Nautilus

Young and Healthy and Waiting to Get Cancer

I’m young and perfectly healthy, but I’m waiting for the day when I finally get sick. While many of us are locked down in our homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, it may feel like the world is currently sharing a collective period of waiting. However, I’m not waiting for sickness from a virus.

I am waiting to find a lump. I am waiting for my test results. I am waiting to elect to remove my breasts. I am waiting to have my uterus and my ovaries surgically torn away from my body. I am waiting for my medication. I am waiting for my doctor. The number of things that I am waiting for goes on and on. It has gotten to the point where I have found that my life is being taken over by the time spent waiting around for a sickness that may or may not ever overtake me.

I am not a hypochondriac, and I haven’t always been waiting to be sick. At 18, I was diagnosed with having a genetic mutation. By having this mutation, I am faced with some very unfortunate predictions about mutation will develop breast cancer by the age of 80, and more than 40 percent of women diagnosed with the mutation have developed ovarian cancer by that same age. I am not one to gamble, but even I know that the odds aren’t in my favor. Instead, I have found myself waiting around for the day that I get cancer.

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Mai multe de la Nautilus

Nautilus10 min cititePsychology
A Quiet Path Out of the Coronavirus Shadow: Mindfulness helped this ER doctor through a dark time. It can help us through these times.
Eleven years ago, I sat down across from a man named Edward Espe Brown. I had returned home to Texas from a four-month stay at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, endured a breakup, and was feeling adrift. I told Ed that I was struggling
Nautilus14 min cititeMedical
How to Conquer COVID-19 Amid a Confederacy of Dunces: Science can’t be democratic, says an outspoken virologist.
Robert Burioni is a virologist at the San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, and a serious scientist. But in 2016, something happened that changed his course. He was on television with two anti-vaxxers—a famous actress and a former DJ—who were taki
Nautilus6 min cititePsychology
Do We Have Free Will? Maybe It Doesn't Matter
Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, eloquently claims as much in his recent book Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. It’s the “most prominent, promising, and d