I haven't cried one time through all of this BRCA nonsense since last summer. Ok, that isn't entirely true I did embarass myself by crying in front of my oncologist last summer when she told me my BRCA test came back positive. Towards the end of the meeting I realized that this would change my life and I might be looking at having my ovaries removed and choose a double mastectomy. It seemed so huge and daunting, months of doctor visits, painful decisions to make, telling my family. Honestly, it felt a lot like when my surgeon told me I did have cancer almost twelve years ago.
But then I just did all of those things. I saw a lot of doctors. I gathered opinions. I researched surgical menopause, ad nauseum. I scheduled surgery to remove those little ill functioning egg makers that might develop ugly tumors. I had the surgery, then I had hot flashes. I never cried. I had some more hot flashes and pushed on to seek opinions about a long surveillance approach with regard to the breasts that one day really might betray me again with another tumor vs. a more aggressive approach to remove all breast tissue before anything like that could happen. I scheduled my choice and then waited an excruciating eight weeks for that surgery. I didn't want to have the surgery but I never once questioned my decision, I knew it was right for me. I had days where I could think of nothing else but the surgery and how hard reconstruction might be. I still never cried. I sometimes thought, wow this is kind of stressful, but I've dealt with stress before and I'm strong and in charge, and don't honestly need a good cry.
But today is different. I cried. My dear father who traveled to be with us during this past week to help with keeping the house and children's needs met finally left today. It has been nine days out of his life that he selflessly gave to us. He cooked, he doted on the girls, he cleaned, he took me to lunch, he shopped for anti-constipation medicine for heaven's sake. And, as much as I would have liked to keep my personal nanny, cook, house cleaner and overall sweet confidant...life goes on. This of all things made me cry, the ugly cry.
Maybe it is Dad's leaving plus coming to a realization that normal life might once again be in my near future, or maybe it is that plus a deeper understanding and appreciation of my life the past eight months and what this means for my future that brought the waterworks today. Maybe I couldn't cry because I was in task mode, steeling it up. Now I'm forced to be still with my decisions so I can evaluate what this means. Or maybe my dad left to go home and I just like having the old guy around.
Overall, it doesn't feel like a particularly sad day, as the constant tears might suggest, it feels like a much needed release. Release from stress, worry and anxiety and a moving forward towards whatever else is next in this little journey.
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