By: Nikki Murphy
When May 3rd 2011 came and went, the day my mama died from breast cancer at 51, if you would have told me the moment I’m sitting in right now, blessed and grateful beyond measure through my previvor journey, I’d probably have told you that I don’t believe in Hallmark stories, find some other person…
At 37, I’m a previvor. BRCA 2 positive, just like my mama, and thankful for every step of my journey. I put off getting tested for the gene for 3.5 years. I knew it would be positive, I felt the results way before the test. We wanted kids and I had made the decision to forego breastfeeding at the expense of a prophylactic double mastectomy, so we went for this milestone first. Watching my mom die from breast cancer, there wasn’t a chance I was dancing with that devil. So April 28th 2015, I went through a surgery that would be the catalyst over the next five years of discovering my voice and standing in my truth – as a women, a previvor, a fighter, a mama, a wife, and a freedom seeker.
Seven surgeries, two pregnancies, and countless discoveries (and rediscoveries) of purpose this unmerited favored soul has walked through – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Once a dark, lonely journey, one I gave no second thoughts to of losing my breast and embarking upon a “new” body, I had no clue the shattered pieces that I would find strayed across my life. I’ve found light through listening to the inner voice of hope, of boundless love. Sweet, life changing, healing, empowering light that reminds us we are never defined by our circumstances, but by our reaction to them.
My reaction to this piece of my journey, to become an advocate to empower women (and men!) of all kind to make the best wellness and health choices for their body, their homes, and their mindset. A big piece of my support structure, my healing, has been through aromatherapy and essential oils. We are our most valued asset – YOU, yes you. If you are not filling your cup full with wellness – mind, body, and spirit – you are not vibrating at your highest potential. This is extremely important to heal. To be well. To fight, should the time come again to fight for our flesh.
If I can give anything back from my decisions to have a double mastectomy, followed by two beautiful & healthy baby boys, a quest to find myself in “new” boobs and body image, and leaning completely into the unknown space of purpose through loss, with a BRCA2 diagnosis – I’m here. Here to be a vessel of hope, support, validation, vulnerability, and ultimately a hand to hold as others walk this path ?