It was just about four years ago that I flew out to San Jose to see my mother for the last time before she passed away in February of 2011. It was just about four years ago that I got to hug her for the last time, kiss her face for the last time, tell her I love her for the last time, and most importantly, make sure she knew I forgave her for not being a perfect parent.
Unfortunately, a very busy life does not leave much time to mourn. Rather than putting aside time each year to grieve for my mom, I have let the comprehension of her death sneak up on me and surprise me at very random times, in very random places. I will be driving to work, or putting the kids to bed, or emptying the dishwasher, and a sense of loss will creep up behind me and put me in a choke hold. Suddenly I will be crying, and feeling like a child, and remembering my mom standing there, with sewing pins dangling out of her mouth while she worked on a craft project. She was almost always working on a craft project.
My mother was 63 when she died, after an eighteen year long battle with breast cancer. She was BRCA1 positive.
In February 2015, just two months from now, I will be commemorating the four year anniversary of my mother’s death in a unique way – by getting a prophylactic DIEP FLAP mastectomy in San Antonio, Texas. The journey to making this decision, ever since discovering my BRCA1 positive status in October of 2011, has been long and complex, but I am glad to have a plan, and a set date for the surgery.
I haven’t written much on this blog for some time now, and I feel immensely guilty for not better documenting our family’s life the past couple of years. It seems like the minute Oren was born, any free time I had for blogging went out the window. I know it is so unfair to him, that I have this tome of writing describing in great detail Ember’s first few years.. and what? Maybe three posts about him, since he was born? This lack of writing is no indication of lack of love. I love Oren far beyond words. The lack of writing is just a testament to how busy we have been.
But once I decided on having this surgery in February, I decided that I REALLY want to reboot this blog, and to use the surgery as an opportunity to start writing again. I know that blogging will be immensely helpful to me, to my healing, and to just keeping me busy while I recuperate. I know I will have lots of “down time” coming up, and that I will be able to use the time to write about the kids and our family. I ALSO want to document my journey, so that it might be helpful to other women who are choosing to go through the same procedure I am going through, and so that, God forbid, one of my children has inherited this genetic mutation, they will know more about the choices I made to try and improve my odds of not getting cancer. In preparing for my own surgery, I have searched the web and found many invaluable pearls of wisdom from other BRCA positive women who have had mastectomies, and so blogging will be one way through which I can “pay it forward.”
So welcome back to Mooshkatoo. I hope you enjoy reading my upcoming posts as much as I will enjoy writing them.