My wife Bonnie’s recent positive diagnosis (wow, has it only been a week) for the BRCA2 gene has been like a hammer blow to my heart. After many failed marriages and relationships, I finally found a partner that made sense of the 1+1=3 equation for a couple and I don’t mean having a baby. For me it the unity and support that is seamless and it has created a beautiful new entity, us. And that is being mortally threatened.
I have read and learned and been introduced to so many new words, terms and facts I am overwhelmed. I cried, had nightmares, went to sleep and woke up to the whirling words and images. Until I had a moment of clarity… this is a good thing! The mutant gene is there, silent, doing it’s nasty work of churning out corrupted cells that go out looking for somewhere to attach and spread it’s darkness BUT now we know about it. It is exposed! Now we can fight back and have options and instead of being on the defensive, we can attack. With all the violence and finality we can muster it will be vanquished.
Our bodies are but a shell for our souls, our spark of life which cannot be changed no matter what is done to the shell. We are talking about double mastectomies, oophorectomy, hysterectomy, implants, hormones, possibilities and probabilities. Bonnie’s body will change. No doubt about that. The feel of her I have come to know and love so intimately will be different. I know I will love the new body just as I love her now because it does not matter. All that matters to me is that the soul, the essence continues in the present for as long as is dignified and possible.
We got a 2nd chance. We got to forestall what are highly probable illnesses for her. Ovarian cancer is so very sneaky only showing itself once it is far along and it is deadly. Breast cancer is also deadly but it can be spotted with constant vigil. But a new word I learned recently, previvor says it all. She is “pre” disease, chemo & cancer. She is a sur”vivor” having preempted and “survived” these illnesses.
For now this is our solace. We still face daunting decisions and the physical changes those will bring. ~