The first thought. Last week, I was having a conversation with someone important in Colby's life. She was asking the "why me, God, what do I have to learn from this" question on my behalf. Another dear sweet little old lady in her town was recently diagnosed with cancer as well, and she was struggling with the difficult questions as we were talking. I haven't spent much time there in my head, and I didn't have great answers for her. As it has percolated since then, here are my thoughts.
Why not me?
I am certainly not height-weight proportionate. If nutrition plays a role in cells dividing abnormally, I failed that one. I am well-educated enough to understand that fruits and veggies > sugar intake in the world of cancer prevention (and diabetes, and hypertension, and coronary artery disease, and obstructive sleep apnea, and and and and). That doesn't change my taste buds or 38 years worth of choices. Weight Watchers has taught me that every. single. bite. is a choice. At least chemo has made my favorite Mountain Dew taste awful, and the sweets are off, too. There is hope for me yet!
While the genetics were negative, there is still the reality of 0/4 breasts currently residing on my mom's and aunt's chests. I have been there and done that as a child of a survivor. Maybe that gives me some insight for my own boys, to help them through this journey.
I have a great support system, those on the front lines with me as well as those on the sidelines waiting to be subbed in (can ya tell it's Final Four basketball, even if I have no idea who is playing?). I have a job with understanding supervisors, good insurance so far, a husband who doesn't care what my cup size is. I have the resources to deal with this hopefully in a positive manner. I will come away from this changed, but not defeated or destroyed by any means.
The second thought. One of my dearest childhood friends also has a family history. At 50-something, she was done with mammograms, as 20 years worth have all been normal. She promised me she would go back. I am holding her to it. If I make a difference even just there, well, I'm not sure it's ALL worth it, but yes, it is worth it.
We can debate the finer points of mammograms, as they do create a lot of unnecessary biopsies and overtreatment, and plenty of women find their own cancer, as I did.
Go get the girls smooshed anyway, would ya?
It's almost the 5th of the month, for whatever reason symbolic for BSE's.
Go be vain and stand in the mirror and get to know your parts, girl or boy parts, whatever ya got.