The day I wrote my last post felt like a low point for me. Everything felt hopelessly murky and unclear. After work, I went to my regular weekly therapy session and echoed many of the same sentiments I wrote here — that the pro and con list seemed impossibly balanced, that my logical and “go with your gut” approaches were both failing me, that I didn’t know what step 3 in my decision making process could possibly be since I’d never needed to go beyond step 2 before. And I cried. Which if you know me really says something.
After wiping tears and checking my mascara in the mirror by the door, I left her office. On my walk across the parking lot I mindlessly grabbed my phone and opened Facebook, probably subconsciously looking for something to distract me from the pain I was feeling. But that’s not what I got.
At the top of my feed was a beautiful picture, glowing and filled with love, of a friend from the choir I sang in for 10+ years and her wife. With a goodbye message. After 2+ years of fighting, my friend’s wife had succumbed to breast cancer.
My drive home was a blur, my heart splitting in two with sadness for my friend who lost her partner of more than a decade and her 5 year old daughter who lost a mother. And the dense, dark feeling that set in was “that could be us”. I imagined my partner saying goodbye to me and going on in this life alone with our child (or children). With that deep dark feeling came a quiet but firm voice from somewhere deep down inside me saying “I want to do every thing I can to prevent that”.
I went home, played with my toddler, fed him dinner, and put him to bed, then laid on the couch in a sullen, heavy heap. When my spouse got home a bit later I cried to him and told him that I think this part of our journey is over. That I couldn’t knowingly put my body at risk with these ticking time bombs inside me for the sake of having another biological child. That I had to let go of that vision of my future and focus on staying alive to build a future with the beautiful family we already have. He held me and I cried some more.
The next week past in a cloud of sadness punctuated with intense pangs of self doubt. But the more I sit with this decision, the more it feels like the right choice. I hate knowing that my partner is sad because of this choice I am making…even if the choice is based on something outside my control. I hate knowing that our families will be disappointed…even though I’m fairly certain they won’t say so out loud. And I hate feeling so defective.
But I like the idea of action and feeling like I am somewhat in control. I like the feeling of taking steps to protect my health and keep my family intact. And yesterday was the 19 year anniversary of my mother’s death from ovarian cancer. Remembering how much she suffered and how much potential was lost in her dying so early just deepens my conviction to have a different future.
I had the follow up post-ectopic pregnancy ultrasound yesterday, and if that comes back all clear, I’ll be calling my surgeon to discuss having my BSO sooner rather than later. And I’ve scheduled a consult with plastic surgeon about breast reconstruction for next month. Attending an adoption info session has been penciled in to the family calendar. The ball is officially rolling.