PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Decision Making

I know I've spoken about it briefly before out here in the blog-o-sphere, but I felt the need to talk more about the subject.

Decision making.

I've never been one that's good at making decisions. I have always just went with what made everyone the happiest. Just ask anyone who's ever gone to lunch with me. I hem and haw with "Well whatever you want" or if I get brave enough to actually choose a restaurant I quickly amend my choice by saying "If that's ok with you" and generally go along with whatever the other person wants. However, in my life so far, I've been forced to make a few pretty life altering decisions as of late.

1- I decided to become Catholic. I grew up Baptist so my decision to convert was not well received. The only Catholic in my family is in my extended family and lives in San Antonio TX (Shout out to my great uncle :D ). So, needless to say, I did not get much support in my decision. I've told this story to several people before- I was driving home from my Baptist church one day with my sisters and we were talking about how we were becoming unhappy in the church. The thought of switching to another Baptist church was an exhausting prospect but I knew I wanted to be in a church I was happy at. We just happened to drive by what would later become my home church. I turned to my sisters and said "What about trying that church next week? I've never been to a Catholic church" and we agreed. The next Sunday at 10 AM we walked into Mass. My sisters were not that impressed but I was in awe. I can't describe, except I could almost see God smiling and nodding in approval. A feeling came over me, and for the first time in my life I heard God speak to me. "This is where you belong." I finally got what I'd been missing in my high school years, when other people my age would talk about God speaking to them. I finally understood. I got the reaction I expected from my family and people at the Baptist church, so I stayed away from the Catholic church for awhile. I remember one Easter morning being at the Baptist church, looking around and feeling so unsettled and uncomfortable. The next Sunday, I went back to Mass, three weeks later I spoke to the priest about joining RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and by the next Easter, I was receiving Confirmation and First Communion. I'm still very grateful to those who supported my decision and came to see one of the most important events of my life. And I've come to terms with those who didn't support my decision, but have come to realize that I'm very happy :)

2- I decided to have my PBM. I was terrified of having a mastectomy, and my stomach would drop everytime Dr. King would suggest it. I thought it was the craziest thing to do, especially when I didn't even have cancer. A mastectomy was something that old women did, not girls in their 20's. But then, I started to realize what my fate was. In the back of my mind, I always thought I'd die from some awful medical problem (morbid but true), so I thought that this was my time and breast cancer would do the job. I mean heck I was living on borrowed time anyway, what with all the brain surgeries and such. But then I realized...I could control my destiny. I could get up and fight back and come out on top. I could outsmart cancer. HMMM... So then, I made the decision. And I never looked back. I've had PLENTY of bad self esteem moments, when I yearn for the feeling I once had in my breasts. When I hear of people talk about breast feeding and realizing I will never be able to experience that. When I'm convinced by some  crazy inner voice that no man can possibly love anyone with fake breasts (I have my irrational moments lol). But then I calm down and realize that everything is ok. My breasts aren't the only thing with nerve endings, I'll actually be around for my childrens LIVES and won't just be some picture that they look at it and their Dad has to tell them stories about Mom..and honestly when has a grown person ever gone back to their mother and said "thank you for breast feeding me." When the time comes I WILL be an awesome, cool, wonderful parent (minus the cracked nipples.) As far as men go...I have a wonderful boyfriend whom I love dearly and I know he loves me too. I'm a very lucky girl :)

3- wait for's my other decision. Life changing, relationship altering (my Dad is going to have a heart attack).....I'm pretty sure I'm a liberal now. Ok I AM a Liberal, democrat, leftie, etc. I've actually really struggled with this. Both of my parents (My father especially) are very staunch Conservative Republicans. My Facebook friends list is riddled with Conservatives (I love you all). This will be the third Presidential election for me to vote in, and I'm kind of sad to say that I voted Republican in the previous two. Not because of what I believe or feel but because that's how my parents voted. Bad I know... but now that I'm the ripe old age of 28, I've started paying attention to what's going on. I've started to form (gasp) my own opinions. How can this be? I have a different opinion than my parents! Without rehashing the issues too much, I'll just say that the Democratic party platform is more align with my own morals, beliefs, etc than the Republican party is. And honestly, I'm uncomfortable with the trend that Republicans have of hating homosexuals. You's easy to hate something that you just read about or see on TV. (And if any of my friends are reading this, and actually know gay people I apologize in advance). I have homosexual people in my life. And they are the sweetest, nicest, best people you'll ever meet. And the love that I see in their relationships and the love they have for their children...I can't look at them and tell them that they are wrong. That they are denied the same rights as a man and a woman simply because of their sexual orientation. I am well aware of what the Bible says, but I also know that Jesus said "Love thy neighbor" PERIOD. So that's what I'm trying to do. Apparently from what I am told, this is a liberal view.

Another liberal view- pro-choice. Over the past few months, I have come to learn that pro-choice simply isn't referring to abortion. Which, by the way, I am strongly against. But, pro-choice encompasses ALL of women's healthcare. And YES women have the right to choose their own healthcare. And the way I see it is this- there is a such thing as freedom of religion. Which means that I cannot force another American citizen to live according to the morals of my religion, since they may not share those same beliefs (this goes for anything not just the abortion issue.) Once again I AM AGAINST ABORTION SO PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ASKING WHY I SUPPORT IT BECAUSE I DO NOT.

There's several other things that I see eye to eye with the "Dirty Dems" (In my Stephen Colbert voice). Obamacare (I think it can be a good thing), Student Loan Reform , etc etc. So there you have it- I'm putting my "official political stance" out there. Let the attacking and de-friending begin (Actually please don't. Once again, nothing but love for you guys)

One thing I've noticed: people get insanely insane about politics. Oh sweet baby Jesus do they get insane. And I've had attacks directed at ME (Well I guess technically not at ME because I happened to see a comment about my status on someone else's status). There are people on my Facebook friend's list who I can always count on for a rousing debate (you know who you are) and unfortunately there are people on my Facebook friend's list who I can always count on to talk down to and bully me or anyone else who has a different opinion.

And dang it I'll just say it. I like to argue..errr debate. I miss "discussions" around our kitchen table, that got very lively and heated. How we could disagree on so much and no one would get mad at the other. So I'm cautiously tossing my hat into the political ring. I'm paying attention to the issues, forming opinions, scouring news websites and actually being a responsible, voting, American.

And I kinda like it :)

1 comment:

  1. I love you sister! I am super proud of all the hard decisions you have made in your life. And I am so so so so so happy to still have you in my life. Know that I will always be there to back you up! I hope that one day I will have the courage to stand for what I believe and make hard decisions to improve my life the way you have done so well. I miss those dinner debates too!!