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Monday, June 18, 2012

Somewhere Between Denial and Dread


It is the night before I meet with Dr. Beverly Talbert, surgeon.

Earlier today, G, my therapist, asked me about fear. I told her I was somewhere between denial and dread… and maybe I feel a little fear, but it mostly dances on the edge of my denial and unknowing.

I’m sure it’s there. I see it in the eyes of my friends and concerned folks like my dentist. I saw it in G’s eyes and in the eyes of one of my dear friends who is a breast cancer survivor. I saw it in my Mama’s eyes when she told me she knew I’d be okay, but she dreaded the path that would get me there. All these people know something I do not – they’ve either experienced for themselves or they have had close friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. And they all look at me with the same deep concern in there eyes. A couple of them even teared up.

Sigh.

Soon enough I’ll be in that learning curve, taking in the moments that my family and friends are dreading. I’m not there yet. I’ll let you know when I am.

In the meantime, there is good news to celebrate! J  The abnormal gene that runs in the Grabow branch of my family tree – BRCA2 – does not flow in my blood stream. Yep. A geneticist sent my blood to test for that particular abnormality the same day I had the MRI. She called me this afternoon and admitted she was surprised by the results. Me? I’m rejoicing. That means I’m not going to follow up this surgery and treatment with a hysterectomy.

This also means my daughters will not be need to be tested for an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer. It means my son will not have to be tested for an increased risk of prostate cancer. 

There’re lots of things I want to pass on to my children. Cancer is not one of them.

So tonight, I am grateful. I'm grateful for no BRCA2. I'm grateful for friends and family who allow themselves to feel the fear I cannot. I'm grateful for the abundance of prayers and prayer lists I've been added to. I'm grateful for those who have prayed over me, for get-well cards and for the prayer bowl from the cancer support group welcoming me into their membership. I'm grateful for 50 cancer-free years. I'm grateful for pickle ladies who wanted to have coffee and pray over me and for Zena's tears. I'm grateful for a principal who is also a prayer warrier. I'm grateful that God has sent me the sweetest husband in the whole wide world. 

I'm grateful.

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