Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy, a decision made after years of anguished thought, one that changed my life. Words to some, but a 2 year-long process that changed everything about how I think, how I make decisions and almost everything about my life. The entire stream of thought that started this blog as I worked through my decisions to have surgery over 3 years ago. I truly do believe that the process changed my life as well as my families.
Over time these pages became my thoughts on life, parenting and more. I have never changed the name because no matter the thoughts shared, they have always been about “decisions” in some way. I mean that is all life is right? A long road paved in decisions both good and bad.
As your kids grow they become involved in activities, sports and otherwise and you grow to trust the adults, often parents who also have children involved. You tell yourself that they are doing what is best for all of the kids as well as your child. This is our story with soccer. The girls have both played since 5 years old. Issues began to show themselves last year with our older daughter’s team but to be honest at the time I was in the midst of the Town Council election race and
could not refused to see it act on the issues.
It became clear the development of my child was not important to those in charge of the team. She was not having fun, the team was not growing and something had to give. In our town many demand loyalty to the “township”. I am loyal only to those I love and those loyal to myself and those I love. It became clear it was time for a decision,
Decisions, stay within our township and play for a team put together as an after thought,
Decisions, Play for other townships who we once competed against(a few wanted Meg because she was one of the strongest full-time goalkeepers in the area, a position she never wanted to play full-time)
Decisions, go totally outside the established township societal rules and try out for a private club team.
The long process of making this decision sounds so silly to some but when the will, thoughts and feelings of an 11-year-old girl are involved, absolutely nothing is easy. This was a very difficult decision, she would not know anyone, she would play outside of our community. Since she was not ever provided playing time on the field (outside of goal) she was at a clear disadvantage. We showed up for a training and after only 45 minutes my girl was accepted to the team, a private club team. The interesting feedback from the evening, she would be expected to play all aspects and was too young to be limited to any one aspect of the game but that they would train her. The decision was clear and made immediately. My girl was thrilled.
For the last 2 months we have practiced and trained all guided under the eyes of her new coach. Scrimmages and 3 v 3 competitions to prepare for the season brought us to this past weekend. Our first tournament to prepare for the season. With Megan’s background and skill she is still the starting keeper for the team and started all 3 games during the first half. In the second half of the first game she took the field as a mid-fielder playing a mixed offensive/defensive position and pulled her weight. It was the second game where my head spun! Midway through the second half I saw my girl substituted into the game as a Forward. I figured she was there just to give someone a water break and that it would be a short shift but then something happened. Meg had only been in the game for about 2-3 minutes when her team began moving down the field. A beautiful pass from a teammate right to the center of the field where Meg was waiting and with one touch Megan launched the ball into the top of the net for her first goal ever.
Meg jumped so high it became clear to her teammates how special this was for her. Hugs and high fives were exchanged. Pride, confidence, development and teamwork. Our decision was clearly the right one. I have never seen my daughter practice so hard and enjoy the game so much. She looks forward to practice and can not wait for the next game. They will not win every game but they have heart, fight and a will to succeed. If life were a book I would have to say that this chapter is still being written but the first few pages look like one great story!
2 thoughts on “Decisions that matter and those that change everything”
I am thankful to have found your blog. I am in the process of seeing surgeons in order to schedule my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction. I lost my mother July 18 of this year after her 1 year 1 month battle with breast cancer. She was only 52. My sister and I have the BRCA2 mutation. I had not made a final decision as to how I would deal with the news of my hereditary risk (surgery, medication, increased surveillance), and as I was still grieving the surprising loss of my mother (yes, it was a surprise! I never expected it to kill her! She was too strong!), a coworker of mine pulled me aside to confront me about a mastectomy. As he lovingly stated it, “Why aren’t you having the surgery yet? Why the hell would you want to put your daughters through what you have been through the last month?” My daughter’s are 16 and 11. His words were like a slap in the face… and so I started my research. And my journey began. And now I look for real stories from real women that have been faced with these decisions and realities because these are the things that comfort me… the things that reassure me that I am doing the right thing for myself and my family. Some days I feel crazy, like I’m asking for pain and suffering. Then I remember that my girls need me, that my husband needs me, and that I can’t wait to be a grandmother someday! (Not anytime soon, though….) So… THANK YOU! Thank you for your story. You are truly inspirational.
Good luck to you and your family. The rehab was not always easy, some days much worse than others but I have never regretted my decision! I also found help online through real stories. I connected with other woman some who had preventative mastectomy like myself and others who were recovering from cancer. All of their stories were helpful. One young woman was only a teen when she made her decision http://tickingtimebombsblog.com. She no longer writes but her story is inspirational. http://mainelyhopeful.com and https://shutupaboutit.wordpress.com are two others the first still updates from time to time. She is a survivor and the second no longer writes but like me (and you) she had young children and made a preventative decision. I hope their stories are also helpful to you. Follow your heart and trust your decision. Good luck to you and please feel free to contact me as you go through the process. I wish you all of the best!