It's 2am and I have to be at the hospital in 7 hours. I find out if I have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene tomorrow.
I think about March 11th and how much that day changed my life. I know that now every March 11th, the day will be recognized and approached with some anxiety and emotion. Will December 2nd have a similar meaning? Do I really need 2 days of diagnosis? If it does turn out that I do have it, do I want to spend the next seven BRCA-free hours, sleeping?
We assume that once you've heard "You have cancer" that there can't be anything worse, that no doctor's appointment will match that doctor's appointment and yet, I seem to be a mere seven hours away from another one. You always wait for the other shoe to drop.
I went to see my oncologist on Tuesday and we talked about how I was feeling, and the lump in 'lefty' and she didn't seem too concerned. She assured me that I was making a difference in the cancer world by speaking about it and writing about it and trying to help others. If only our actions could some how affect our DNA, if only we could change the course of our cells in our bodies by doing good (Ok, is any of this making sense or is this some 2am rambling happening right now?).
To be honest, I seem to have pretty accurate anxiety when it comes to doctor's appointments and when I'm nervous, it is for a reason and when I'm calm and suspect nothing, it turns out to be nothing. I am not so nervous that I am vibrating with fear about tomorrow's appointment but I'm up at 2am so I can't be that calm either.
For those of you who don't know, having the breast cancer gene (BRCA1/BRCA2) means that you are at a higher risk of getting other cancers and so they start looking at taking your other breast and an early hysterectomy; in other words - they try to make you as manly as possible without providing you with the visible hardware of a man.
Whether I worry about this or not, the results sitting in the little folder in the filing cabinet are not going to change. There's a piece of paper, inside a beige coloured folder, sitting in a dark cabinet right now, waiting to be read aloud tomorrow and whether I sleep tonight or not, those results are not going to change. During this whole 'journey' that I've been on in the last 8 1/2 months, people have been saying be 'positive' and yet tomorrow, the only thing I want to hear is, 'negative'.
If I am BRCA positive, it just complicates everything. It makes nothing impossible, just more difficult and I've had enough 'difficult' in my life lately, thank you very much.
I think about all the women who will hear "You have cancer" tomorrow and although, "You are BRCA positive" just doesn't compare, it's another appointment where I have to hold my breath and wait to hear my fate be read to me in a doctor's office.
Mentally, I have been doing really well lately. I feel like cancer was a shitty roommate that has finally moved out and we are slowing fixing the holes that he's punched our walls and trying to clean the stains he left on the carpets; we are trying to mend what he's destroyed. I really don't want to let his jerk-face cousin, BRCA, move in for 2012 - I have too many plans to be preoccupied with him, too (Ok, have I totally lost it? Seriously, now cancer is my roommate? Ok, ok, I'll go to bed).
6h43m until I know...