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So I realize how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Many things, so many things, have changed. There have been tough times and incredibly wonderful times. Now I’m settling in.

This won’t be long…just a short run down since, um, 3 years ago. I think I last wrote when I was still having complications with my surgery. I have since had a couple of additional surgeries. The bottom line is my abdominal muscle will always be “detached” and weaker. However, I have never been more strong. My breasts actually look better than the real ones ever did and I feel better than I ever have…even in my younger years. I’ve said it before, I’m scarred but who isn’t? I no longer differentiate between those scars or any others on my body, with the exception of one. The damn scar on my shin from a missed box jump is worse than any other one on my body. I am, admittedly, self conscious about that one.

Let’s see…I was also married when I last wrote. That changed on Christmas Day 2011 when my ex walked out. I did the typical tailspin for a while and now realize that was the best, and I mean absolute best, thing he ever did for me. I have grown as an independent woman and have learned to accept myself for who I am, which happens to be a damn strong, intelligent, loving, beautiful human being. I love me and I love my family.

Another update…my son and I moved to Frisco, Texas. I left behind a few very, very dear friends who I really don’t want to be away from. There’s also the network of friends who you know are always going to be around somewhere at any given time. Moving is scary and, holy crap, is it stressful. But things are falling into place. The house actually feels more like a home now that things are unpacked and finding the way into the proper places. My son is playing hockey and the best part is that I’m 20 minutes from my aunt and 20 minutes from my cousin. I get to see them all the time now and I love it.

Oh yeah, all the reconstructions? That’s all done. The fat grafting, implants, more fat grafting…no more. Not because I can’t handle it anymore, I simply don’t need it. Now my scars are faded, and did I mention that my breasts look better than they ever did before? I think so, but it bears repeating 😉 I’m fit and started training for triathlons. I simply feel great about myself. Now, I’m normal, so it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s really pretty damn good.

Looking back, I wrote about a really jacked up experience. What I went through, and chose to write about, was definitely raw. I was in the emotional and physical trenches. It feels weird to read some of what I’ve written. Some is embarrassing and I have felt tempted to remove it or close the blog. But then I think of the other women who are facing the choice I had to face and I feel like this might be helpful in some way. So I’m swallowing the pride and leaving it all out there.

In the end, full circle doesn’t really describe my journey. I haven’t stopped where I began. I’m in a completely different place; someplace so much more positive and peaceful than the starting point. I’m grateful for the important people in my life who have helped me get here because it didn’t happen all by itself. But it happened.

 

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I’ve been meaning to get back to writing….and meaning…..and meaning….all the way until my head hits the pillow and I start all over again the next day. So much is happening and I just want to slow down for a minute. I want to hold my family close to me and let time speed on by…just for a selfish moment.

I knew letting my kids grow up was going to be hard-like I knew that birthing them would be hard. You just don’t know how hard until you’re in the moment. Childbirth was an agonizing, “I don’t think I’m going to live through this”, pain with a glorious purpose and a breathtaking reward. Watching my first-born graduate and come into her own in so many ways is sort of similar, but a little more painful-heartbreakingly painful. There’s, seriously, an enormous lump in my throat and in my chest when I think of it. It’s actually more like a vacuum that just sucks my air away for a moment. Then I have to blink so hard to stay the tears and pull up those hateful bootstraps. So many things play through my mind from the time she was a baby. She used to laugh so hard it would make her spit up. I warned people to stop making her laugh or she would nail them. She had no hair as a baby, then had a golden halo of curls, now has a cascading mane of honey blonde waves. She used to want to follow me, be with me, run to me when she saw me. She grew to hang out with me, share her day, talk about things she learned, smiled when she saw me, hugged me so tightly just when I needed it. Now, she’s ready to embark on her own life, ready to loosen my grip. She still hugs me tightly, but I’m trying to get used to the fact that when I really need an Ali hug I’ll have to wait until the next time I see  her. My beautiful angel. I’m so very proud of her. As pretty and funny as she is, her mind is what really blows me away. She’s going to do well, that one. While this time in my life is excruciating, it’s also exhilarating. My daughter is going to college, she’s starting to live her dream and become a woman. She believed me when I told her, truthfully and with loving confidence, she could be anything she wants to be.

This is a new beginning in several ways. Ali has her new beginning, free from the cursed genetic mutation that I have. She doesn’t have to worry any more than the average woman does. Her risk of breast and ovarian cancer is that of the general population. She is free to start her journey without thinking about the ticking time bomb, being pressured to hurry up and have children so she can have the surgeries that would save her life. She can concentrate on political science or anthropology, plan on the Peace Corps and law school. She can fall in love, or not. She is free. Thank God.

We have a new beginning in Massachusetts. I like it so far. I suppose I have to see what it’s going to be like in the winter. My husband says it’s better than Michigan. The sun does shine more and that’s what I love, sunshine. I love my job so far and I’ve made some friends. I really love it. I do NOT like the house we’re renting, but we have a house and I can see the ocean from the deck. My husband likes his work and is doing well. My son likes his school and has lots of friends (almost too distracting). I’m looking forward to exploring New England on the weekends and learning more about the history…the real history. I want to avoid the places that have the cheesy gift shops.

My body is healing. There are some bad days still, but nothing like they used to be. My scars are healing pretty well. The crazy right breast problems that so many of us BRCA ladies have has a few scarring issues, but nothing major at all. I did have a little stitch work its way out today. I found it in the shower today. Even after four months, things are still trying to work back into place. Some might be discouraged by finding that they still aren’t healed after that time. Hell, I would have felt that way just a month ago. Now, it actually gives me hope. The quirks I have now aren’t permanent. My body isn’t done. I am healing. It’s been over a year. I’ve lost a year of activity, but I’ve gained untold time with my family. God willing, I will see my grandchildren graduate from high school. With every day that I am given, I get stronger.

It is a new beginning and I am hopeful.