Questioning my decision: The Battle We Didn’t Choose

I don’t really know how to write this post. As you know the last couple of days haven’t necessarily gone to plan (my plan at least) and I had a moment where I questioned whether what I’d done the right thing undergoing my prophylactic bilateral nipple sparing mastectomy?

This morning I came across this man, Angelo Meridono’s photos that capture his wife’s battle with breast cancer. They are the most beautiful photos and have moved me beyond articulation. They capture his wife, Jennifer’s strength, courage and pain.  The Battle We Didn’t Choose.

I then read his wife, Jennifer’s blog where she writes about her treatment, her cancer and its effects on her body http://mylifewithbreastcancer.wordpress.com. Throughout she is eloquent, courageous and for me, truly inspiring.

Jennifer sadly passed away on 22nd December, 2011. She was 40 years old.

I am humbled by Jennifer and Angelo and the pain they have and will be going through.

So as I moan about staying in hospital too long, pesky drains and plastic surgeons I think I’ve lost perspective on why I set out to do this in the first place. I am not brave or courageous and not proud of my mindset over the past few days. Jennifer and Angelo’s story is a stark reminder of how incredibly lucky and privileged I am and my intention is hopefully finding clarity once more.

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4 thoughts on “Questioning my decision: The Battle We Didn’t Choose

  1. You would never forgive yourself if you got cancer. When I was diagnosed, seven years after my BRCA diagnosis, I was so FURIOUS at myself – how could I have waited this long? How could I have let this happen when I KNEW it was going to happen and I could’ve prevented it! THANK GOD it was caught so early that there was no need for chemo/radiation and I didn’t come even close to death or even being sick! Once you walk back into your own house and are out of that hospital for good, it will all become clear and you will know you did the right thing.

    • Hello Bryna. How are you doing?
      I know. And it’s honestly the only time I have wavered in this decision since my diagnosis almost 2 years ago – maybe even before then.
      I can’t imagine how you must have felt when you were diagnosed. How old were you when you found out you were BRCA positive? It is amazing that they caught it so early. I imagine you were probably more vigilant with screening because of the BRCA?
      I know. i’m in a much better frame of mind than I was and being a lot nicer to myself. I have all the time in the world to move and get better and get back on the treadmill of life. Besides, I’m getting kinda used to these surgical socks xxx

      • I was 28 when I found out about the BRCA. Since then, I’d been super vigilant about screening. That’s why they found the DCIS when they did. If I hadn’t known about BRCA, I would have waited to have a mammogram until I was 40, and I probably would’ve died from invasive breast cancer before then. So scary!

        So many people have complications with these surgeries, and everyone eventually makes it through. If you read the FORCE message boards, it really puts it into perspective. And even though it may be a long time before you will be back to normal, you will eventually get there!

      • I guess you were so young. They told me I had ages before i had to make a decision and i was 31. It’s so good they caught it so early.
        I know. Nothing is straight-forward, As much as we would want it to be. Playing the long game.

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