Monday, September 7, 2009


There are some cute t-shirt sayings out there that play on the whole BRCA thing (I have quite a few of them myself), but I’ve come up with one that’s not so cute ~ BRCAnxiety. I am beginning to wonder if learning of a BRCA mutation isn't somewhat like having Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). I have more anxiety now than pre-surgery. I’ve even started having panic attacks in the middle of the night...what a treat that is combined with night sweats! I think I’m becoming sleep insomnia has returned full tilt! Last night I received a grand total of 2 hours of sleep. I do have some other unrelated personal issues going on right now, and those seem to just escalate my anxieties. Not a minute of my day passes where it doesn’t come creeping back into my mind.

I am an otherwise healthy woman in my mid-forties, have had a hysterectomy, BSO, PBM and am part-way through the reconstruction process. After watching my mom suffer for three months after a terminal ovarian cancer diagnosis and learning of my own predisposition for cancer, I just can't move on. Every little ache and pain sets me off. Peritoneum? Pancreas? Residual breast tissue? Something else??? Since the BSO results in the early onset of menopause, my risk of dying of heart disease rises to the top over my cancer risk!!! So now I need to try to get more exercise, eat healthy and try to focus on good health....not very successful these days but I'm giving it my best. It just seems so unfair! I want my old pre-BRCA life back.

I've just contacted my employer's EFAP program and am awaiting a least it's a start! I have to keep reminding myself that I need to be my own advocate.

Sorry if my posts of late seem rambling, but blogging to me is like journaling and is very therapeutic. It helps to get this all off my chest (No pun intended!). Thanks for always being there, for your caring and kinds words and most of all for always listening to my ramblings.

Luv & Hugs,


Vicki said...

Ramble all you want...I am at full attention reading your posts. Getting some personal counseling...hopefully your referral will be with someone who is well-trained in grief and a good start as you say. It seems that if you aren't a good advocate for yourself in better find one.
Wishing you peace and days of serenity but mostly wishing you restorative sleep beginning tonight!

emily said...

BRCAnxiety...well said.

l'optimiste said...

I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety. It's a pain in the butt - every little thing is 'shriek! it's cancer!!'...but it's not. I feel like a right hypochondriac some days. And yes, me too, I want my old pre-OC life back.
Rambling is good - I always find your posts interesting! I use my blog as 'therapy' too - sometimes I get shouted at for what I say, but hey, no-one has to read it.

Sleep? What's that then?? ;o)
keep well