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Me time in an MRI machine

I'm BRCA1 positive. What that means is that I have a genetic mutation that gives me an 80% chance of developing breast cancer and a 65% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

Breast cancer awareness month isn't until October, but I think awareness for this horrific disease is relative all year round.

In 2015, My Mum was told that she had breast cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation, many surgeries and extra stays in hospital later, she is well and looking like herself again. But along the way she found out that she carried the BRCA1 gene so my siblings and I had the blood test to check whether we have it too. My brother and I are carriers, one of my sisters isn't, one sister can't get tested until she is 18.

Mum and I at her 50th birthday celebrations

Since finding out about having the gene I've had regular breast MRIs, physical checks, and counselling. I've made the decision to have preventative surgery and I'm awaiting an appointment to meet the team that will perform my first surgery, a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

Before I can see them I needed some updated scans so was booked in for a breast MRI in March which showed something on my liver and underarm. This was followed up by an ultrasound and a second MRI. I've racked up a lot of hospital time lately!!

During my latest MRI, lying in the tunnel, a heavy camera panel on my chest and ear phones on, playing Heart FMs 80s hour (great choice from the department), it occurred to me that it was the first time in a long time I'd had 30 minutes on my own. No baby or dog on me. No housework to do. At one point, the machine even vibrated the table, which was a bit like a massage chair. In between feeling rather claustrophobic, I was laughing to myself. What a spa day, ay?!

I was terrified that they'd find signs of cancer, and I'm still waiting for a set of results, but it took that MRI appointment to make me realise that we (my husband and I) don't take time for ourselves individually. We don't prioritise our hobbies and friends at all.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's been an amazing, whirlwind year for us. We moved into our own place and welcomed Teddy into the world. It's been the most amazing time.

He's certainly kept us busy enough to forget we were people other than Mummy and Daddy for a while.

But now that we're getting back some moments of normality here and there (we can eat dinner with both hands at least 50% of the time), We've decided to schedule in time for ourselves.

Time for us to become individuals again.

Hopefully, by the time I'm due to have another MRI, we will have regained something of ourselves! And not have the uncertainty of hospital tests weighing us down!

But for now I'll just settle for a glass of gin in a bubble bath every now and then!

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