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.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Less than 2 months away....

My surgery in now less than two months away. As a way of blocking this fact out of my mind, I have been cleaning and organizing!! The attic is done, the basement is done (well almost done), the garage has been cleaned, the girls' bedrooms have been rearranged and one room turned into a playroom, Jie Jie's paperwork has been put in plastic sheets and saved in a pretty pink binder, DV tapes have been transferred to DVDs and that's just the beginning.

Next up is FINALLY, Mei Mei's lifebook and video. In the meantime I have been working on revamping my website - for maybe the 10th time. Each year I learn a bit more about website design and want to put all that knowledge to work.

I know that all these projects are diversions from the fact that in less than two months I will CHOOSE to have both of my breasts removed and replaced with the belly fat that I am trying very hard to grow. It's probably silly, but I don't want to get down to Boston and have the plastic surgeon tell me that there just isn't enough 'material' to harvest. Sidetrack: the first time I heard the word "harvest" in relation to my body was the very first plastic surgeon I met with. He talked about a 22-hour surgery and carving my back up to make new breasts, only to have to use implants after all that. I ran from his office just about as fast as my legs would carry me.

So now, I am looking at a 12-hour surgery, but using my belly. They say the bonus is that I get a tummy tuck in the deal. I guess that is good, it's just that I am a believer that I could create a flatter tummy if I tried - all by myself and without the help of a scapel. Anyway, I will get a tummy tuck and a new bellybutton. I like the old one, but I get a new one. I don't want to ask why or how. Everytime I see a medical show on tv and they start to cut someone open, I cringe. I know that will be me.

Another sidetrack: during my first biopys my breast surgeon was talking me through it. She offered to show me the razor-like device she was using to poke my skin. I did glance at it, but then told her very clearly that I really didn't need to see anything more. My eyes stayed glued to a poster on the ceiling. It was a poster of a head, maybe Einstein, maybe Freud, maybe it was a generic head with comments of when things were invented and how long it took and something about doubters. I am surprised that I remember that much, but then again 45 minutes is a long time to be staring at something in an attempt to avoid something very unappealing - like my body being cut open.

For the end of a long day, long weekend, I seem to have come to life. Well, 24 is about to start so I will join the millions of others and watch the season premier. Although I much prefer the drama of Desperate Housewives.

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