It's nice to FINALLY meet you all!...I have been meaning to start this blog for months, but due to a little health glitch in my life I delayed writing...but I'll get to all that in a minute...
First, let me say THANKS! Thanks for following me and for all your love and messages along the way. They make me feel warm and fuzzy!... and for my new GJOTRock-ers, let me quickly introduce myself: My name is Emma Gabriel, I live in the glorious city of London with my little pooch Frankie. I am a certified health coach, a fully fledged yoga teacher, a model mentor and I am currently 1 year away from completing my 3 year diploma in naturopathic nutrition. It took me a long time to find my 'healthy' feet (I won't blether on with the details again, as you can check out my 'About Emma' webpage to know more) ...but now I'm here, in my world of healthy. I'm living my life mantra of HEALTHY WITH A HINT OF NAUGHTY...make no mistake, I don't claim to be perfect and I definitely still have my moments where that 'hint' can become more of 'big a dollop', but in general, I'm healthier, happier and more balanced than I have ever been.
So, enough of that, what's with the 'breast' talk, you say?! ...Well, this has been my, ahem, little health glitch. In August of last year I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene...the gene made famous by Angelina Jolie a few years ago. This gene increases my risk of contracting breast cancer by 65-80% and ups my chance of ovarian cancer by 40%....so, obviously it's NOT ideal. Don't worry, I have been tested and I am currently cancer-free, phew. However, after seeing many specialist, establishing my options and giving this all a lot of thought, I have chosen to have a double mastectomy now...and my ovaries removed when I am 40 (I am currently 35). I will discuss all my reasonings for these choices and more about the gene in a later blog post...but for now, I just wanted you to know, that this is happening. In fact, I specifically wanted to post this today, as my breast surgery is happening exactly one month from today. I am having a double prophylactic mastectomy on the 13th of September 2016. Yes, I am having both of my breasts removed...that is the first time I have written that down...and, wow, yeah, that makes it seem very real. It is a choice that I have made and it is a decision that I am comfortable with. I have received varied responses to this news from friends and family...but in the end it is my decision and I choose to be proactive with my body and my health.
I inherited this gene from the most courageous and inspiring woman on this planet, my gorgeous mum, Julia, who has undergone chemotherapy 3 times as a result of her having the BRCA1 gene. I feel grateful to have this knowledge of my own genetics, a knowledge which my mum did not have. Had she not have been diagnosed with cancer, I would never have known about my gene. So thank you, mum, for enabling me, so I can now choose to be proactive, and for demonstrating first hand how to be strong in times of adversity.
So, in this post, I wanted to introduce you to me...and to my breasts...and to let you know where we are at right now and what's been going on with us. To be honest, I had never really thought about my relationship with my breasts before all this. I had always just thought they were nice, small, well placed, normal....but when faced with a situation where you are told that you are going to lose them, well you start to think about what they mean to you. They are my boobs, they are part of my body, they are part of my femininity, my sexuality, they are part of me...and, yes, I am sad and scared to lose them. However, to me this is a no-brainer decision.
Over the next few weeks, as I lead up to my surgery and post-op, I will be keeping this blog, both as a cathartic exercise for myself and as a way for me to explain to you what it feels like to go through all this.
So, thanks for reading...pretty intense for a first blog post!
Chat again soon....
Love, Emma xx