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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DIEP - Moving Forward

Last week I met with another plastic surgeon in Boston. I liked him. So the problem was that I like both plastic surgeons I've met in Boston. That's a good problem to have. It boiled down to being in a recovery room with an oxygenation (sp?) machine and one nurse versus ICU for the 12-24 hours following surgery.

Now I need to have a consult with the breast surgeon they recommended. The process for that is that I have to call my PCP and request a referral, then I will make that appointment. Early on I got burned when I didn't know about out-of-network referrals and waiting for approval before the consult. Anthem did reimburse me, but it wasn't until much time/effort/apology on my part to educate them as to my explanations.

As this is becoming more real for me, I recognize the fact that I don't need to do anything. Cold Feet. Just when I think I can postpone the procedure indefinitely, I get reminders.

Just this morning I got an email from a lady who made me realize that I am LUCKY to have the option of doing something about my non-invasive breast cancer before it becomes invasive. I am truly appreciative of people who are willing to take the time to reach out. I can't tell you just how much this means to me and how much this influences me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fear, Worry, Bargaining......

I am actually getting a bit scared. My search for a plastic surgeon is nearing the end, which means that my impending surgery will be scheduled and I will lose my breasts. All this is by choice - sort of. The two-edged sword of LCIS leads me down two roads:

1. Do nothing drastic
2. Do something drastic

If I do nothing drastic then I it may be a matter of time that I get invasive breast cancer and my path will lead to mastectomy, radiation and/or chemo along with the lingering effects of that.

If I do something then I will be heading to surgery sooner rather than later, but I will eliminate the need for radiation and chemo. This makes sense. BUT I am scared. All my life I have been healthy. Other than a couple or car accidents in college and a kidney stone that landed me in the ER, I have been in pretty good shape until I started on the biopsy rollercoaster last September.

There is nothing quite like waiting for the results of a biopsy and having those results take weeks to receive. You get to do alot of thinking during that time. Your options become pretty clear as you wait. You wait. You wonder. You worry. You bargain with God. You pray. You hold your children closer. You connect with those closest to you. You pray. You worry.

As soon as the results come back, life goes back to the new normal. I don't have invasive cancer. You begin to almost forget about it. You move forward. You slip back into denial.

But the ongoing search for the right procedure and the right surgical team continues to keep my feet to the fire and moving toward my goal of reducing my breast cancer risk.
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