic to ask the patient coordinator who I should see, because obviously I still need some form of screening! My risk isn't eliminated!
We also decided recently that it is time to get these ovaries out. Part of it is because of pregnancy fears. I feel like I am surrounded by pregnancy at work. Someone is ALWAYS pregnant. Then we have friends and/or family get pregnant, and it's such a happy thing for them, but I know that I don't want anymore children, and every month I just hope that my birth control hasn't failed. Between stressing about getting pregnant, and then worrying every time I feel anything remotely like an ovarian cancer symptom, I'm just soooo ready. It was really about waiting for my husband to be more comfortable with it, and now he is, so I set a date! March 14th.
Side note - while I would happy to win the lottery ANYTIME.... In the next 6 weeks would be great. That might be the only chance of me wanting to have another child. Just putting it out there...
This one is a little easier for me I think than losing the boobs. For one thing... the ovaries are a constant source of dread, for both cancer and unwanted pregnancy, not to mention the reason I have periods and cramps and bloating and mood swings. Boobs were scary once I considered my family history and BRCA status, but they were otherwise harmless, AND a part of my body image and sexuality. I have no attachment to my ovaries.
Whats "funny" to me is that I make this decision and I call and leave a message for the gynecologic oncologist and then a day later I get a call back from her nurse and she asks what I need... I say I'm ready to have my ovaries out and within 3 minutes she has a surgery date scheduled for me. They're not messing around! There is no "are you SURE?... maybe you should talk to the doctor first..." Just "okay let's schedule the robot just in case you want to do it that way, you can make your decision on what kind of surgery at preop". OK...?
I guess that goes to show the legitimacy of my decision.
So maybe now that I have surgery looming I'll post a little more, but in case I don't here's an update on the boobs:
I still think this was absolutely the right thing for me to do AND the right time for me to do it. Having just turned 32 I think about having to face cancer now, and the possibility (likelihood?) that I might not make it through it... and I am sooooo thankful to have had the opportunity to prevent it. But I do miss my boobs. I am fairly self conscious about the new ones.
Here's another TMI warning! - I am 99% sure that although my husband tells me they don't do anything weird during our intimacy, they wrinkle every time I lean forward. I've tried to do it in the mirror, and it takes a lot of effort to keep the muscles relaxed enough to not wrinkle the boobs. and I'm pretty sure I'm not putting that much effort into relaxing in the heat of the moment.
Even when I have clothes on, they occasionally make me self conscious. I can't wear normal bras because theyre meant to contain fatty breasts. Mine are hard and always in one position, so I have to wear cloth/stretchy sports bra material type bras. Maybe I haven't searched enough for silky lacy ones... I'll make it a mission in the next couple weeks (as I am desperately needing new bras)
The nipples (one more so than the other) ALWAYS stick out, so even with my sports bra on, the nipple still shows if I wear anything form fitting that isn't a super heavy material. So I have a couple of those swim suit top inserts that I'll stick in my bra. Also when I go to lift things or try to lift myself to sit on a counter, or anything at all that involves a "lifting" motion also lifts my boobs ( the wrinkle previously mentioned).
So it is what it is and I'm infinitely grateful to not have cancer, but it also sucks sometimes to have fake boobs (and not the nice fatty augmented kind)
I'll try to get some new pictures up and maybe I'll even do a wrinkle/flex boob picture so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm a little worried now that we've upgraded our operating system I'm no longer seeing my pictures on the blog. I hope that's not the case for everyone looking at it!