Just Me

I’ve been looking for years for my “gift.” I couldn’t sing like Lara, artistic like Sarah, crazy athletic like Colleen who wins races, mission to Africa like Tracey, adventure outdoors quite like Suzie – I hate hiking. I’ve always felt, just me. It’s actually been put on discriptions of myself online, “I’m just me.” Yet, my mantra was always my Passion. It’s tattooed on my back.  Where is that girl? I’m here, but what does that look like, not just personally but for what I can do for other people.

Lately I’ve had some crazy dreams, some good, some bad. But one thing has stayed constant, I want to inspire people. 

But what can, “just me” do? And who is this “just me”? 

I used to blog. I loved it, opening myself, inspiring others. Maybe this is normal at my age, 38. Maybe people my age get to reinvent themselves a bit. We’ve lost the little girl and put her behind them. Actually my last blog was called “BridgesGirl,” my maiden name and girl. It was about my journey after my mother died from breast cancer in 2001 when I was just 25 years old with a one year old daughter. 

I tear up thinking of this time in my life because I was painfully young to take on such a life altering event. That alone could have been enough. But in her final days, the doctors took a sample of my mothers blood to test for a genetic mutation called BRCA. A breast cancer mutated gene that instead of duplicating normally and fixing a bad gene coming in, would (in basic terms) duplicate with a bad gene incorrectly making the chances of cancer much higher, most notably, breast cancer around 86% higher than the average person. 

That’s a lot to handle for a 25 year old mom to a 1 year old without a mom herself. Within 2 weeks after my moms death we got the results, positive, the gene was BRCA2+ and it was devastating. I had a 50/50 chance and I was filled with dread, I knew. 2 weeks later after begging my mom’s cancer doctor to call me into the office either way so I wouldn’t get the news alone, called me and said it over the phone, “Well it is positive, we better get you in here to start discussing what’s next.” I collapsed, home alone with my 1 year old daughter, my world came to a crushing finality. My life again forever changed and I was “doomed.” It was over. My fate sealed. 

Until months later struggling in the deepest of depressions a doctor, the same who happened to deliver my beautiful perfect daughter who all along gave different meaning to “you are my sunshine on a cloudy day.” Told me these profound words, “You can’t change your future……wait, you can! Most people can’t, but you have the opportunity to change it.” 

He also happened to be a pastor in my church. This gave me confidence to know, surgery was an option and never question it’s biblical morality. Which believe it or not came up many times in my family and I almost felt shunned as the only carrier in my closest family and still in my generation of cousins I grew up with with just one close “aunt” who is really my moms cousin. I was branded a black sheep (to be fair, I was already.). Many questioned if surgery was what God would have me do. I was shocked, why would God take my mom from me and leave me to die and leave my daughter? No, he would have me fight to be there for her.

And I did, I was ready to face all of this without anyone and found my own support online through facingourrisk.org who mentored me and gave me strength. And moms, many many moms to me. 

I shared my entire story online and in our local paper, many times completely embarrassing. But I was proud, am proud. I made tough decisions through a very young age. Life decisions. I was always struck by the scene of sitting in OB/GYN offices at 27 and looking at menopause phamplets while the other girls my age grabbed pregnancy or contraception info. Or many times for an ovarian ultrasound and being mistaken for a pregnant girl which always hurt more than it should.

So long story short, I’m here, thankful for every day I’m alive but scarred and broken looking at the next chapter and wondering, what’s next? I’ve made it. Now what? Is that normal, probably. But I’m looking for meaning, and here I am, discovering myself again and wanting more. I want to inspire. That’s it. Is that a purpose? A gift from God? I don’t know but I like writing. I like sharing myself. I definately love inspiring others. Try new things, face fears, face doubt. I think of that 27 year old girl with a 3 year old facing menopause and I’ve come so far. “I Love Myself Today”one of my favorite songs and truely how I feel. 

So what am I getting at: I am starting this blog for “Anyone” I’m just me, just anyone. I could be you, you could be me. I want to be more, do more. Life happened but I kept going and I’m still here. I dreamed of being a writer, so I’ll write. I dreamed of other stuff too, I’m sure I’ll have more dreams along the way. I don’t know where the road will take me but isn’t that the fun part? 

Will you be part of Team Anyone? What was your dream? Why did you stop and can you start again? 


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BRCA 2+, Post Bilateral Mastectomy, Post Surgical Menopause, Previvor, Dedicated Yoga Student, Previvor Advocate

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