A few months ago, I discovered a parenting podcast, The Longest Shortest Time (LST). I really enjoy this podcast, but even more so I enjoy the Facebook group to which many of its listeners belong. There, moms post tons of great questions and even better feedback – responses to those questions that aren’t judgmental, that are really helpful and really supportive.
Yesterday, one of the moms posted a picture of herself with her child, explaining that she had just had a photo session of her and her baby, wanting to capture memories of their breastfeeding before she had a prophylactic mastectomy. This spurred a few of us to disclose our BRCA+ status, and before we knew it, two of us had decided to create a LST spin-off group – LST BRCA+ Mamas.
You might be wondering, do we need a Facebook group just for moms who are BRCA+, or, why do we need such a group? For me, it’s because a lot of my concerns, issues, and fears about being BRCA+ are wrapped up in being a mom. I was a lot less fearful of BRCA before I was a parent. But now I have a lot more to worry about it – is my son BRCA+? Will I have to have more surgery, and will he have to take care of me if I get cancer? Will I die and leave him motherless at a young age? When I think about BRCA now (as opposed to before I had a child), I think primarily about two things – the tragedy that is my body, and how this might all impact my son at some unknown future date.
I’m pretty sure I wrote about this before, but it might bear repeating – one of the major reasons I didn’t breastfeed my son was because I knew I was going to have a mastectomy one day, and I didn’t want to have any emotional attachment to my breasts. I didn’t want to see them as something that linked me and my baby.
These are issues quite specific to moms who are BRCA+. So we hope you’ll join us for conversation at LST BRCA+ Mamas – a closed, private space for positive support and open discussion about the challenges of being a mutant mom.