Why NOW?

Or perhaps the question is really: Why EVER?

I'm about to go to an event for church --- one that I'm running and then I read this article. This has been on my mind for weeks. I do self exams almost daily. I monitor what new pimples or marks appear on my breasts. You might think I keep a diary, but I'm not that compulsive. See, this is what beat my mother. This is what I watched as a child -- the scar, the silicone breast, the chemo, the radiation, the pain and death.

I recently learned that the hospital in my new town does these DNA tests. They have a whole unit. So, I'm wondering again if I should take the test. Is it better to know if I carry BRCA1 or BRCA2? Or is it better to not know? I assume the worst in these results, you must understand. And the woman in the article is 33. Why 33? That's how old mom was when she died. She was my age when she found the lump. So, I've been thinking about this a lot -- in that frozen, frightened kind of way where you don't actually do anything but quietly panic.

And I'm single and childless. So, then I have to decide if I could ever breastfeed my child. Which only brings tears to my eyes. But, I can't cry. I have to go to church. Fuck. I think I can curse here. FUCK.


Alex said...

That must be a tough decision, to decide if you want to be tested for BRAC 1 & 2. Thinking about you. This sucks.

Songbird said...

If you knew, would it give you some edge in detection over and above the self-monitoring that is already part of your routine? I guess that's what you have to weigh against the anxiety that knowing about the gene might bring into your life.
And, yes, you can curse here, of course you can. Especially about this.

Teri said...

I have the same situation, though my mom was a little older. I do loads of self exams and I have already had mammograms. My aunt was tested. I can't decide if I want to be or not.

I read this article before worship this morning. Talk about bad timing--the choir was singing Amazing Grace this morning. AG is the one "churchy" song my mother would ever sing. We sang it at her memorial service. It still makes me cry. And of course I'm busy thinking about genetic testing and whether I should have it and what I would do. Except I don't want to have children so that's less an issue for me....there are plenty of other issues, though.

Praying for you.

ppb said...

I can't imagine trying to make such big decisions. I know someone else who went through the same decision, and it was excrutiating.

Prayers to you. You'll figure out what is right.

more cows than people said...

(((pastor peters)))

why indeed? damn. so difficult. so painful. so complex.

thinking of you with love.

LittleMary said...

well this is just crap. and the fact that your mom was the age you are now...that is nothing but extremely difficult. and yet i am grateful that right now, at this moment, you have not been diagnosed, you are not going through chemo, you are alive and kicking and sassy and gorgeous. right now. today. sending much love.

Durrell said...

Dear Pastor,
Your body and your mind possess the wisdom you need to make the decisions that are right for you. I don't know if it would be better to know or not, or what course of action would be better if something was detected. I do know that you are strong and smart and full of energy and will do what is best for your own well-being. And I also know that in all the challenges and changes in life (and all the joys and successes), you will have support and love every step of the way. You are in my prayers (and always in my heart).

Susie/Nueva Cantora said...

Aw, damn. Thats just flat out rough. I think Songbird asks good questions... but mostly, I'm with alex and little mary: thinking about you and praying for a bit of peace.

Rev. Ez said...

i love you.

i actually used this in worship the other night. we pray headlines each week & i read this one and knew to pray on it. i didn't know until i read your post that you were in that prayer, too. god is awesome.

LadyBurg said...

Sending prayers your way as you continue to struggle.

Fuck, indeed!