Monday, August 1, 2011

Living for Today

After a busy weekend, I took a nap today.  I dreamed that I have breast cancer and I dreamed about not having breasts.  This is the first time this reality has penetrated my dreams.  I woke up sad.  I wish it were only a bad dream - but it's not.  It's real and it's my reality.

After being initially elated to have an answer to what is "wrong" with me (Cowden's Disease), I was shocked and then devastated.  As I learned more about it, I felt defeated.  The average life span of people with Cowden's is 47.  Only 5 years older than I am now.  I know how averages work, thank goodness, so that means that there are probably people that lived until 90!  But, I'm feeling like my odds of a long life are not good.  

I don't want to leave my children.  I don't want to leave my husband and I don't want to leave my life.  I know a lot of people come to terms with death when they might be facing it - they say, "I'm not afraid to die...."  Well, I AM afraid to die and I don't want to die. I love life and I love my life.  I want more, more, MORE of it!

I'm lucky to have made it as far as I did healthy.  40% of those with Cowden's have at least one cancer before they turn 40.  I made it to 41 before being hit with a double whammy.  I'm pretty lucky.  I saw a woman on YouTube that had Ovarian Cancer at 8 years old and a double mastectomy at 19.


I don't feel lucky right now, of course.  I'm too worried about my future and about the future of those I would leave behind.  I want to live a long healthy life but I feel as though cancer will always be lurking around the corner now and I'll just be waiting for it to reappear.  I'll be monitored, sure.  There will be lots of tests every few months to monitor things to see if there is cancer anywhere.  I'll be holding my breath each time waiting for results.  Because it seems like it'll be a matter of "when" not "if" I'll get cancer again.

I'll likely be looking at having a hysterectomy since uterine cancer is also a big risk for me.  Uterine and Ovarian cancer are hard to detect so it's probably best to just get rid of any extra body parts that I don't need at this point. In light of this, I have thought of other parts I don't really need like the gallbladder and spleen.  I mean, they aren't really doing much for me.  Just hanging around - unneeded.  Same thing for the uterus and ovaries.  I'm pretty sure I could come up with some other parts that I don't really need.

I realized when I woke up from my bad dream that I need to stop worrying  about what could happen and start living for today.  Stop living in the future and start living in today. 

I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.



  2. They said that when you dream about things that are real is because your mind is accepting what is happening, which can be good cause that will make you fight harder and focus on what is really important , things that you need to do and people that you need to love . You are a great lady and have the most amazing attitude ever , keep fighting , keep loving , keep living !!!
    p.s. Is ok to cry sometimes ....

  3. Think of all that extra weight you'd shed without all those "unnecessary" body parts! Ok...I kid I kid...well not really...sort of! HA!

    I've said it before and I'll say it inspire me. Step by day at a time. Hang in there. ~Viki~

  4. Laura, I was happy to read that you know how averages work. YOU can choose whether to buy in to the age 47 thing or not (I vote for not buying in). After working 5 1/2 years in a cancer center I've seen some amazing things happen with people. The best are with those that who choose not to buy in, continue to live life with a focus on living in the "now" (this moment), have a great support system, are positive, laugh a lot and love. It's a tough journey that you're on and you WILL get through it. I'll help you write a book about it all afterwards and we'll both make a boat load of money!

    Love you,