My best friend is having a double mastectomy tomorrow. Actually, she's CHOOSING to have a double mastectomy. And who could blame her? In September 2011, she found out that she was a BRCA-1 gene carrier, and that her chances of getting breast cancer are at about 87 percent. So tomorrow, she will have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy to beat cancer before it has the chance to beat her. Right? Because who'd want to walk around under a cloud of impending doom? Who could really enjoy their life knowing that they are just one test result away from the big C? I certainly wouldn't. And I applaud my friend for having the balls (or the double Ds) to actually do something about it instead of waiting around for the inevitable.
You're probably wondering what the hell a mastectomy has to do with weddings and wedding planning. Nothing actually. It has more to do with my very favorite word in the whole wide world... Perspective. If you read Bitchless Bride, then you know that I'm absolutely obsessed with this word. And I became obsessed because I've watched so many lovely (and some not-so-lovely) brides lose themselves in the minutia of planning their weddings that they are completely ignorant to what's happening around them. So, I wanted to share this story with you (with my best friend's permission) because it's incredibly important to recognize that while you are busy, and quite possibly fixated on being a bride and planning your wedding, perhaps your friends and loved ones are planning and getting ready other life changing events, like a double mastectomy or even a birth.
Bridey... I'm not perfect, and I'm certainly not off the hook here! Honestly, I am just as guilty as you are. I love the obsessive wedding minutia; I love the beautifully gory details of family dynamics; I love getting my hands dirty in the details of your wedding day. That's why I do what I do! Not to mention that lately I'm also quite busy writing for my blog (and trying to be a good wife... Remember, Why I Don't Deserve My Husband? Yeah... Still working on that one...), and I too have to remember to open my eyes to what's happening around me. But, I've planned a lot more weddings than you have (hopefully), and I was forced a long time ago to learn how to balance such a huge task like planning a wedding, with the rest of my life and the people in it.
So in preparation for tomorrow, I pulled myself out of my day-to-day BS, and put a hard stop on my schedule so that I could be there for my friend as she bravely puts her body (or her boobs rather) on the line to save herself. The crazy part? We've already been through this once together... I mean it wasn't too long ago that she had a breast reduction. And now a double mastectomy? What the hell? Seriously, I swear it was only yesterday that I was running around her house wearing her gigantic bra on my head the night before her reduction (Okay, in my defense, I was trying to make her laugh!), and here we are, not too many years later, my kickass friend is heading into yet another reduction; another surgery by choice, but this time with much more on the line than a little back pain and gigantic bras.
Brideys, I am certainly not suggesting that one life event trumps another. A wedding is a huge deal. PLANNING a wedding is a huge deal. Getting married is a huge deal. I'm just trying to remind you that it's not the ONLY deal. Don't forget how to be a friend even while you plan your wedding. Got it?
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