Personal Reflections: BRCA and Us

Lest you begin to imagine as you peruse
this post that I am in any way
on a quest to glamorize,
or humorize my
current hobbies of:
doctor appointments and surgeries
with my sister as BRCA2+ patients,
a la Angelina Jolie,
let me indeed set you straight.

I have no idea what my quest is.
I’m innocent.
I’m guilty.
I’m torn.
I’m just trying to effin get through it
with Jesus, love, and some laughter.

photo by melissa james

What a sublimely divine gift to
muddle through the unknown with
a best friend who is my little sister
and lookalike.

Everywhere we roam, people
(even naturally shy people)
are you twins?

Sometimes we lie.
Because the reaction is predictably
the same if we don’t:
Fallen faces.
Suicide attempts.
Further dull interrogation
about age difference, etc.

Can you imagine how often
we have been detained in recent weeks as
we have accompanied each other
to doctor appointments?

Can you imagine how many times in the past
I have been handed my sister’s drycleaning
or squeezed from behind by someone
I don’t recognize?
Can you fathom each of us has 2 sons only and about the same ages?

My sis and I love the fashion ballsy-ness,

silly sisterhood, and quirkylovelybond

of the Olsen twins.

More than ever,

we feel blessed

to be bonded

from blonde manes


the mutant genes

of our


It’s hard for some folks to grasp
sisters who aren’t rivals; who
can call each other ‘tramp’
and still enjoy
each other’s company
as much as we do.

But believe it.
We go together like
Dakota and Elle.
Mary Kate and Ashley.
Like peanut butter and chocolate.

And now we are supporting each other
on a surprising BRCA2 journey to fight the
cancer which has killed too many
of our family members…
by beating it to the punch.


remember us misbehaving at the Elysian?

With courage.

jo and me. photo by melissa james

With faith in our bosoms.

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. April 9, 2013 / 5:03 am

    Oh Michelle of course, your family is in my thoughts and prayers. The bond you have with Jo is amazing; look at you two beauties! Keep misbehaving together!

    Love and Hugs,
    Art by Karena

  2. April 9, 2013 / 9:31 am

    you sisters rock!!!!!!!!!
    Bec x

  3. April 9, 2013 / 11:05 am

    I have 2 sisters and they are my best friends in the world! Thinking about you guys 🙂

  4. April 9, 2013 / 1:48 pm

    Such a sweet post….I wish I had a sister! As my parents are having health problems and we are facing a family member with depression, I so wish I had a sister to lean on…I love my brother but its not the same!

  5. April 9, 2013 / 3:15 pm

    I wish you good blessings on you journey. As two beautiful, strong, warrior women you will fight the fight and slay this dragon together.

  6. April 9, 2013 / 3:51 pm

    Awwwww… now THAT'LL make ya cry…


  7. April 9, 2013 / 8:14 pm

    That made my very teary-eyed. Beautiful post. You are in ym thoughts and prayers.


  8. April 9, 2013 / 8:27 pm

    Beautiful Michele and you've got lots of support and well wished from this wonderful blogging community. Hang in there sister!!


  9. April 9, 2013 / 11:25 pm

    I'm an identical mirror twin, so I know exactly what you mean. I lost my twin a couple of years ago. You are both lovely & do indeed look alike. Many blessings to you on your journy. My twin & I had the DNA for cervical cancer & both were caught , treated in our early adult years. We had 57 years of an irreplacable friendship…I hope you have that & many more years of wonderful lives.

  10. April 9, 2013 / 11:27 pm

    Precious, precious post! Oh how I love my Michele! You do have a gift having such a close family and Yes, indeed you do look like twins and such beautiful blonde beauties at that, xo Kathysue

  11. April 10, 2013 / 12:58 am

    Love this sweet
    post and I'm praying
    hard for you on your
    quest! I always wanted
    a sister ~ you both
    are truly blessed to
    have each other….such
    beautiful women, inside
    and out!

    xo Suzanne

  12. April 10, 2013 / 1:14 am

    Oh my goodness,
    I missed a few posts
    while taking a computer
    detox over spring break,
    so didn't realize until
    I read the back posts that
    you've HAD the first operations,
    already. You are one strong
    woman and I hope the healing
    happens quickly, my friend.

    xo Suzanne

  13. April 10, 2013 / 8:21 am

    What a beautiful post. You and your sister are lucky to have eachother. You will both make it thru this. You love eachother, and truly care about eachother. God's Blessing to you all. Paula Lusk

  14. April 11, 2013 / 1:34 am

    This post made me smile and tear thinking of my sister who will be moving miles and miles away soon. I'll be lost without her! (We look nothing alike though.) You and your sis a) are adorable b) are in my thoughts and c) will come out braver and stronger than before. Sending love.

  15. April 11, 2013 / 4:06 pm

    (Ok. I feel dumb. I didn't even realize you guys were twins)…
    Thank you Michele for this post. I absolutely love the way you weave such visual beauty in with your real life struggle. It's obvious that you and your sister are beautiful women in all the right places. Your hearts, your courage, your deep bonds, your ability to inspire others…I could go on..
    love to you both.
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  16. April 12, 2013 / 1:53 pm

    You too are beautiful and awesome–inspiring for the rest of us out there! I'm one of three girls and although we've never been mistaken for twins–we all look alike. We love and fight and makeup because we are sisters and thats what we do. You know I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best! xo barbara

  17. April 12, 2013 / 3:33 pm

    such a sweet post- you guys are gorgeous! i always wanted a sister. i have a brother who is 2 years older than me and he is marrying an amazing woman soon and i will finally have my sister! 🙂

  18. April 14, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    Sisters have an amazing bond. I don't know what I would have done without mine. No one can compare when it comes to the love, trust and frankness. No matter what they have our back and are our biggest cheerleader. Prayers and blessing I send to you both!

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