BRCA, Pink Slippers & Peace {Personal Reflections}

March 20, 2013

Pink pointe shoes, jeans, and white tissue poufs by Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

If this is your first visit to the blog,
oh mama, maybe scroll right by this.
The archives have lots of fluff...

'Cause it's a contemplative season for me.
I grow quiet when times get tough
and the light dims.
And it has.

It's difficult not to withdraw.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio in pink pointe shoes and jeans at window with white tissue poufs
Hello Lovely Studio

These images were shot by sister Jo
who has a little photography project brewing
called The Ocean Studio (I'll share the link
when she's ready to go public).

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio on pointe in pink ballet slippers at windowseat with white tissue poufs
Hello Lovely Studio
 Yes, indeed life is keeping me on my toes.

My mom (stage III breast cancer)
had a major setback yesterday and is
having a blood transfusion as I type.

Also, we recently learned that
she is positive for the BRCA2
gene mutation (confers 87% with
developing breast/ovarian cancer)
so my sisters and I were tested.

So far, two of us have tested positive.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio at window with pink pointe shoes
Hello Lovely Studio
 Emma Cassi bracelet.

We are grateful our mother
was willing to have this expensive
test to help us make informed
decisions about preventive measures.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio with pink pointe shoes and white tissue poufs
Hello Lovely Studio

The first step for me is a
complete hysterectomy in two weeks...
do you now understand how it was necessary to pair this text with
pleasant photos which suggest NOTHING of mutants, amputation
of lady parts, or instant men.o.pause?

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio in pink pointe shoes and white tissue poufs
Hello Lovely Studio

Part of my interior painting frenzy
is due to the fact that
my mind is in Crazytown.
And my nightmares?
In my sons' words:
scary as balls (read: exceptionally scary).

But today I am experiencing a strong sense of peace
with the cancer/lady surgeries/statistics.
Leaning on everlasting arms helps.
Clinging to a thoughtful lover helps.
Caring dedicated doctors help.
And quite frankly, a little Xanax
and the Psalms * butter my biscuit.

*SweetLord, I want a heart like David's.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio in pink pointe shoes with ribbons
Hello Lovely Studio

So many moments where
this mind is a tempestuous sea,
this body is numb, and this soul
aches too tender for its own good.
We've all been there, right?
* * *
The peace feels nice.
I will continue to post in the weeks ahead,
and should I seem a little quiet in comments,
you'll understand there is healing happenin
up in here, and that takes time.

Thank you for reading
with such tenderness,
and if you have boobs,
do have a mammogram
if you're due.

Peace to you right where you are.

You Might Also Like


  1. Beautiful words as always. You're peaceful today and I'm weepy. I love you sis.

  2. Beautiful post in all it's seriousness, I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

  3. I have been in a similar place regarding the surgery, having a total abdominal hysterectomy 2 years ago this May, at the age of 35. I want you to know it is not as awful as you think it might be. And a few weeks before the surgery I made huge batches of organic beef broth and vege soup which I had everyday, and froze in portions for my recovery. It is magical stuff, and I healed so fast. Within 3 months I was moving across the world with a family in tow and I have fibromyalgia, so I know that it works.
    Every blessing to you as you face the light and shadows of the days ahead.

  4. I wish you the very best for your journey ahead, you are one brave chicky! I am going to get checked soon...I work in the health industry and see this everyday yet I never do anything for myself...thanks for the nudge.
    Huge hugs and all the best for all you girls!
    Bec x

  5. Your post was very thoughtful and beautiful. You and your mom are in my thought and prayers....

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. It is a sad post and it is very brave of you to share it and to live it. I am sending you all the strenght telepaticaly I can and wish you that all goes well. big hug Z

  8. Oh Michele, thinking of you. I am so sorry to hear about your mom & all that you are going through. Stay strong. Prayers to you, Jen

  9. Oh Michele. I'm so sorry to hear all this. Thank you for sharing it, because I can relate to that feeling of wanting to retreat at a time like this. I'm sort of speechless about you and your sister testing positive. I can only imagine what that news was like, and I'm so thankful you have each other, I don't have a sister so the idea of having two seems like an incredible blessing. Your Mom is in my prayers, as all of you are, your hubby and boys too. Pace yourself and please keep me posted, friend.
    Sending you peaceful thoughts and prayers of strength,
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  10. Oh Michele. There are no words. I will be praying for you all. My heart goes out to you, and I am sending thoughts of strengh and courage. Deep breaths and lots of prayers, and leaning on the people you can trust will help get you through. And as a friend of mine reminded me recently, "God has you in the palm of his hand." Sending lots and lots of love, my dear. XOXO

  11. Wait...testing positive means you have chances of having cancer? Or you have cancer?
    God...what's happening Lovely?
    I mean, I dont know...I am at a loss of words...
    Hope everything gets alright.

    Love to you

  12. I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this health scare. I pray that you will be in the hands of the Lord throughout these trying times, and that your Mom is at peace with her life. Blessing to you all.

  13. What can I add to what the others before me so tenderly posted? Not much I am afraid, but I offer a prayer above and a little light your way. Bless you all with goodness.

  14. one could deliver this kinds of news with such poise and eloquence. I am first happy you are at peace but am so sorry to hear this. I can only offer a prayer and a huge cyber hug. I know it must be so scary to be going through this literally with your entire family. I pray that God will take good care of you and your family and guide during a tough time. You are a strong, brave and able woman. I have total faith in you. Wishing you all the very best.

  15. Praying for you! Loved your eloquent words in a trying time.

  16. I feel for you , I have been traveling this journey with my best friend who had a radical mastectomy this past year and will also have her ovaries etc removed this summer. You are doing the right thing, protect yourself from that estrogen! I know that thoughts of instant menopause bites.. but I am going through early menopause too and we will be here to hold your hand through this.. lots of prayers and positive energy sending your way!
    xo Karolyn

  17. Michelle, I don't comment often, but I come to your blog regularly because, to me, this is a place of peace. I will pray that peace continues to flood your soul. So sorry for what you are going through.

  18. what beautiful encouragement. thank you. i am slowly starting to feel gratitude surfacing after some rough days. my fists want to close (and i need them for fighting this crap). and the fears keep bubbling up. but i have to keep the hands open. i don't want to miss the peace and the love coming at me.


  19. Dearest Michele
    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. My Mother is also battling breast cancer. I have had 4 major surgeries in 1 1/2 years. (not cancer related, 7 hospital stays,

    Bless you for your courage and these beautiful images!

    Art by Karena

  20. Michelle dear, my thoughts&prayers are right with you, x

  21. So sorry about your mother-I've been in your shoes. My mom's at 1 year remission, with fingers crossed for many more. I had the "lady-parts" surgery at age 39. I'm now 47, and I can honestly say it hasn't been nearly as bad as I feared. I hope you are able to say the same soon. BTW, I'm a fairly new follower, and I love your blog! Prayers for you and your family.

  22. I wish you strength for your journey. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Sending you lots of thoughts, prayers and best wishes! Thank you for sharing so that we can support!

  24. Michele, I am a new follower. You and your writing are beautiful. I am so sorry about your challenges and your family's challenges. I am a Midwestern older "girl" who is looking forward to returning to northeast Missouri as soon as I get my house sold here in Puerto Rico. I will hold you and your family in prayer. You are loved.

  25. Thinking of you and your family, OMG you have to be strong for this journey. We'll be at your side praying and keeping positive thoughts. God bless you all!

  26. You and yours will be in my thoughts. You are so brave to face this challenge head on like this. All the best, and I will definitely be reading your blog. (It comes in my email).

  27. Michelle,
    I am finding it hard to find words so I will just say this, my sweet girl, you, your Mom and sisters are in my thoughts and prayers baby girl.
    Love you so much,

  28. Prayers going up for you.
    I had a hysterectomy about 3 years ago I think it was. They did mine laporoscopically and I got along great. They were able to leave my ovaries so no menopause yet! Hopefully you can find something easy and natural to take if they are having to take your ovaries too.
    I'll be thinking about you! God bless you and carry you!

  29. Michele, I am so sorry to hear about your Mother's set back, and you and your sister's own awful findings.

    My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer, so I have decided to keep my ovaries for just a few more years till I am 50, then have a total hysterectomy to be on the safe side.
    I am a firm believer that stress and worry helps to mutate latent medical problems such as heart trouble and cancers, so it is better to be on the safe side than keep them and worry you have a ticking bomb, and that actually then creates the very thing you fear!

    I know the hysterectomy is a huge operation but my mother had her's removed in January this year aged 75, and has bounced back so quickly, she was flying off to our Capital city Canberra for a week of bridge last weekend!

    As for the mamograms, we are so lucky to have this wonderful technology available. With 2 yearly check ups, they have a good history of images building up, so they can quickly spot sinister changes before it is too far advanced.

    I will be thinking of you in the coming days as you face your hysterectomy and wish you continued Peace, Acceptance and above all, a quick and trouble free recovery. You are not alone on this journey as you have a large following of concerned blogging friends sending prayers and positive thoughts to you.

  30. Surgery, though scary perhaps, is the safest and best choice. You will be the most beautiful menopausal lady, I know it. Blessings to you all. Patty/BC

  31. thanks for leaving footprints and words of hope. i so appreciate the kindness.

  32. My prayers go out to you and your family.
    It is hard to have someone sick in the family
    but I love your optimistic and hopeful heart.

  33. Oh girl.....heavy heart for you. Just had a mamo last month and when I read that 1 out of 3 will get breast cancer I can't understand how the three girls in my family have been so incredibly lucky. Peace be with you my friend......

  34. dear dear michele
    my heart aches for you and your family. you are very brave and very poised in sharing your story. you also have your blog family that cares for you and adores you, we are your cheering section.

    take care sweet friend......a hysterectomy does have benefits.
    big hugs

  35. First, I am so sorry to learn about your mother's misfortune. I will be praying for all of you, Michele.
    I have had a hysterectomy and a couple of breast biopsies. This too will pass.
    I am going to be thinking about you. You take all the time you need to heal.

  36. I'm so sorry to hear of what your family is going through and will be sending prayers and GOOD thoughts for healing. You are strong, but accept pampering, too...XO

  37. Oh my dear girl... my heart goes out to you and your family and everything you are going through. Sending you love, positivity and strength for your journey. Please be kind to yourself my love. xxx

  38. Oh I am so sorry- that is just so much to deal with all at once. Xanax in bulk would be my need. Hugs to you and your sweet mom.

  39. Dear Michele -
    I'm very sorry to hear this awful news. I admire your strength and honesty in sharing it with us. Perhaps it will encourage readers to get tested. I've been away, and just came home to learn a dear friend has pancreatic cancer. Please keep us posted. Take care, and lots of love,

  40. Dear Michelle - you are a beautiful person nothing will change this, your beauty will always remain. My prayers are with you,your sister and your dear mother. You will be peaceful knowing that after surgery you will also be healthy. BettyBaker - a cancer survivor.

  41. Dear Michelle, sending you my most earnest best thoughts and prayers for the days ahead. My beautiful niece has just been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer....we are surrounding her with love and encouragement every moment...N.xo

  42. What!! I'm just now catching up and reading this... Holy Cow, that's ALOT of stuff. It's gonna take me a little time to process all you said... I'll be thinking about you alot !


  43. Michelle, I know this is so scary, especially for someone not only with a sensitive system, but also a sensitive spirit. I will be sending out gobs and tons of embracing, protection vibes your way. I'll wish that it goes soft and easy on you, so much so, that you will be surprised and delighted when it is all done and behind you. You look so beautiful in the photos above, and i'm glad you are protecting yourself by making such a brave move...


  44. Michele...I know I don't know you personally, but as I've told you before you have been such an inspiration to me and this time is NO different!...While reading this post, I felt a sense of calm for you...maybe it was the beautiful photos of you that your sister took...or maybe something else...You will continue to be the same woman you are now...just stronger...because when we go through something difficult as you have with your mother recently...we become stronger and who we are supposed to be!!
    God bless you, your sisters and your mother...Mariaelena

  45. Oh my sweet friend,
    this post was published
    while I was checked
    out on spring break.
    You know my heart
    is with you as make
    this journey and pursue
    your quest for complete
    health and healing....
    Sending you boatloads
    of hugs and prayers.

    I am going to Chicago
    this weekend to celebrate
    birthdays with my friend
    Kathleen, who is bravely
    journeying with metastatic
    BC.....You are so right to
    treat the mutation ruthlessly!!!

    Love you!

    xo Suzanne


Your comments add to the beauty...thanks in advance for your kindness.


Farmhouse Finds!