Just Keep Swimming


Okay, okay, so I have to share with you guys and it TOTALLY isn’t sewing related but I have to get it off my chest (you’ll get that joke in a minute here) so I can get my sewjo back! I have tried to keep a secret, or rather, I just haven’t been entirely transparent. I don’t always share because if I always shared everything, it would get old SO quickly. Plus, in this case, there really wasn’t anything TO share. But now there is….nothing major…just life stuff.

So today I had to to the hospital to have bilateral biopsies. After a DNA test in the spring revealed Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry as well as a mutation of the BRCA2 gene, my PCP offered me an early baseline mammogram. Of course I took her up on it! Of course! I wanted to make sure I stayed WAY ahead of this! 

Ha! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah! Ha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh come on! You can laugh with me. 

So the basic story is my boobs are pretty sketchy and one or more might be going to the dark side. 

I am now waiting on biopsy results and I have an appointment with a surgeon in September. 

It has been amazing that along the way, over the past almost decade of diagnosis after diagnosis….I really tend to feel stronger every time I’ve been able to come up for air with another weight hanging from my shoulders. It doesn’t feel like a burden, but something I have trained to endure.

So I leave you with these thoughts I jotted down the other night:

You know that moment when you really think you need a break, when you think if you bend any more, you will actually snap? You won’t.

You know when you are at your breaking point and you know there is just nothing more you can take? You are treading water, but you are carrying as much as you can while also keeping yourself afloat? There is no more you can bear while you also continue to breathe? You will continue on breathing and bearing the weight. 

Then life forces you to bear one more burden, you have to carry one more load on your shoulders. There is no choice. You cannot tread water any longer. 

So what do you do? 
You can’t breathe.
You have to learn to be a fish. You have to learn to get your oxygen from the water. You have to learn how to survive in a new way. That load is a weightless burden under the water as the entire ocean carries it for you.
It’s all or nothing.

Ready. Go.


Just keep swimming friends! 🙂 

About arosephoto

I am a budding portrait photographer who spent the last 7 years as a photographer and journalist in the Marine Corps. I have always wanted to be a successful photographer outside of the Marine Corps, so I am giving it a go!

18 responses »

  1. and when you can no longer swim, you float and others take you in their arms and swim for you! you are being lifted up dear Kelly!

  2. Joy shared is joy doubled. Trouble shared is trouble halved. May sharing make it feel lighter. I have faith that you are better than a fish, you are a mermaid!

    • Feels lighter already!!! Sometimes I keep things close just because “that’s what you’re supposed to do,” and then I realize…wait…why?! Then I’m here on an island. Back on the Mainland!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a life lesson I often need to be reminded of. My family is keeping you in our thoughts & sending love, light, & strength out for you.

  4. When I went though chemo a few years ago I prayed to be “smelted”; I wanted all of the impurities and slag to be burned away and I truly believe i came through the other side as a precious metal, and now I see what really matters. All of those challenges are burdens we CHOOSE to address – and it reveals so much about our characters…. praying for you

  5. I have fibrocystic breasts, so often find lumps. It can be scary to not be sure whether this time it is something serious or just another “weird” boob thing. I hope it is just a weird thing and nothing serious.

    • Me too! The scariest part for me was that I didn’t find it so it totally caught me off guard. Praying for the call with an “all clear!”

  6. I am going to be very honest here, because I feel like this post is not.

    It is wonderful that you are able to stay positive through bad times. That is a fantastic way to live, and I truly hope that you really feel that way and you are not presenting a front as you do on Facebook. That said – just because you have the gene does not mean you automatically will be seeing a surgeon. There is a process for this sort of thing, and you would not even get an appointment with a surgeon until the biopsies came back positive. Simply having the gene does not guarantee that you have existing breast cancer.

    I am not necessarily calling you a liar, though I have seen what has happened with your mouth on FB and I know you are compulsive about it. I think you are being alarmist and fishing for people to feel something for you. YOU DON’T NEED ONLINE VALIDATION. I wish you would realize this. Lying all over the internet, scamming people, feeling the need to constantly have the attention – negative or not – is an issue for you, and I think that you need to be seeing a therapist about this instead of burying your head in the sand.

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