After my last post, after Mandy's birthday, came that other day -- the anniversary of the day she died. That day does not bring the happy memories or the smiling pictures, even though she was smiling almost to the end. That day brings the funk.
So, that's where I've been and life has not helped. Since that day, I've found out about another 20-something with breast cancer; I found my own mass that's required some testing; and a friend lost her late-term pregnancy. This is the third friend I've had endure this and as much unfairness as we see with cancer, the loss of a life that has yet to begin seems to be that much harder to endure.
One of the things I always tell people who are new to the fringe of cancer and death is to let their friends and family be pissed off. Because this -- whether it be the death of a loved one or one's own cancer -- effing sucks. The people most affected often feel they need to be strong, to put on a happy face, but one of the best gifts another person can give is to allow that person to grieve, to yell, to bitch and complain, to cry.
And I guess I need to allow myself that, too. Because this does effing suck.
I try to remind myself that I have power and knowledge so many did not and still do not. That I could be here longer than my grandmother and aunt. Which is potentially amazing, really, I know.
But the fear of every twinge, of the random bloating, of the monthly boob pain -- the fear is exhausting. I totally understand why women I've begun following have mastectomies at 29 or 21 or even 20 years old (watch this video for an adorable and inspiring young woman). Because if I knew this 12 years ago, I would have done the same after a scare or two.
As it stands, my family planning, my career and my life are in a sort of holding pattern while I debate changing my life forever. I've impacted my family, forced them to face this mutation and their own mortality. Discussing life insurance for your 26-year-old sister ranks up there on the this-effing-sucks meter.
Thinking that my girls will someday face all of this?
That effing sucks.
Mandy had something happen to her every 5 years. At 20, she was in a horrible car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. At 25, she found Templeton. She told me when she turned 29 that she was worried about what 30 would bring. I told her that was understandable, but she'd beaten everything. She was a fighter and 30 would be her year. And I was wrong.
And that effing sucks.
So there will be positivity and knowledge-is-power moments ahead. But today, I'm allowing myself to be pissed off. Maybe for a while.