My Dad used to say, “Man plans and god laughs”. Sometimes we do our best to prepare and plan for what we’d like to accomplish, but the “powers that be” may have other plans in store for us, ones that put a major kink in what we initially set out to do.
I recently told some friends that I must have absolutely no psychic powers. I say this because I went into 2020 feeling pretty good. I had a “sense” that it was going to be a solid year on many levels. All BRCA related surgeries were behind me. The end of 2019 marked 3 years since my last chemotherapy. I was/am still in remission and perhaps 2020 would finally be the year we move into a bigger home! I was feeling optimistic, excited, ready conquer what 2020 had to offer, including fixing my foobs! Yes it was one more surgery to deal with, but with my oophorectomy in the rearview mirror, I was ready.
Well, we all know at this point how the rest of 2020 unfolds… presidential impeachment, Australian wildfires, Iranian missile attacks, a fucking catastrophic global pandemic, protests & riots…! Nope! No foob fix for me this year and sadly, another loss to grapple with, the loss of my job.
I’m not unemployed yet, but the writing is on the wall. Leave it to a global pandemic to bring a $15+ Million company to its knees in 3 months time. As many can imagine, the crumbling of the statue happened quite fast. It was business as usual, then boom, a crash landing with embers still up in flames.
I’ve never been unemployed. My career thus far has luckily always been upward mobility. I don’t think I realized until now, how much I take pride in the sense of accomplishment I’ve felt all these years. It is a part of who I am and I am luckily good at it.
The irony is not lost on me though (no pun intended), that it was only a year ago I was in a hospital undergoing another procedure because I am BRCA1+ and a breast cancer survivor. Losing both my ovaries and tubes was a heartbreaking surgery on many levels. I did it prophylactically to prevent risk of ovarian cancer, but it comes with a heavy emotional toll.
There was quite a lead up to the procedure. My husband and I tried to have a second child for 9 mths with no luck. We stopped trying at the beginning of 2019 knowing that it was time to proceed with this next step. I didn’t have to do it before I turned 40, but at the same time, I did. After an anguishing 2 years of chemotherapy, mastectomy, and reconstruction, I was not going to risk any chance of getting sick again. Was it brave? Yes, I guess so. But man, it was/still is incredibly painful to have lost that part of my womanhood. I have been managing the best I can, but as I approach another loss, the loss of my job, one that I did not nor could not foresee, has enhanced my deep rooted pain. It’s surfaced again.
Like millions of others, I am trying to find my way through this mess that is 2020. All of our lives have changed in one way or another. We have been forced to shift our daily way of life, our thinking, our ability to cope as social creatures and manage ongoing healthcare needs. It has been very challenging. I was holding out hope that things would change for the better over time, but that has sadly not been the case. The country is a mess and because of grave lack of leadership, it has compounded the severe struggle my company faces, elongating the road to recovery, one that I may not be able to hang around for.
So, I am feeling lost with loss as another part of my identity is uncontrollably removed. It could be temporary (that would be the best outcome), but with so many unknowns, it’s hard to say for sure. I am navigating my way through it. It’s still raw. At least I can find solace in the fact that I have navigated uncharted waters before and came out the other side, stronger for it. This too shall pass…. And when that break, that sense of relief comes, it will feel really good and will be really needed! 🙌🏻
Thank you for reading. ‘Til next time BRCA’nites. 💞