This happens to me too--the weeks before and after check-ups are a mindfuck. What if they find something? Even if they don't, is it just a matter of time until they do? And there I am, sitting on a table in a hospital gown, listening to a doctor tell me how lucky I am.
In my own mind--logical or not--having kids is the first step to not getting cancer. You have babies, you feed them, you get your ovaries taken out and your breasts removed. It sounds harsh and extreme but it helps me sleep at night. Two (three?) cute (blonde?) babies and new boobs, what's not to love? So I go to the appointments and a few days later I frantically schedule the follow-ups and finally they tell me great news, you don't have cancer and I breathe a sigh of relief; and then a few days pass before my brain says yet yet yet yet yet.
And then, even though the small but occasionally present side of me that knows the statistics begs me not to, I go to a place where maybe I don't get to have kids--where maybe I don't choose surgery, but surgery chooses me. Where 28 is suddenly very old, and time is running out and it doesn't matter that you just moved across the country and your husband has a brand new job and your dog barks at children plus you guys haven't even finished unpacking yet and don't really even know where you'd put one baby, let alone two. None of it matters when you're overcome with grief over something that isn't even real yet.
It gets obsessive, the need to plan these things. The puzzle is there and I created it and I think I'm holding most of the pieces, but I don't know how or where to start putting them into place.
When my mom got cancer for a second time and I got the gene test, she told me she wished she could take it away from me--the pain, the fear, the burden of not yet having cancer. I'll never forget that. And while she went through hell and one day I probably will too, I would never want her to carry this for me. I would never wish cancer on anyone, especially not my own mother, but if she didn't get sick again I don't know if I ever would have gotten the gene test. And I needed it, because it could save my life.
Because even when it's so terrifying you think you might fall down, it really is true what they say--it's a gift to know these things. And to not have cancer.
Not yet, maybe not ever.