Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My blog has begun!!!!

I can't really believe it, I have started to write a blog.  I never thought I would do this.  Don't get me wrong, I do follow several blogs of my friends and many blogs of some of the families I have helped adopt children, but never thought it was for me.  Those of you who know me, know that I am one busy wife, mother, social worker, piano teacher, Bible study participant and exercise queen (well, not really, but I try) and I really do not have time to add one more thing to my life!!!! I also do not claim to be a good writer. In fact, I usually let Nathan handle the penning of important thank you notes and or writing our annual Christmas letter.  Writing has never been one of my strengths, but I do think that I have developed better writing abilities through my work as an adoption social worker since over my tenure in this field, I have probably written thousands of homestudies and post adoption reports (those of you who have adopted will know what I am talking about here) so if practice makes perfect, maybe I will do okay with this.

So, what am I going to be writing about in my blog? As you can see from my title, I am writing about my journey with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.  No, I do not have cancer.  But, because I have the BRCA 1 gene mutation, my lifetime risk for breast cancer is up to 87% and my risk of ovarian cancer is up to 50%.  Compare to that general population of women with a 10-12 % lifetime risk of breast cancer and a less than 2 % lifetime risk of ovarian cancer, my risk is pretty significant.  My grandmother, whom I inherited this gene from, had both breast and ovarian cancer in her 40s.  She had a sister who passed away from breast cancer in her early 40s.  So, this gene mutation is real, it has an early onset and as the specialists have been telling me, it is aggressive, ugly, difficult to treat, but can be preventable.  I found out about my BRCA 1 status in September of 2010 and immediately began consulting with specialists in this field, scouring the Internet for information on this issues and talking to people that God has placed in my life who have had breast or ovarian cancer, have one of these cancers now or have the same gene mutation as me.  Through all of this research, consults with various specialists and a lot of time thinking and praying, Nathan and I have decided to have risk reducing surgery to hopefully prevent these cancers from ever becoming a reality for me.  I will be having a oopherectomy/hysterectomy in March of 2011 to prevent my ovarian cancer risk and a bilateral, prophylactic mastectomy, hopefully in May of this year.  Am I scared? Yes. Am I anxious? Oh, yeah! But, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the right decision for me.  God has given me a peace about this.  I believe that he is bigger than these circumstances that I have been dealt and that he is going to see me through them ALL THE WAY!! 

Now, to the why I am writing this blog? I know a lot of women with either BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation blog about their experiences and decisions to express their feelings and help them cope with this overwhelming challenge of choosing surgery.  They even have creative and catchy titles such as "loosing the boobs" or "When the genes don't fit" or "I'm a previvor".  Some women may also blog about this experience to help enlighten the world about this issue and all of its implications and to empower other women (and men!) about their choices if they should have to experience the same thing. Believe me, I am all about therapy, developing healthy coping mechanisms, enlightenment and empowerment because, after all, I am a social worker and these words were not only drilled into me in graduate school, but are concepts I use in my everyday field of work.  But, to me, these reasons for blogging take a backseat to my real personal reasons for blogging.  My first and foremost reason for blogging about my BRCA 1 journey is because of my faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and my belief that regardless of my circumstances, he deserves all praise, all honor and all glory.  I firmly believe that my God is bigger than my circumstances. I learned this week in my Bible study of Revelation that if I believe that God is big enough to conquer death and save this entire world, I should believe that he is bigger than any circumstance I may find myself in. Psalms 46:1 says that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble." God has always been there with me, even before I was born, he was there and will always be.  He will see me through good times and bad times and I should "Give thanks in all circumstances" 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  I am not mad at God for allowing this to happen to me, I give him thanks for who he is in my life and anticipate each day with him as he walks beside me on my journey. 

The second reason I have decided to begin this blog is for those two precious little girls you see in my profile picture.  These are the children that God has blessed me with in my life and entrusted to me to raise, to nurture, to love, to guide, to protect, to discipline and to teach.  Part of the reason I have chosen to undergo the risk reducing surgery is for them, so that I can be there for them for as long as I can.  My girls' reality is that they have a 50 % chance of inheriting this gene mutation from me.  Now, there is no BRCA testing for children, so it will be 10 plus years before either of them find out their fate on this, but if and when one of them does find out that they are also a BRCA 1 gene mutation carrier, I want to be their biggest supporter. Going through this experience, there have been so many times that I have thought, I need to remember this piece of information or what this person told me or how I felt about this, so I can share this with my girls someday, if needed.  And, I have come to a conclusion, there is NO WAY I am going to remember all of this!  So, I am going to use this blog to record everything I possibly can for them.  This blog is for them from their mother, who loves them more than her own life and would do anything for them.       

3 comments:

  1. Levacy, I had no idea you were facing any of these challenges. I'm so glad that you are taking this blog as an opportunity to be not only a voice of encouragement but also to show that God is always with us and is the ultimate Healer. I will be praying for you and hope to continue reading great things on your blog! And don't sell yourself short...you're a great writer! I love you guys and miss you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  2. OH, Levacy! When I saw on FB that you were starting a blog I was super excited that my friend Levacy had decided to join the blog world. I hopped on over to say welcome and to say that I know your writing will put me to shame.

    Then I got here and read your post. I will be praying for you. What a brave thing you are doing, friend! I will be following along and storming the throne for God's peace and comfort in the months to come for you, Nathan and those sweet girls!

    Love , Mindy

    ps -- I soooooooo wish you and Wendy could come to my retreat in a few weeks (in Gatlinburg). And also --
    Your writing will still be so much more amazing than mine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love you. Nathan, the girls, Danielle and I are so blessed to have you in our lives! You are facing an extremely difficult circumstance with amazing grace, strength and bravery. Know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers!!!!!

    ReplyDelete