Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ree's Bi-annual Blog Post {Full of life announcements, changes, and what I have in common with Angelina}

OK, I'm a terrible blogger. I should probably just shut Le Blog I have a grand average of 2 posts a year. 

Y'all just come friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'm much better in small, short doses.

Anywhoo, since my blog has been reduced to major life announcements, here's the latest!


Probably a lot of people out there saw the recent news story of Angelina Jolie's preventative mastectomies and reconstruction surgeries. Other minor celebs have made similar choices in past years, such as Giuliana Rancic, but Angie is by far the most well-known person to have this done.

However, there's a whole network of Previvors out there...just normal women, moms, sisters, wives...strong and resilient women who make bold choices for their health and well-being. "Everyday" women have been making these choices for years now before Angelina Jolie has made it chic. And please understand, there's some criticism out there about AJ going public, but I am glad she did! She says in her own article that she wants other women to benefit from the choices that she made.

Some of you out there know mine and my family's journey with this disease and the BRCA gene. I am beyond thankful for you and the support and prayers that have been offered on behalf of all of us!
My personal experience with breast cancer came in middle school, when my mother's sister was diagnosed at the age of 33...not ironically, the age I am now. It rocked our world and unfortunately we lost our sweet Noela before her 40th birthday from metastasized cancer. I was 16. I think the fear associated with breast cancer has lived in the back of my consciousness ever since.

My mom and my aunt on Noela's wedding day. 
I'm the flower girl on the left at my aunt's wedding.

In the past 3 years, we have survived the diagnosis and treatment of 3 more family members with breast or ovarian cancer. We thank God everyday that He chose to preserve the lives of our dear ones!
But starting with my mother's breast cancer diagnosis in 2011, we became aware of the BRCA gene mutations. Every woman who has had a diagnosis of cancer has tested positive for BRCA 2 mutation, and last July, I tested positive as well. You can read my Previvor Day post below.

Me visiting the aunt who has fought and survived ovarian/fallopian tube cancer
Me, mom and my sister. Thankfully, my sister tested negative for the BRCA  mutation!

After consulting with doctors and surgeons, praying and thinking, Scott and I have decided to move forward with a prophylactic mastectomy (PBM) and breast reconstruction.

I scheduled that for July 11...just a bit over a year after I found out I was BRCA+.

So, with less than 30 days to surgery, I write this, not to make other feel sorry for me and my family, but to help raise awareness. Investigate your family history. Please have your yearly exams. Speak up if something isn't right.

My reasons are my own, for having the PBM now instead of waiting, having kids, etc. etc. I am happy to answer any questions though, so just email, Tweet, or Facebook me. Every woman who faces this has to do what is right for them and their families. After all, it's for our families that most of us make these hard choices-if I am able to have children, I want to see them grow up! While the thought of having cancer does scare me, what scares me more is my family having to go through that again.

Some have called me brave, and I guess that I am...there's a lot of times that I certainly don't feel brave. But I constantly remind myself of the positive outcomes of my decision and most of all, that the Lord has placed me in this time and season by design, and that He is here. I'm thankful for the support of family and friends and for the excellent medical care we have here in Birmingham. I'll be cared for by two wonderful surgeons at St. Vincent's, both of whom cared for my mom with her surgeries.


After 10 years of working for a local OB-GYN office, I am moving on. A job offer came out of the blue, and Scott and I really felt that it was God's leading for a change. OB GYN South has been a family to me through the years, and it's been a joy to also see many of my friends come through as patients and watch their families grow! I will miss my OBGYN South family, but considering all of my medical stuff going on, they aren't getting rid of me completely!

I'll be tentatively starting at the first part of July, getting oriented to the new place, then be on medical leave for my surgery. Evan Terry and Associates have been so understanding, generous, and flexible with me, even before I have a chance to be an employee! I'm excited for a new opportunity to learn and grow as a professional and very grateful for the chance to do so with ETA!

And worry not, I'm still running my wedding planning business, Tres Beau Weddings and Special Events and my studio, Bluff Park Weddings. I'm not going anywhere as far as that's concerned, and I'd love to be booking some new brides for 2014! 

Final Thoughts on the Crazy That Is My Life

The last several weeks have been very, very stressful, and I have many more weeks of the same anticipated, considering the above situations, plus some others that I will not go into here.

 I know that the Lord allows trials and suffering into our lives, and at the end of each day, we have to cling to the Lord's promises. 

David Crowder said it best, when he sang that "He makes everything glorious". I have to believe that, even the crazy messes of our lives, are for His glory and He is here....and that is enough. I pray that Scott and I will have grace and endurance through everything we go through, and I am BEYOND grateful that God graciously gifted me with Scott as a life partner. I literally do not know what I would do without him!

Scott and I at his cousin's wedding in march of this year <3 br="">

1 comment:

Mrs. Butler said...

Oh hooray!! I know my dad and the rest of the ETA family will be thrilled to have you on board!!! Best of luck with your surgery, I know you'll be covered in prayer and cared for by many loving people both before and during your recovery. I know you might not feel brave for going through with it, but God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, and HE is the one who is brave through you! I know that you and Scott have committed this to Him long before any of us knew about it, and I have full confidence that He has given His peace!