BRCA1: Love and Breast Cancer

This is going to be mushy. Consider yourself warned.

Fourteen years ago in late May 1998, my then boyfriend and I took a fabulous vacation to London, the south of France, Monaco and Italy. Two weeks after returning home I found a big lump in my left breast and my life was forever altered.

There’s nothing like crisis to either cement relationships or destroy them. I consider myself one very lucky girl. Less than six months after my cancer diagnosis, my boyfriend asked me to be his wife. What can you say about a man who proposes to a bald lady? And I’m talking about at a fancy restaurant, with a symphony violin player and a breathtaking diamond ring. Only the perfect sort of proposal.

Christmas Day 1998, one day before Jim proposed.

Jim and I got married in late May, 1999 at Storybook Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley. Next week it will be thirteen years since our “celebration of life, love and gluttony” took place and those who were there still say it was the best wedding they have ever attended. It was a wine-soaked, kick-ass three day party with lots of laughter, love and really good food.

Wedding reception dinner with Jim’s Dad sneaking a puff outside

As lucky number thirteen approaches and I reflect on this anniversary, what stands out to me is not the difficulties of this past year. Learning I was BRCA1 positive, going through surgical hell with bilateral mastectomies, knowing that more surgery is just around the corner, these are not what is top of mind. When Jim and I sit down to dinner together on Saturday night in the foothills of the Rockies to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I’ll be thinking about a sunny day in late May in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains where we exchanged vows. It was the most joyful day of my entire life.

Thank you Jimmy. I love you.

End of mush.

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3 comments on “BRCA1: Love and Breast Cancer

  1. marian pritchard says:

    that’s not mush. just love. despite brca1, you are a lucky girl. some poem says “mountain tall and ocean deep trembling balance duly keep.” i think that’s true.

  2. koko says:

    Wow! Love, k

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