BRCA+ decisions, and babies...

This is a post I wrote today for Trusera. I thought I would copy it and paste it here! And to my friends, I should say - you all know I don't need any other babies, that I am up to my ears already with the children I do have! That's why the following thoughts are so weird:

I've been dreaming of babies, lately...lots and lots of babies! Each time I see them, in my dreams, I cry and cry because my baby days are done, courtesy of the lap bso I had to protect me further from my errant BRCA1 gene. In my waking hours, I often forget these dreams and the grief they involve. UMMM...could it be that my waking hours are consumed by three children I've already birthed and am raising? Or is my rational, awake mind more adjusted to my BRCA+ decisions than my subconscious mind is?

Rationally, I know how lucky I am. Though I spent years wondering why I went this way into motherhood when so many other women my age were dating, or building their careers, or at least leading an adult life free of primary-colored plastic toys - those thoughts went out the window with my diagnosis. I could see if in my doctors' faces - my breast cancer/brca+ diagnosis was easier all the way around, knowing I had three children. All of those tough decisions were easier - I had breastfed, I had given birth, I had THREE children, which is more than many people would even want. The doctors could give me their recommendations (bilateral mastectomy, chemo, bso) easily, without worrying about my fertility. And I could make those decisions without worrying. After all, THREE is more than I can handle, on most days!

So what I want to know is, WHY the dreams? Why aren't I smiling in my dreams, happier to know that I have missed that many ovulations (chances for my ovaries to send out little teeny cancer cells before I even knew I had cancer)? I'm thinking that even though RATIONALLY I know I made a great decision, subconsciously I'm still dealing with the fact that I am BRCA+.

Even though I am in the throes of menopause (which isn't really very difficult at all for me - a little emotional, yes, and some mild hot flashes, and a few minutes' delay in falling asleep...but that is easy, in my opinion), my mind is still 35, and my friends are all still pregnant or having their first babies. Holiday cards show babies in front packs, and my baby is now up to my hip bone in height (not a small feat, as I'm 5'9"). It's still a little weird to think that the baby years are over for me. And I'm just slightly disappointed that I can't be going through this stuff with some of my friends, or with my sisters. I've been waiting for them all to have children...I just didn't think I would be so thoroughly done with having them. (And I had been holding out the idea that I could have another baby if I missed it all that much, until my diagnosis year came blowing through.)

But (here comes my trademark phrase), oh well. Motherhood came to me surprisingly quick, but then, so did breast cancer. I did all I could with both...really have tried my best to be a good mother, and really tried my best to fight cancer and improve my survival chances. Somedays when I feel so NORMAL, I want to have every option open to me that many 35 year old women have open to them - but that's when I have to remember the special things breast cancer taught me. Who needs a whole life of normal? Let's get on with having an EXTRAORDINARY amount of great moments, not thinking about what is lost or what can't be had.

p.s. - I do think these thoughts are probably thoughts many women have at the end of their fertility...the what-if's, etc. Luckily, I only have them in my sleep, (during the day I just want some quiet time!) or we'd have to start seeing adoption counselors! OR I'd have to steal my nephews, nieces, and nephews-on-the-way. ( I did want to have another boy...you'd better keep those babies close to you, Amy, Julie, and Bonnie!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pam...You can totally share your new nephew!! You can even give him back right about the time when he starts crying all night for no reason at all!:-)