Well, where to begin… at the end I suppose. Tomorrow marks the end of a chapter for me. Tomorrow my final stage of breast reconstruction will be complete. Tomorrow I will get my nipple tattoos.
I have no tattoos and never considered a tattoo before but this is different for me; this is more than a tattoo, this is something that will make me look more normal in the mirror. This is something that is purely for me, a gift to myself for staying strong and enduring the very bumpy journey.
In September of 2013 I took the first huge step in reducing my risk of breast cancer through a double prophylactic skin sparing mastectomy. Something that was supposed to be easy for a healthy 30 year old quickly turned rocky and bumpy. My immune system revolted and rejected the spacer implants, infection raged, and I made 6 trips to the operating room for breast surgeries between September 2013 and April 2014. I will go into all of this journey and why I made these decisions in greater detail later, when I’m ready.
But for now I’m crying tears, tears of joy, sadness, and every emotion in between. I haven’t had a lot of time to sit and think on this journey. I have two very young daughters and was so focused on getting better to take care of them and my husband.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m sure tomorrow will be filled with tears and smiles as this 19 month odyssey comes to a close. Thank you my wonderful husband for supporting me through this journey, thank you for letting me take tomorrow as a celebratory day for me.
Thank you to my mother, who gave up months of her life to take care of me and my babies while I was unable to lift them and my husband had to work. Thank you to my sister, and father and mother-in-law who also helped so much, and to my wonderful loving friends who did so very much for me and my family.
I’m also grateful to my sweet and silly Aunt Linda, who next month will have been gone from this earth for three years. Without her my mother, sister, cousins, daughters and I would not have had the option to take preventative measures for our health.
Most of all I thank God for this opportunity, the opportunity to reduce my risk, and the opportunity to go through these trials. While they were hard emotionally and physically, he brought me to such a deeper faith and level of trust in Him and for that I’m grateful.
I look forward to closing this chapter tomorrow and opening a new one. A new one where I’m able to help others walk through this journey and cultivate and create a community of love and support. I hope to make this space one of learning and sharing how we can live vibrantly while balancing our BRCA.
Lots of Thanks and Love,