Everything else


This blog has gotten neglected the last few weeks. Life has gotten the better of me. Since my genetic counselling appointment, I unconsciously took a “BRCA break.” For the first time since hearing about BRCA, I stopped thinking about it all the time. I had several days where it was the last thing on my mind. And honestly, I was very happy to not think about it.

So that’s one reason I took a hiatus from the blog. Work also caught up with me and I worked like a dog through most of February. I work at home, my own hours, and no commute. But literally, I have been waking up, working until I can’t keep my eyes open, sleep, and then do it all over again the next day. I have been enjoying it to some extent too. I made a lot of progress on the project and that felt rewarding. Made up for those depressing days of December.

Then sometime around the end of February, a fire broke out in my apartment building. Stood out on the street in my slippers with my cat and my laptop wondering if we were about to lose everything. Luckily we live close to the fire station and they got it under control quickly. Luckily I wasn’t in any of the apartments below the fire where the water dripped everywhere. My place was miraculously completely unaffected. I went back to work shortly afterwards.

Then the first of the month rolled around and I got a letter from the landlord saying the building has been deemed unsafe and everyone must leave immediately. My neighbor across the hall alerted me to it. He’s been living for years and was in shock. We talked for a good hour or more. We both were suspicious of the letter. Why wasn’t the city giving us this notice? Where was the report? All we had was the landlord’s personal stationary. In the next three days we and all the remaining tenants begun a full-scale investigation into the matter. Talked to city officials, tenancy office, advocacy agencies, contractors, fire officials, etc. Found out that the letter was completely bogus. But our situation is nevertheless not resolved as we seen plenty of evidence the landlord intends to renovate the whole building and kick us out in the process. Although we know legally we can continue to stay, my girlfriend and I have been vacillating every hour whether to stay and fight it out or just leave before things get worse.

Today we finally decided we should take an apartment that we found nearby. But before I could write the message, I got the email from the woman that she had already rented out the place. I thought it was a near sure-thing: that she liked us and we liked her. I keep wondering where I went wrong.

My work has gone back to a near stand-still the last couple of days. I can hardly concentrate, I am not sleeping well. I feel so utterly downtrodden right now. My girlfriend and I have been having long discussions about race, class, and inequality. We are both outsiders to Canada but different types. I thought that our mixed background—me being a white American and her being Chinese—would fit very well in this multicultural, liberal city. But instead, I get the feeling we make a lot of people uncomfortable. Perhaps not exactly because of race or being lesbian. They don’t know how to categorize or relate to us, and we end up often just getting ignored.

I guess this blog post seems to have nothing to do with BRCA. But I wanted to post nevertheless. It’s a reminder to myself that BRCA is just but one part of my life. As much as I have wanted to cry foul and ask why do I have to deal with this? I try to remember that there is a lot of shit we have to deal with in life. It’s just like that. And perhaps this is a good time to put a shout out to Janine and mymutantlife. Been reading about their intersections of “all the other shit in life” with BRCA and am impressed by their good attitudes. Thanks for the inspiration!

UPDATE: Twelve hours I wrote this, I got a call from the manager of the new place we looked at and wanted. She said the first person fell through and we could have it if we wanted. I feel a little sheepish for bemoaning about my circumstances when it’s not all bad. My girlfriend reminded how much worse things would be if we were one of the ones who lost our things in the fire as well and had to move out that night! Yes, I’m feeling a little more upbeat now.


3 Responses to “Everything else”

  1. 1 Janine

    Hey, welcome back! Glad to hear that you were able to forget about brca for awhile. I’m happy to say that it is not the main focus of my day anymore either. It gets too tiring to worry all the time.

  2. Glad that you were able to take a break from all the BRCA stuff. It sounds like you’re dealing with enough other things in your life that things would be difficult even if a BRCA mutation was not a concern. I hope that the apartment situation works out for the best (whatever “the best” ends of being, because yikes, that’s kind of scary that the landlord is trying to illegally evict everyone).

    Also, glad that you are blogging again!

  3. I agree with the girls above, it’s great that you took a brca break! I made myself take on this past weekend. It’s all too easy to get totally caught up in the the BRCA world – yet that is just a small portion of who and what we are.

    Congrats on the new apartment. 🙂


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