Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Monday, March 30, 2015

Full Speed Ahead

My father's always enjoyed seeing a smile on my face. So much so that whenever I was not smiling he would tell me to cheer up. His enthusiasm and zest for life was innate.  He didn't have to try to be enthusiastic or friendly or happy. He simply was all of those things. He lived with verve and gusto, and grace. He accepted his fate with the same grace and gusto, retiring at 55 knowing he had metastatcic cancer.  He died ten years later having enjoyed a fruitful and adventure laden ten years.

I observed at a young age that my father was never sick. He was never under the weather, I never knew him to take a day off or complain that he had a cold. In fact, I grasp to recall any instance in which my father complained about his health or even a headache. I grew up in a house in which we were taught not to dwell on any physical ailment. My parents did not cater to us if we had a cold or sprained our ankle. They would care for us, nurture us but did not encourage us to wallow in anything that pertained to physical pain or discomfort caused by a sore throat. The situation was addressed, medicated if need be and it did not become the main topic of conversation in the household.

In essence, life went on whether you had a cold, or a sprained arm. Move on, don't focus on the negative and remember that this too shall pass.

As I recall my father's approach to life, it seemed this a common phrase when things did not go in the direction we had anticipated. My Dad often said this with a smile, a wink and some sort of physical display of affection. He was warm, exuding a gentle compassion while encouraging forward movement.
He always focused on the positive, never spoke of the negative and taught me the same as I approached my life, my decisions and my difficulties. He taught me by his own example-  to live with verve, good spirit and a sense of positive determination.

He approached his illness this way, and accepted his infinite death in the same manner. With grace, with dignity and without fear. He was the very best example of a human being. I am blessed to have him as my father and I feel his presence of protection and love in my house, around my children and in the air that I breathe.

I knew my Genetic testing would come back positive. How could it not with the history of cancer that runs in my family. My mother, my father and a host of several relatives over the span of time. It is the gene that I inherited, along with the optimism and good nature, I too would find myself having a conversation about cancer and my options. I have fortunately not been diagnosed with cancer, thank God. I am however going to be proactive about my options and choose the Angelina Jolie course of action.

The breast surgeon,  who happens to be the one who operated on my mother when she had breast cancer is also a friend, she was sympathetic yesterday as I met with her for the first time. "Oh no... I didn't expect to see you here was the first thing she said to me".
I smiled and said.. and such is life, it's okay I feel blessed.  I don't have to reach very hard to be strong, to feel confident about my decision to have two surgeries. If I don't,  my chances of getting ovarian and breast cancer are alarmingly high.

I have no interest in living my life getting checked all the time, taking medication and being under monthly survalance.  I will be proactive, which is how I have lived every step of my life thus far.

If I am in an unfavorable situation, I get out. If I don't like the direction Im going in I find another way to go and If Im not happy, I figure out why and address the issue in the appropriate manner. This is no different.

I didn't have to think about my decision, nor ask for anyone to support my decision.

Once hearing the statistics and dire results of my positive brca2 test,  as far as I was concerned the decision had already been made.
 I have shared this information with my family and loved ones. Everyone has been supportive, loving, kind and sympathetic. I don't want sympathy and in fact dislike it.

I am lucky, I am blessed. I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to hopefully and God willingly be spared of this disease. If I am not, I will be in peace knowing that I did my best with the options that were presented to me, and I feel good about that.

In the past few weeks I have had biopsies, blood tests and multiply meetings with surgeons. I have waited for phone calls to confirm that my results are negative. I have scheduled one surgery for the Spring and the other for a few months later.

I have been working on arrangements for the summer in regards to my children, my dog, my Mother, my house and all the other aspects of life that are joyfully my responsibility. I am once again preparing to take action and to change a situation that has the potential for chaos and upset.

 How can I not feel good and empowered by that decision. I can see my father smiling, knowing and feeling that he would have approved of my decision. He would be proud to see that I too am brave and accepting and proactive as he was. I feel his loving presence around me and I can hear him saying with a smile, this too shall pass. I truly am blessed and grateful. xo


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