Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Stress Binge

CONFESSION: I have just spent the last 2 weeks on a stress binge. I admit it! UGH, I KNOW!!!

So it has been a while since I last posted, and that is mostly because I am not very proud of my actions over the last couple of weeks. I have taken a trip to Slackers City, and I liked it so much I decided to stay there for a while and have a pity party for myself. I am not proud of it, but when I started this blog I said I would share my ups and downs on this journey with all of you...so here we are, in a down.

Gym Bag is packed! Let`s do this!
I wasn't upset about my latest Darwinian failing. And I know I didn't initially have the reaction I am sure most people would expect. When I started the genetic screening for the BRCA 1 gene (the breast cancer gene) I had already accepted that there was a good possibility I would have it, and that I would have to make a decision about what I would do with that information once I had it. I knew I had other health limitations on the table, and those had to be considered in order to make an informed decision. My pacemaker limits my screening options and complicates how my body would fair if I ever needed treatment, so the preventative mastectomy made the most sense. No boobs, no breast cancer, no problem...or so I thought.

I guess I was a little naive about the whole "mastectomy- fake-boob-process" situation. I had sort of thought I would end up with little porn star boobs at the end of all this. Perky, round, and generally pretty fabulous. So I was feeling perfectly positive about it all. No breast cancer, an amazing rack - I wasn't really seeing a downside to this process. At least that was until I started googling....

I am a huge googler. I love it. You can find out anything you want in like 4 seconds flat, its amazing, and I do it all the time. It has easily stepped in as referee quite a few time when my husband and I are debating the important things in life, like how old Claudia Schiffer is and what the national flower of Italy is. But 2 weeks ago I learned that having all that information readily available is not necessarily a good thing. I started googling my gene and the options available for my surgery. The first website I went to had all kinds of information about the types of surgeries they offer - there are several options available depending on your body type and situation. It outlined in a very neat and organized way who makes the best candidate for which alternative. All very informative, all good stuff to know, until I saw the tab marked "manage your expectations". My heart sank a little at this point because I knew if I clicked on that button I probably was not going to like what I found. And I found myself thinking, "Why do I need to manage my expectations? Half the people in Hollywood and on the cover of magazines have gotten boob jobs...and they look good". Well after that I just couldn't look away. I HAD to click that button. (*sigh*) Needless to say what I saw on the other side of that link were not little porn star boobs.

I think for women whose breasts have been disfigured by a previous breast cancer surgery, or for those who have had a full mastectomy already - the results in the pictures are amazing. The before and afters depict a phenomenal transformation. But for me - someone who is generally pretty happy with my twins as is - the pictures left a little something to be desired. Mostly, nipples! Boobs without nipples look weird, and bit like they belong on a manikin or cyborg. It reminded me of my old Barbie dolls and how they are not anatomically correct. I was left feeling like before I even hit 30 my body is going to look like it had been put through the ringer, no matter how hard I tried to resist. So I lost some of my spark and general pizazz for sticking it to breast cancer. My whole plot to turn my body into the ultimate cancer fighting machine seemed like less of a good idea when I was going to look like Franken-titty at the end of it. Some wine, some chips, and a little pizza, all while watching some trashy reality TV seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

But here I am 2 weeks later, the hangover from last Saturday is a distant memory, my sugar high is gone and the carbohydrate buzz is starting to wear off, and now I just feel regret. I gave in, and I let my Darwinian failures take control. Googling that stuff was a problem because at this point in my journey I don't know enough about my particular situation to know if what I saw is actually the kind of results I can expect. I still know that the mastectomy is best choice for me health-wise, which obviously trumps vanity any day. But I am 26, and I am vain, and I want nipples! But damn it, if I have to look like cyborg-Frankstein-freakazoid then I am going to make sure I am a healthy one! I fell down this week, but I am not beaten! I am stronger than nipples! And as the tag-line of this blog says, ``├Čt is not the strongest that survive, it is those most adaptable to change``. Well change, here I come.

Winston Churchill defined success as ``going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm``. So this afternoon I am accepting my failures and hitting the gym with an even greater enthusiasm for sticking it to genetics (all over again)!

Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten