Alternately titled: Ouch, My Boob.

Most of you know that our little Cheerful is going to be flitting away soon to galavant across Spain. We are all very excited for her and rather envious, too. The time of her departure is drawing very close and soon we will have to make due without her for a few weeks. Yikes!

Here is the part where I have to let you know that I too will be away for a bit. Some of you know and some of you may not, that I have a rare genetic mutation that puts me at exceedingly high risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and various and sundry other cancers. (Way to go, Owl.)

Most of you have probably heard of this condition if you're familiar with a relatively well known actress named Angelina Jolie. She and I have the same type of mutation on the same gene. The risk is so high that the recommended preventative treatment is to remove a person's ovaries and breasts. Like her, I will be having a bilateral mastectomy. I had my prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) a few years ago.

I found out about my mutation when I was just about to give birth to my second child. I am lucky because I have been able to go these past six and a half years with just increased surveillance. I alternate mammograms with contrast MRIs every six months, among other types of tests. But as I get older my risks increase greatly. Now that my children are somewhat more mature, it is time to be pro-active and try to avoid leaving them motherless. So, I am scheduled for my mastectomy.

I'm sorry to say that my surgery will coincide with Cheerful's trip a little bit. She leaves on the 20th. I go under the knife on August 4th. She will be back to the States around the second week of August. Though presumably she'll need a few days to adjust when she gets back. :) I don't know when I will be back to this kind of stuff again. I will be in the hospital for two days, barring complications, but the recovery is tough and painful for the first few weeks I hear. Backtalk has been an incredible labor of love for us and we both plan on returning as soon as we are able.

There's a tad bit of a wrinkle as well because when they were doing routine pre-surgery screens, they did find a small "shadow." It was unexpected because all my other concurrent screens were clear. At any rate, yesterday afternoon, I had an MRI-guided biopsy on my left breast. So now there is something of a waiting game going on because if it is cancerous, that changes the circumstances a bit as far as my treatment plan goes. Also, I am on pins and needles waiting to hear over here.

Essentially I just wanted to let everyone know. It is very, very common for people to go completely radio silent after I mention this news. This happens not only on the internet but in real life all the time. So I don't want anyone to feel obligated or bad if they do not wish to comment on this.

And please, please, please do not avoid Backtalk because you didn't comment on this or because you're worried I'm going to bum you out with a bunch of unpleasant posts about this. I may very well write something up just before my surgery but I don't intend to drag Backtalk down into all my muck. I truly appreciate how lively the board has been last night and today, because it has really been such a happy and welcome distraction. You guys are all the best! Keep it up.

tl;dr I'm going to be away for a few weeks and so is Cheerful. Try not to fuck the place up while we're gone, 'kay? Thanks.