I’ve been trying to write this post for the last two weeks and for those of you who live on the east coast you will know that the amount of snow days we had this past month made it hard to do anything. It especially has made it hard for me to have anytime to do anything remotely related to myself since my three little kids have needed constant entertaining. So the post I started a couple of weeks ago can finally get finished now. I started writing on Valentine’s Day and that’s why this post is entitled “Heart Full of Love.”
On Valentine’s Day I not only get to enjoy the special day of love but also celebrate my birthday! Woo hoo! And on the special day that was both my birthday and Valentine’s Day I thought about all that I am so thankful for in my life, my loves and my new adventures! One of my new adventures I came to through my health journey with BRCA1 mutation and I don’t know where I would be without it, is being an advocate for FORCE (facing our risk empowered). I’ve chatted about FORCE probably in every post but today my heart is full because I am thinking about the most amazing experience I had on February 9th with FORCE.
On February 9th I attended my first meeting. Crazy right, I said yes to helping in an organization when I never actually had attended a meeting. Why you ask, well from the moment I signed up for FORCE they have overwhelmed me with support and friendship. I instantly had people who wanted to guide me through my BRCA journey and make sure I felt supported. People gave me insight into what I would be going through and how to handle each and every situation. You never realize how important it is to talk to someone who has gone through something similar until you do it. And when you do, well, wow…it really helps. Support is a must and I now really get why support groups are so important. So as I was saying I attended my first meeting on February 9th and it was fantastic. Imagine being in a room full of people all with a similar link (the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer element) but all on different paths. You get an opportunity when in a room like that to hear stories you never imagined. The environment is one that makes you feel welcome to talk about your journey, ask questions and get advice for your health future. Since these meetings are confidential in nature, meaning people can share and be comfortable their stories will not be passed on unless they want them to be, I will not go in to detail about what was discussed. What I can say is to be in a room with people who generally are concerned for those who are affected by your cause, your health issues, it can really make a difference in your life. A difference that made me walk away feeling full of emotion and ecstatic to be a part of this amazing organization.
As I went through the week from that meeting to my birthday I thought that I am so lucky to have gained so much insight through being a member of FORCE and through being positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. Some might see this as an awful hand to be dealt but for some reason it has really been a blessing for me. I have met so many amazing people over the past 8 or 9 months that I know will be a part of my life for many years to come. I’ve learned who I can really depend on in times of need. I’ve found something that I am passionate about and want to be a part of to ensure future generations don’t have to suffer from breast or ovarian cancer. And I generally have been able to be happy with myself because I feel I am making good decisions. And I really think good decisions lead to more good than bad. So my whole life just feels better.
And as I go into this week with my swap out surgery only days away, I am excited that one part of my journey with this prophylactic process is almost over. I do still have to make decision about nipples, etc. But for the most part my boobs will be done and they will be safe from breast cancer. Hooray!!!
So on Tuesday my amazing mom will come into town to help out with the kids and I will be surrounded by the love of her, my kids and my awesome husband to get through another surgery and move into recovery mode!
My last thoughts, if you have any issue health related seek group help or support to get through it. You will be amazed at how much it can help. If you are someone in the community of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, get involved in FORCE. FORCE can really help in your journey whatever place you are in it. And if you are lucky to be one healthy duck, well, support your friends, family and loved ones.
Also, I forgot to mention above that the meeting I attended was held at my acupuncturist’s office. Dory Ellen Fish you rock! Dory and her colleague, Rachel Wolf discussed how acupuncture can help the body heal, recover and reduce stress. They also took people into treatment rooms to show what the process is about. I’ve discussed acupuncture before and I truly believe that it helps the mind and body. Thanks Dory for showing the women of FORCE what a great experience this can be.
Think good thoughts for me this week.
Thanks for letting me share and sorry I’ve been absent for a while,