Life's Big Decisions...
There are decisions that come along with my mother's diagnosis of breast cancer that I have to make for my own health. The first big decision regards genetic testing.
If I test positive for what is known as BRCA 1 or 2 genes, I will have a very high probablity of developing breast cancer later in life. They don't know when, and I'm not sure if they will know what kind. I really haven't looked that much into it thus far.
The implications of this testing can be as huge or as minimal as I want them to be. I can choose a variety of prophylactic measures to fight it, or I can use it as a tool to be aware of what type of extra monitoring my health will need in the future.
I do not do medical procedures well. There was an incident when I was a teen that required me to have a chest X-ray, an incident that involved a terrifying technician and one of those hospital gowns and me not being permitted to wear a bra. This incident left me weeping in the passenger's side of my mother's car for what seemed like ages. I was weeping because this strange man caught a glimpse of my back. Not my ass, not anything in the bathing suit region. My back.
I hate having anything medical done to me, I hate having doctors be near my person, I hate having others in my personal bubble. The entire X-ray incident left me feeling so insignificant and exposed, but for God's sake, the man TOOK A PICTURE OF MY LUNGS. He didn't even have to come near me, but it still left me shaken and disturbed.
My mother has faced medical procedures since her first suspicious mammogram that would leave me clutching a magnum bottle of wine, weeping on the living room floor. I have no idea how she finds the strength to go through each additional procedure because I would simply wilt away into nothing and cease to exist.
Initially I thought I would take the most drastic measures available to prevent myself from having to undergo any procedures at all, including mammography. Pain does not deter me from too much: It generally ends and if it doesn't, they give you really, really good drugs. It is the invasion of my personal space that makes me shiver and run.
The last few days, however, I have been re-thinking my desire to take the most drastic measures available. I don't know why. But I suppose that I need to give every option the thought and investigation it deserves.
I don't know how to become strong. I don't know how to accept that this life will undoubtedly be full of medical procedures that I can or can not deal with. I don't know how to stop the shaking that overcomes me when I think of technicians coming at me with a platform thing-a-ma-jig in which they want to squish my teeny, tiny little chest into. I don't know how to accept that other people, at some point, may need to have some sort of contact with my person, and that an incident like that alone is not reason to want to punch them in the mouth.
I don't know why I am the way I am. I don't know why other people in my space creeps my shit out, and I don't know why medical procedures especially make me want to cry. I suppose I need to find myself some sort of guide, some sort of system to work myself up to being stronger in this regard so that I can make the best decision for my future.
I'm going to have to spend some time figuring out what that guide or system is.