So, it seems as though I mainly feel the need to write here when there’s a health problem looming on the horizon. That’s interesting.
First things first, the old endometriosis story is a thing of the past. I have not yet (almost five years later) stopped being thankful for my recovery. Life is easier, happier, less painful without it and I have never once been sorry I had the hysterectomy. I have been left a few niggling issues, like the IBS from the years of painkillers along with some awkward food intolerances, but nothing life changing.
Recently I have developed a type of migraine which causes temporary sight loss and visual disturbance, but relatively infrequent, easy to control and treat and not a big problem.
The latest issue is the one affecting my state of mind though, and that isn’t easy to get my head around. Because of my mother’s history of breast cancer ( twice), I have recently been tested for the defective BRCA2 cancer-causing gene, and it turns out I have it. This does not mean I have cancer, and I have to remind myself of that from time to time, only that I am at a higher risk of developing cancer than the general population.
I have to deal with this head-on, sitting back and waiting is just not an option. I’m already at an advantage because I had both ovaries removed with the hysterectomy, so that improves my chances already and is one less operation to consider. Now I have to decide about the breast cancer risk. I’m going to see a surgeon soon, but I think my options are mastectomy, with or without reconstruction, or just long-term, annual monitoring.
For some reason, monitoring just does not feel like enough. Imagine the dread, every year, of knowing that the tests are coming up. The pain and stress of the tests themselves. The agonising wait for results. No thanks, not if there’s some way to make all of that unnecessary.
So I’m seriously considering surgery. It’s marvellous how successful that can be now, especially as the reconstruction can be done in the same op. I will admit quite readily that I couldn’t face the mastectomy without reconstruction so easily, perhaps that’s just vanity but it’s the truth.
Although I’m not a big fan of the celebrity phenomenon, in this case I really admire Angelina Jolie’s bravery. She has been through all of this and had the courage to speak out, tell her story and raise awareness.
So, this is Saturday, there’s housework to be done, the dog needs a walk and I’ve got study to do. Maybe I’ll post more regularly again, and if so I’ll bring knitting news for a bit of light relief!