Georgia Hurst states, "I have Lynch syndrome" a deleterious gene mutation which may increase one’s chances of developing cancers of any of the following:
upper urinary tract,
Women with this syndrome are also at higher risk for developing cancer of the endometrium, ovaries, and breasts. It was highly recommend that I undergo a prophylactic hysterectomy since I was finished with childbearing in order to prevent malignancy to my reproductive organs – I was 40 at the time.
Ovarian cancer are the two words feared most by a woman with Lynch syndrome as screening measures for it are currently very poor; it is usually detected when it is too late, hence the recommendation for the prophylactic oophorectomy.
The enormous challenges I faced following the hysterectomy and oophorectomy were devastating and horrific; doctors minimized what could become of me and as a result, I spent a great deal of time and energy resenting and regretting my decision to have surgery.
The negative consequences of my Lynch syndrome diagnosis, coupled with forced menopause, were the impetus for my website:
I blog about the emotional aspects of having Lynch syndrome and other related issues. Writing has been a tremendous catharsis for me and my Lynch syndrome advocacy has introduced me to some of the world’s most amazing and bravest, inspirational souls. With that said, I frequently read about their amazing stories with cancer, especially about women who have experienced and survived the hells of ovarian cancer. The emotional and physical depths of darkness which many survivors seem to find their way out of never ceases to amaze me; this in turn has helped me reconcile my feelings toward my hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and my diagnosis.
Outshine; An Ovarian Cancer Memoir by Karen Ingalls is an inspirational book, which gave me tremendous pause and made me realize that the challenges following my surgery were infinitesimal compared to what Karen endured with her battle with ovarian cancer. Reading about her story gave me a new perspective about my situation; this in turn helped me reconcile the aftermath of my major surgery. Furthermore, it helped ameliorate many negative attitudes I held towards my decision to have prophylactic surgery.
Her story resonates with me on various levels:
**we have much symmetry regarding familial dysfunction and
**we both have “adopted” family members,
**we are both spiritually devout -- she is Christian, I am a Buddhist,
**most importantly, we both possess a strong desire to live and to do
She also utilizes alternative therapies, as do I, to deal with her physical and emotional challenges. Karen’s book is filled with all kinds of inspirational quotes and sentences. She provides historical perspective on medical treatments, offers a plethora of advice for dealing with cancer-related issues, and goes into great detail about her surgery and treatment for ovarian cancer. She also talks about death – a subject, which I believe, is not discussed or addressed nearly enough when we talk about cancer, or life in general. I do not want to give away too much of the book because I want you to read it yourself. The book is well written and concise – it is only 102 pages.
The one quote that I am particularly fond of from her book is as follows:
“The moral of those stormy days was to live each day fully with love, do what I believed to be good and healthy for my body, and not to worry about tomorrow.”
And this is exactly how I try to live my life every day with Lynch syndrome.
I am a wife, mother, environmentalist, vegan, and Lynch Syndrome advocate extraordinaire! I love my dog, Sid, biology, the Great Apes, stellar quotes, obscene quantities of espresso, books, Buddhist philosophy, rap music, orchids, and epiphytes.
I collect Buddha statues, rocks, fossils, and anime toys.
You will find me happiest when I am besieged by family, friends, and nature.
There is enough misery in the world; I try to make a concerted effort not to contribute to it.