It’s the evening of Friday the 13th. Nothing particularly spooky has happened today, except perhaps my decision to officially retire this blog.
Today is the three-year anniversary of my prophylactic double mastectomy when I was 21 years old. At the time of this writing, I’m 24–almost 25. For over a year, this blog was my lifeline. It kept me sane through all of my surgeries and frustrations. Now, it’s a memento of the past…a reminder that I made it through a long and trying journey. But I love that it still helps people. Even though my mastectomy and breast reconstruction are complete, the stories I shared on this blog provide relief and comfort to women every day.
If you’re visiting for the first time, please don’t be discouraged by the fact that this blog is retired. I still want to hear from you. You can always reach me on email at rachel[at]tickingtimebombsblog.com.
So now, let me reflect on the past year, since my last update. A lot has happened…a bit of sadness, but mostly happiness:
- I celebrated my birthday with a wine tasting adventure in Santa Barbara, California with a few girlfriends
- My mom and I spent Mother’s Day kayaking around Lake Tenaya in Yosemite
- I went to Greece with my girlfriends and at one point even went topless on the beach, scars and all!
- I spent an amazing weekend bonding with my cousins in Yosemite
- I started a new job working in product management and got to travel to Austin, Texas for work, where I caught up with Trisha
- I rocked out to my favorite country music artists in Las Vegas at the new Route 91 Harvest Festival
- I said “goodbye” to my dad, who passed away from heart issues at the age of 76
- I celebrated the wedding of two friends from college, and wore a killer backless dress with a plunging neckline
- I took a solo trip to Ireland, where I discovered my love of good Guinness
- I celebrated the life of my dad with 60 friends and family members, then continued the celebration with karaoke with my nieces and nephews and cousins
- I met an incredible guy who makes me laugh and records Jeopardy! for me on his DVR and tolerates my aversion to sushi
In the past year, the only time I’ve thought about my boobs and my mastectomy was while doing intense upper body exercises in Pilates classes, which I frequent three times a week. And even then it’s just a silly little thought about the funny movement my implants make when I flex a muscle.
It’s been three years since my mastectomy, and I have no regrets. I love my new normal, because I love my life.
I hope you’ll love yours too.
Rachel, I met you and your mom in 2013 shortly after my BRCA2 diagnosis. Your indomitable spirit at your age (I’m now 47) was and continues to be an inspiration. I’ve shared your blog with many young BRCA women as well as BRCA moms with younger girls. You are an amazing role model and your words will live on. And with joy I’m happy to know that you will go embrace all that is bright and shiny in this world–freed. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. May his love always be a beacon in your heart. Take good care. ~ Bonnie
I hope more courageous young women speak and share. As much as I shudder – my 11 year old will have to make these decisions in the not too distant future. Thank you for telling your story. All the best to you…
Well said, my darling. Just one question. Is there such a thing as bad Guinness?