I think I have written before about my genetic testing results for having the BRCA2 gene mutation. Since my scare and ultimate biopsy in May/June, I have been thinking alot more about my genetic predisposition for breast and ovarian cancer. Some days I am perfectly fine and I never think about the “what ifs”, other days I have moments where it’s all I think about. Lately, it seems like I have been thinking about more often than not. Part of it is because I follow certain groups on social media and part of it is because my nieces, at Salty Girl Beauty, are hosting a retreat in October and have started promoting it.
For a quick synopsis of my family history, my mom, my maternal grandmother (who died from breast cancer), my maternal grandmother’s twin sister, my maternal great grandmother, and my mom’s cousin have all had breast cancer and, while I don’t know the true issues, some sort of reproductive problems. My maternal grandmother’s younger sister also died from pancreatic cancer, which is a risk factor for the BRCA2 mutation. My mom, her cousin, and myself all have the same gene mutation.
For the past 7 or 8 years, I have been doing screenings for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Sometimes, I’m good on on top of things and other times, I go way to long between screenings. When I got my genetic testing results, I felt like the medical community already had me in the same camp as someone who had cancer, yet I felt like i didn’t belong there and maybe even looked at like I didn’t belong from those who actually survived cancer. I was strongly encouraged to meet with an oncologist, a gyn oncologist, a plastic surgeon, and maybe others that I can’t think of right now. It was and still is a very daunting task to think of meeting with an oncologist when I don’t have cancer, but I think my time has come where I need to take the step of having reproductive surgery to almost eliminate my ovarian cancer risk as well as decrease my breast cancer risk.
Overall, I feel like I cope really well with the anxiety of getting cancer, that is until it is time for my screenings. I often worry will this be the time they find something? Will I have waited too long? Should I have had the prophylactic surgeries that have been recommended to me? Will having surgeries fix the issue? Will having surgery take away from my desire to live a more holistic life?
The last question makes me laugh at myself. I say I want to live a holistic life, but do I really follow through with that? Some days, Yes I actually do, more often than not, I don’t. I don’t eat as many veggies and fruit like I should. I eat too many simple carbs and fried fatty foods. I eat too much junk and too much read meat and meat in general. I don’t exercise. I spend too much time on social media (one thing I am strongly working on). I don’t make time for mindfulness practice like I want to.
When I say my passion is holistic living, I feel like a phony, a fake, an imposter. I am making strides to follow through with my goals and passions. When it comes to holistic health, I need to make more of an effort. I really need to start with my eating. Between my cancer risk and my high blood pressure, I need to focus on feeding my body good foods, healthy and energizing foods. I have been so slow to do meal planning, but I really need to focus on less sugar (promotes cancer growth) and eat foods that have the nutrients my body needs so that I don’t over indulge in cravings and maybe even eliminate those cravings altogether.
My goal is to decrease my social media time. I need to take time to research and learn the different holistic health modalities that I am interested in and then I need to practice them. Knowledge is great and powerful, but in my eyes, if you don’t use it, then it is wasted. I keep writing about my goals and passions in the hopes that the more I write them, the more they will stick. It’s time to take control and do what I need to medically as well as holistically, and by that I mean I can have surgery as well as eat healthy, practice mindfulness, exercise, and live a good life. To me, that is truly holistic, looking at the body mind and soul. It also means talking to my husband about attending the Warrior Wellness Retreat that my nieces are holding in Maine.