May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!
~ Robert Frost


Welcome to my blog. This is my story of how I faced my risk of breast cancer, the decisions I made, the support I received and my week by week recovery from surgery. I chose to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (March 2010). For more information on my 'Medical Team' please see tab above. I also have a wonderful circle of friends who have supported me throughout. They have provided us with lots of delicious meals and desserts. Many of those recipes are included above under "Feed the Flap" recipes. "Feed the Flap" is a term I coined when trying to increase my abdominal (fat) flap to ensure that I was a good candidate for the DIEP procedure. This was not something recommended by any medical professional, it was just something that made sense to me. I think it worked!! Feel free to join me on this journey and feel free to post comments.

Select the tabs on the left side marked Week 1, Week 2, Week 3..... to go immediately to the surgical/recovery part of this blog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Year From Now

A year from now I want to be on the other side of my breast cancer. I want to be sitting at the lake with nothing more on my mind than the weather and a good book. I want my children not to worry about me. I want my husband to go out and play golf without worries. I want to be normal. I don't want to be glued to the internet for the latest information on breast cancer, reconstruction, etc. I don't want any residual pain from my bilateral mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction. I want to be free of it and be moving forward.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What if...

What if I decide to move forward with the surgery in Boston? That will mean about 2 weeks in Boston. Five to seven of those days I will be in the hospital in pain and with multiple drains. The rest of that time I would be somewhere else (???) in pain and with multiple drains and my family. The somewhere else concerns me. A hotel - how will I sleep? A friend - how can you ask someone to do that? Other concerns - what about JieJie's school? How can we leave her home? How can we have them both with us?

After my appointment on the 24th of September many of these questions will be answered. I am not the first out-of-town person to deal with all this. But it worries me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who Needs to Know?

Who needs to know? I have a few close friends and a few family members who know what I am dealing with. They have offered to help and I know they mean it. Some friends have fallen by the wayside, while others have stepped up to offer support. This is truly a period of great change, not only for my body, but also my life. This is a time when you realize who and what are most important to you and put your time and energy into them. It is time to shed the relationships that don't work and cherish the ones that do.
I recently read (and couldn't put down) a book called, Between Me and the River, in which the author, Carrie Host, tells the story of her cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. She discusses everything you can possibly imagine related to cancer, relationships, quality of care, medical mistakes, telling children, miracles, etc. I only hope that I can face all the challenges ahead of me with the same courage as Carrie.

What I am reading today...

Today I am reading the best book in print on breast cancer reconstruction. It is full of very detailed descriptions of the procedures, the pain, the process, etc. Since I am meeting with the plastic surgeon who will most likely perform my reconstruction I need to know as much as I can going into our meeting as possible. I highly recommend this book for anyone facing breast surgery and reconstruction AND for anyone who will be caring for someone who is facing surgery. A MUST READ.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do I Really Need to Care?

Well that is the question of the week. As I find myself on the computer during my vacation at our cottage, I am beginning to wonder if I should do anything about my non-invasive cancer. So what if it becomes invasive - it's treatable. That has been my thinking this week. I don't want to have my body cut open and have months (maybe years) of residual pain. For what? It's hard enough being a 50 year old mom of two little children without adding 15 hours of surgery to the mix, not to mention the recovery time.
However, I had a reality check today. I saw an old friend, who had a BM a few years back. She said that se was still on breast cancer medication that had some significant side effects, but was happy to be alive. I last saw her after her bilateral mastectomy. She was upbeat and quite positive. I hadn't realized that for her having breast cancer is an ongoing issue. I had assumed that once you are over the initial trauma to your body and radiation/chemo then all was well. Not so.
I am reminded that I am lucky, very lucky. I truly don't want surgery. I don't want to have my body carved up. I don't want pain. BUT I do want to move on with my life and live it. I don't want to kick myself years down the road if my in situ cancer becomes full blown and I could have done something about it. I don't want to kick myself down the road because I jumped the gun on my in situ cancer and am living with pain from surgery.
This is the strangest situation to be in. The decisions are all mine. MINE. No one else can make these decisions. Just me. My question is: How do you make the right decision? Do I wait? Do I act now? What will tip the balance on this one?
Related Posts with Thumbnails