Initially, I wanted to post before Mother’s Day, but couldn’t quite figure out exactly what I wanted to write. Motherhood is wonderful in so many ways. It has been an amazing experience to watch my son grow from a teeny tiny infant, to now toddler. His vocabulary skills develop more & more every week. He’s growing like a weed and is so much more aware of his surroundings. The world is like a magical oyster to him. Everything is new and exciting, from post-thunderstorm rainbows, to spring rabbits hopping around neighborhood yards, to saying hi to strangers in a grocery store! It’s truly an amazing experience to watch him blossom.
Obviously motherhood comes with its challenges, but add BRCA mutation to the list, and those challenges reach new levels that many moms luckily do not have to struggle with. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that 6 months after my son was born, I was diagnosed with stage 2 ductal carcinoma. I was 36 years old. Luckily I have a phenomenal support system that really helped me through some extremely dark days. But as I reflect back now, there were many moments when my incapabilities to care for my son, deeply crushed me. I knew logically I shouldn’t feel guilty, that I was physically unable to do certain tasks, even just hold him, but I still harbor guilt and resentment to this day.
In some ways, the age of my son when I was going through treatment & surgery was a blessing. He will likely have no memories of that harrowing time, but it all connects back to challenges that a lot of BRCA moms tackle; like wanting to breastfeed, difficulty caring for children while recovering from mastectomy, possibly passing the mutation down to their children (50/50 chance), childbearing pressure due to increased ovarian cancer risk, and the list goes on!
Mothers are strong, hardworking and selfless no matter what, but I got to give an extra high five to BRCA moms! The challenges we face are quite extraordinary when you really think about it! Happy Belated Mother’s Day! 💐🌷🌹