Saturday, 31 December 2011

Farewell 2011

It is that time of year again. The end. Today is the last day of 2011...and it has been year full of ups and downs, highs and lows, struggles, learning, growth, and changes. This year has been a year of discovery for me, but I won't be sad to say farewell to it.

Bye-bye 2011
It was this time last year that my Mom first told us about the discovery of the familial link to BRCA 1, and my latest and greatest genetic journey began. This has been a LONG process. VERY LONG. I must confess I had hoped to be recovering post-operatively at this point and starting to move forward, but that was not to be. Here I am a year later still waiting to iron out all the nitty gritty details - you know like what size I'll be and should I save the nipples or not" - the important stuff. And waiting (not so patiently) for an official surgery date to be confirmed by all 3 surgeons and my pacemaker team. I swear trying to coordinate all these people is like trying to herd cats (re: damn near impossible). Needless to say I am ready to complete this genetic adventure and focus my energy elsewhere.

But despite the frustration generated by this somewhat lengthy process, this drawn out endeavour has also done me a world of good. I am going into 2012 completely at peace my decision and the inevitable changes to my body. I have thought, written, and blabbed about this issue until I am blue in the face. And in doing so I have become more confident in my decision. While also working through some of my hang ups and recognising my problem areas. In other words I feel ready.

When our familial link to BRCA 1 was initially revealed I immediately made the decision to have go through with a preventative mastectomy if my genetic testing came back positive. All those feelings from my Long QT diagnosis came flooding back. That uncertainty. Those questions. That process. And that was enough to send me straight to the O.R. I was not going to do that again. I wasn't going to wait around and be some sort of genetic victim. My type-A personality and borderline OCD nature kicked into over drive. "I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL!" I could hear the hulked-out over-planner that lives in the space between my ears screaming, 

"Don't be a fool!". "Don't be a martyr!". "Don't let genetics F**k you over again!". "Stand up and Fight! Fight Damnit! Fight!"

And while this is still very much my decision, I must confess I was rash when I made these declarative statements. I underestimated the emotional toll this type of decision would take. I underestimated the hold vanity has over me. I initially tried to push all the feelings and emotions that bubble up during this journey aside. But the truth is my journey never really started until I opened myself up to fact that this journey SUCKS! As bizarre as it sounds I needed to face all the reasons I didn't want to go through with this treatment to recognise the strength of all the reasons I did.

But getting to a place where I could silence my inner critic and accept (REALLY ACCEPT) that Health Trumps Beauty has taken a lot of energy, a lot of hard work, and all of 2011. I realise I am still a work in progress, but I am proud to say I have made great strides. It has been a difficult year. It has been a long year. It has been a year of inner struggle, turmoil, and strength. And while I am happy to see the end of 2011 - it has been a year evolution. Take that Darwin!

Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,