Hi. I’m Lara. I’m perfectly healthy, but next month…I’m getting my boobs cut off.
It sounds kind of crazy when I put it like that, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s a little bit crazy – the last month has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments and phone calls and second guessing. But I made this decision (in my head) so, SO long ago, that it feels like I’ve finally finished reading War & Peace. Wait…I’ve never read War & Peace. The Stand by Stephen King – that might be the longest book I’ve read that wasn’t for work or school.
I made this decision 3 years ago, as I waited for the results of my BRCA test, only to find out it was negative. Or even before that, as I waited for the results from my biopsy, which resulted in the lumpectomy of a 4cm Phyllodes Tumor from my right breast. Or was it earlier, when Angelina Jolie underwent her preventative mastectomy in 2013? Nope, it was even before that…2005, as I watched my mother die from breast cancer. On the surface, of course I don’t want to die of cancer – I want to die of something else! But I also don’t want my children to go what my sister and I went through – watching our mother wither away into nothing in what seemed like just a matter of months. What my father went through, watching his partner of 30+ years go through this pain. And what she herself went through, not just the pain, but the indignity of it all.
So twelve years….a decision that has been twelve years in the making. I don’t feel like I am making the decision to cut off my breasts (and get new ones, of course). Nor do I feel like I’m making the decision to “avoid” surviving cancer, either. I am making the decision to “previve” cancer – to not go through cancer, but go around it, per se. That is what a “previvor” is – ME.