& I do NOT have a BRCA mutation.
Which is, yes, good news. Who wants to take me out for a martini? But my sense of emotional relief is tempered by the rational knowledge that this relief is largely artificial and unfounded, since I’ve already had f-ing cancer, and could die from it still. And there’s no certain explanation for it now; cancer being genetic & all, not having the BRCA mutation likely means there’s some other genetic malfunction in me that hasn’t been discovered (and patented) yet.
I am taking the same course of action in light of these results as I promised myself I would if I tested positive: ie, doing nothing. But do feel blessedly exempt from that pressure of BRCA-scaremongering into preventative surgery.
I really wonder whether there is something defunct with my primal sense of self-preservation. I’d probably feel differently about preventative surgeries if I had children, or a life’s work, or anything else to live for. But I thought about it as I lay in bed this morning, hitting the snooze button over and over, and came to the same old conclusion: how presumptuous it seemed to act as if my life was really all that important–and how pointless it seemed to go through such great pains to prolong it.
Which is why I am dreading my upcoming mammogram, and why I have not called for the results of the CT scan I had six weeks ago. If I have cancer, still or again, I don’t want to know. I don’t want any more treatment. It’s terror and desperation, exhaustion and depression. But I can’t sustain myself on any of that, and I don’t want to.
(I am eligible to be tested for Li-Fraumeni syndrome, but would have to pay $3,000 for the privilege. And really, there’s not much point in knowing anyway, since there’s nothing anyone can do but wait for you to get brain tumors and leukemia and all the rest.)
I’m still obviously at risk for a new breast cancer on the left side, or for a recurrence/metastasis of the primary cancer. But I realized the full implication of the negative test result about twenty miles from the hospital, and burst into tears in the middle of traffic on I-79: as far as I know, I’m at no greater risk for ovarian cancer than the rest of the general population.
And I thought of all the women walking around with their ovaries inside of them, not even thinking about it, certainly not shedding tears of joy on the interstate over it, and felt strange–but strangely elated. Even if I can never have children, there is something psychologically comforting about keeping those bits where they belong–and not having to defend to the death my decision to do so.
Then on NPR, an interview with Vic Chesnutt, & this rather incredible song:
Vic Chesnutt – Flirted With You All My Life
which he described as a “breakup” with death & the temptation of suicide.
Bizarre how Fate sometimes supplies a soundtrack.
Oh death, oh death
Really, I’m not ready