March 4, 2019

Handling The Hard Stuff

Sometimes life can be a bit over-bearing. Days are long, the tasks are endless, and there's some things you just don't like doing. But, there comes a time where you have to handle the hard stuff.
Photo by Eduardo S├ínchez on Unsplash
For me, that's making phone calls and being on the phone for things such as appointments and taking care of myself, my car, and things that don't always come easy for me to handle. I've mentioned before that my Mom passed away at 42 years old from breast cancer. Being that I'm already 35, my family doctor had referred me to a breast specialist in the area to get on the proper medical path to receive the care I need. It took a while to get in to the specialist and once I did I was pretty nervous for the first visit. I knew the questions they were going to ask me, and it brings up bad memories and isn't something I like to do.
Of course the questions that I had expected came- talking about my Mom's medical history, when she was diagnosed, the treatment she had to undergo, when she passed. I hate it, it makes me sick to my stomach. I knew these visits and preventative treatment plan the specialist was putting me on was good for me, but each visit and test made me anxious of what could happen. I next met with a genetic counselor who really dove in to our family history and based on the findings and the fact my Mom was never genetically tested, I then proceeded to have the BRCA testing done. The BRCA test uses DNA to identify harmful mutations in the breast cancer genes. While the appointments so far have been a bit overwhelming, everyone I have meet with has been more than kind and I've learned so much more about cancer, the BRCA testing, and my risk of getting cancer. 
Having the fear of dying and missing out on moments my Mom has come in to my mind often, and I made huge strides in facing fears of dealing with potential scares of cancer by attending these appointments. I wanted to do this to take care of myself and my health, but make sure that I'm around to be with my family and enjoy life.
My BRCA results came back negative after 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks I often thought about what my Mom possibly felt when she had surgery, or sat in a room receiving chemotherapy treatments and how she was so strong. I know she did it because she had to- she was brave and believed she would come out of her battle with cancer a winner. While she didn't survive the final fight, her courage taught me that I can do anything and I have people in my corner cheering me on every step of the way. Going forward I will be tested with mammograms and MRI's every 6 months so that the chance of catching any potential cancer is sooner. I am so thankful for modern technology and knowledgeable doctors and the ability to have healthcare. 
It may sound silly, but when you have something that scares you so bad and you overcome your fears it's quite exhilarating. I have found the courage to make other steps in the realm of self-care and would love to update you on that as I make progress. 
I'm here today sharing my story to let you know that you can handle the hard stuff. Whether it's taking the step to update your resume and get a new job you deserve or walking away from a bad can do it. Even if it's as simple as my example of picking up the phone and moving forward to deal with uncomfortable things, you can do it- one day at a time. I hope that you always listen to the voice in your head, whether it's soft or loud telling you to take that first step...the outcome is worth it!
Thanks for listening friends, enjoy your day and have a great week!

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