Finding Support While In The Darkest Of Places
I’ve known for 10 years, since the age of 23, that I was a BRCA2 carrier. Choices needed to be made at some point, but with my doctor’s advice, I chose surveillance. I’d get married, have my kids and revisit my options at a later date. My doctors said I had until I was 40 years old.
Years went by and three weeks following my 33rd birthday, it finally felt right – January 25th was the day for my PROPHYLACTIC double mastectomy.
During my journey I had reached out to Sharsheret. Two excellent peer supporters gave me tips, encouragement and an outlet for anything I needed, leading up to, during, and after my surgery. I was emotionally moved at the outpouring of love and support I was feeling from people I didn’t even know.
Following my eight hour surgery the doctor emerged to the waiting area where my family sat waiting to hear the good news. The surgery was done and I was doing great, BUT some quick samples taken during surgery indicated that perhaps cancer got me before I got it!
Six days later, my breast surgeon phoned and said, “unfortunately the final pathology report shows a breast cancer diagnosis and while most of the cancer is contained (DCIS), there is an area which has already began to infiltrate the surrounding breast tissue. It’s a very small area and 100% curable.” Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart began pounding out of my chest. How could this happen to me? I’m so young and I had time! I WAS BEING PROACTIVE!
Chemo, radiation, fatigue, frightening my kids because I had no hair; what would the plan be? My life was turned upside down with these unanswered questions. My mind went to the darkest of places. I immediately turned back to Sharsheret who continued to guide me in the worst journey of my life. From emotional support, voices of reason and calming reassurance, to unexpected packages and gifts filled with resources and toys for my kids. It was all so bad, but Sharsheret helped to raise my spirits and hope while caring about me AND my family.
It’s been a rough two months…another surgery, sleepless nights, worrying about my future and my family; but I’ve finally come to peace knowing that I am cancer-free. I’m free from worries about needing chemo and radiation and beginning my new life with new bigger boobs, ongoing cancer prevention with just tamoxifen and surveillance AND a new family – Sharsheret. Thank you, Sharsheret, for all you’ve done for me. I will forever be here for all of you!