- Posted October 5, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tested for the breast cancer gene?
Goodbye To My Girls
Looking back I can definitely say that I went crazy in a short amount of time. I actually had a good reason to be hysterical; I carry a ton of baggage. Nine women on my mother’s side of the family have had breast or ovarian cancer spanning three generations, including my grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, cousins and great aunts. There were two women on my fathers and two best girlfriends. Thirteen women. Many of them have not survived. I also carry the BRCA2 gene mutation.
My name is Sharon and I am a pre-vivor of hereditary breast cancer, wife, mother, sister, friend, lifecoach and your basic miracle maker.
I started the actual process of saying good-bye to my girls about seven years ago. It has been an interesting journey. Some of it was quite peaceful and some downright scary. You see my girls have been a part of me for about 40 years, give or take. Even though at times my relationship with them had been rocky I was still very attached to them. Detaching from my girls was not only a physical event but an emotional one too. However, the time came to say good-bye, to complete the relationship so I could begin the next phase of my life, the get busy living part.
By now I am sure you know that these girls are not my daughters, they are my breasts. Saying good-bye to my girls was saying good-bye to a very huge part of my self and not just because they are connected to me. Over the years they defined and helped me become the person that I am to today. It really was actually my choice to detach from them. My sister calls it a preemptive strike against breast cancer. I call it a choice to live. Not sure deciding to cut off my girls of my own free will was easier or harder to do. What I do know is it takes courage and fortitude either way.
I had a long-standing relationship with my girls starting with a plea for them to arrive. When they did I was totally thrilled. That was a short-lived experience. They had a mind of their own and decided to stop growing after becoming an A cup. It took many years to accept the girls just the way they are. Over the years they have been through many things including training bras, padded bras, underwire bras, strapless bras, bras that make you lift and separate, bathing suit tops, tube tops, tank tops and every shirt and dress imaginable. They went through boyfriends, husbands, two babies, self-exams, numerous doctor exams, biopsies, mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI scans. The girls and I have been through tremendous emotional distress too.
When I decided that they needed to go last June I told the world. Why? Because I knew that there was the potential to waffle, so announcing it made it real. Deep down I knew I would keep my word to myself if I told everyone. It took all of my skills as a lifecoach to keep myself sane. Even though I decided my relationship with my girls had to change I was still very attached to them. Saying good-bye to them was my way of expressing all of the swirling thoughts and emotions that engulfed me. It came out of a coaching session from one of my clients. She was going through a similar experience of losing her two girls.
When she says good-bye to human friends she usually communicates heartfelt thoughts and feelings as well as write a letter. She decided to do the same with her girls. I thought this was a beautiful way to honor her relationship with them, so after that session I decided to do the same.
Fortunately for me I had the time to do it. I embraced it over the 6 months of waiting for the day the girls would no longer be a part of my body. I said good-bye to my girls for being constant friends and sometimes enemies. I told them that they served me well but it was time for them to go. I expressed that I will miss them and not to be jealous of the new girls that will be in their position. Their place was special and will always be that way. I honored and thanked them for a job well done and gave them permission to be retired. I did this everyday in front of the mirror.
I have now begun creating a relationship with my new girls. I am sure the old girls would be pink with envy so I decided not to tell them. My new girls have transitioned me into the next phase of my life. It is a life that is healthier and pretty much worry free. I made that choice to say good-bye to my girls and hello to life. The experience created many miracle moments including the miracle of new found appreciation, bravery and courage of other women who either have my choice or have limited choices. It brought the miracle and true value of help, peace of mind and balance. Lastly saying good-bye to my girls brought even more meaning, purpose and what is possible into my life. This experience and these miracles that came out of it formed new directions and significant changes. It created the true mindset of what is possible so I could get busy living.
Sharon Roth-Lichtenfeld is a pre-vivor of hereditary breast cancer, MIRACLE MAKER and founder of GoodGrief Coaching. Many cancer patients, caregivers, previvors and staff come to Sharon to gain tools and techniques to create the MIRACLE OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE so they can get busy living. Sharon has a knack for helping people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Her lifecoaching is offered to support organizations, treatment centers and direct to clients. To connect call 856-270-2308, email@example.com or visit www.goodgriefcoaching.com