Survival Seeds

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writers Workshop - Hi, My name is...

Hi, my name is Alisha and I am an empowered woman… I know most of you are saying “I know that you are a woman” but keep reading and you will understand. Outdoor Summit issued a challenge and I was more than willing to take them up on it. I found out about the challenge from a good friend Rick who tells a wonderful story about his friend. I had been reading about The Fat Cyclist and his wife's fight and then Mama Kat listed her prompts and everything just fell together! This is about breast cancer and bringing it to the forefront and making us all think about it once again...

Breast cancer has been a part of my life since I was a year old. Actually it was a part before I was born but we will start there. My mother found a lump when I was a year old and everything, for me at least, started there. My mother had a single mastectomy, among numerous other surgeries at the same time, and chemo. She was "cancer free" for a year before her hip started hurting. This whole time my mom continued as a nurse and was raising a small child. After doing some tests they found that it had metastasized into her bones. She refused the chemo at that time but once it was moving into other organ she did the chemo again. I have a friend of my mother's who told me the other day that *I* was the reason that she fought so hard. After 4 1/2 years my mother lost her battle but not without putting up a huge fight and impacting me in the process.
My grandmother (mothers mom) was diagnosed about4 years later and fought for two years. She lost her battle a year after my grandfather died of a massive heart attack.
My Aunt Teanne (mothers sister) was diagnosed and fought. She wanted to be able to last for me get married and she succeeded. She fought for a couple of years as well and passed a month after Matt and I got married. Although she didn't get to come to the wedding, her sons were there and I sent back many thoughts and prayers to her. She didn't tell us how bad she was and then I got a phone call all of a sudden that she was gone.
After looking at all these women in my family I took everything into consideration and started the procedures that I needed for early detection. I have mammograms every year, even though my insurance won't pay for it. We have kept me double covered with insurance so that if something does come up we can take care off it. I don't say that these things have been done easily, it has taken some commitment on our part and sacrifices. There are times that I am frustrated and worrying about money since we have had to spend it on insurance or paying the medical co-pays, but I always bring myself back to the big picture of prevention. I had an MRI done in April and was thankful that we had both insurances because we ended up after the fact with no out of pocket ( I got a check back from them).
In April, about the same time, I have a friend who was diagnosed with lung cancer. She beat breast cancer almost five years ago and now is faced with another battle. This spurred me to take further action and start looking up testing and prophylactic mastectomy options. I also was able to get my mother's medical records, after a short battle, and found out that My great grandmother on my mom's side had also had breast cancer. This makes it my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and an aunt. These are all on my Mother's side of the family.
I began talking with my Doctor I made a decision that some have questioned. I am having genetic testing done on August 31st. It could take up to two months to get results but I am excited about it. I am a planner so I have two plans of action in my mind of what we will do. Matt and I have sat down and talked about the different options and what we both feel comfortable with. We are going to look toward the future, with no fear, and plan for our life that we will build together. This is only made possible though through both of our strength and agreeing on the options. Early detection is the best key for taking care of the problem and I want to live to see my babies grow up. I want to see all the things that my mom didn't get to see. Opposition to my decision has said that I am playing God but why would we have this amazing technology if it wasn't for God????? I would appreciate any prayers that could go up in this time in our lives.

I have done the research and will not be another statistic, I will be me....

Head over to Mama Kat's and see what else is being said!!!


ForeverRhonda said...

Thank you for sharing that. My grandmother (fathers mom) passed away from breast cancer, so I err on the side of caution. Are you running err walking on the October 10th walk in OKC? I will be there!!

Anonymous said...

I wish you all the luck that I can give and hope the testing comes out ok.
Thanks for the mention it is appreciated and I am glad you like the story.
Keep us posted.

Schnauzer Mom said...

I admire you for staying informed and dealing with it no matter what. You have my prayers for continuing good outcomes!

Sarah said...

My husband, friend, and I are doing Race for the Cure in September. I'll be thinking of you.

Michelle said...

I've got to say. OH MY GOODNESS What is wrong with our medical system?

A woman on DHS can get the stomach tying operation. A man can get viagra for free with insurance. But a young woman who lost all the women in her life to cancer can't get a an exam??? Seriously!

Thanks for sharing that.