As I stated in the first blog post, I really had not even heard about the BRCA gene let alone knowledgeable about genetics and honestly didn’t really pay to much attention to my family history. It was time to be an adult and dive in. I will blog more factual info on this gene later, but basically as told to me by my genetic counselor..”Its not a matter of IF its WHEN I will develop cancer”
When I hung up the phone after getting the call that I had in fact tested positive for BRCA, I was in complete shock and despair, tears immediately swelled in my eyes but somehow I kept them contained. You might as well have told me I had cancer. I experienced so many emotions that day, actually for the next few weeks I was on an emotional roller coaster. I had shared my results with my husband , my aunt, my mom, and 2 of my best friends that evening.I was still numb, I couldn’t process. Then the anger came and I was so pissed that I had even taken the test! Let me give you a background on my personality (I am OCD, I worry ALL the time, when it comes to health I am a pessimist, I worry about everyone and not myself.) I felt like I had been given a death sentence and I knew that my days were numbered. I will admit I did not go into this mentally prepared for these results, and several people have told me and I even watched a clip from the ‘Doctors’ that said when you do these types of testing DO NOT take them if you can not handle or prepare for the outcome. That was me in a nutshell I couldn’t handle.
24 hours later I couldn’t even talk about it, I didn’t want to talk about. I was truly depressed, I had these life decisions in front of me and no one could tell me what to do, it was all me. I am a very happy person on the outside and most people will never know if I am struggling, I was struggling probably more than any other obstacle to date. I would go to work laugh, smile and act like not a care in the world. That night after I found out, I left work went home, went straight to my bedroom and broke completely down. I cried for 5 straight hours. I knew I had to deal with this and I knew that whatever avenue I took my life would never be the same. I knew that I had a husband and 3 daughters, I couldn’t be selfish. Those 24 hours I was living outside of “me” I wasn’t able to be a wife, mother, friend, boss.. nothing. I was lost.
I am a very spiritual person, I pray all the time! I decided that this is what was going to get me through. I also believe in the power of prayer and knew I needed prayer. I had started telling my coworkers, friends and decided to make “Facebook official” and got resounding support, I also learned at the moment that sometimes people say the stupidest things because in all reality they don’t know what to say! I also learned that nothing….NOTHING anyone says was helping. I also started learning a lot about myself, (you mean to tell me at 35 I still had things to learn about myself! WTH?!) I was learning more about my marriage, being candid I feared it wouldn’t or won’t make it, I was learning more about my friendships and just how strong they were, I was learning that I can’t do this alone.
My appetite was gone, my faith was wavering, my sense of humor was diminishing, my sense of self was hiding, and depression was on the horizon. I couldn’t eat or sleep, resorting to sleeping pills just so I could at least get a 4 hours of sleep and fearing I would create a new set of problems with codependency on sleeping pills. This isn’t the Kathy that I am, this shit has to stop. I can’t let this define me. I have to make a decision and move on!