January 9, 2024 - BRCA1 and a pool party


500 words already done this morning, half before a phone call from my sister and the other half done with the second cup of coffee, still in bed but on top of the sheets. Colette couldn’t believe that I like staying in bed when I’m not sleeping; I write, read, play video games, watch shows, and yes, sleep. Something about being horizontal with the laptop on my lap, well propped-up with pillows and the balcony door open, cats both snoozing in a line down the middle.

Yesterday we had a pool party, with some friends and their families; kids splashed around for a few hours and we barbequed sausages and bacon and eggs and had butties’ which is a very English thing but still delicious. It was hot and clear, and though there’s usually some wind in Wellington our place is pretty sheltered, and set into the bush, so it was lovely to just sit back and look out across the harbour and listen to music and hang.

I had a zoom meeting with my genetic counsellor at 7pm–my test results came back from the states. We’ve had the surprise of a gene variant detected in our family–BRCA1–after my sister’s breast cancer diagnosis, that’s come down through Dad. I’m positive for it as well, as I’ve just discovered, but to be honest I’d sort of been gearing myself up for it ever since I found out both Colette and Dad have it too.

(At one point during the meeting Leila came in and asked me if I wanted a chocolate ice cream, so half the zoom call was me talking to the geneticist about cancer probabilities while slurping a rapidly-melting ice cream cone.)

The way I see it, it’s a good heads-up about something I can proactively do something about. Unlike so many other doom and gloom things that come across my lap, this is something I can actually act on. So that’s good. I don’t have any other news on that front apart from feeling strangely ok about it all, even the thought of prophylactic surgery” (ie a mastectomy). It’s fine. I don’t have much self-worth tied up in my boobs, and they did a great job breastfeeding for two years. So, well done, boobs, and thanks! Maybe this will be a good excuse to get some empowering chest tattoo–like a giant lightning bolt, or a big ouroborus like the one on the cover of The Neverending Story, haha!