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.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feed the Flap Party!

My "Feed the Flap" party is this weekend. I am excited and scared at the time. Excited to see everyone and to eat all the goodies (it's potluck). Scared because this is the last weekend in my life that I will have my original breasts. Excited to have all this behind me and get on to my real life. Scared because this is a choice I am making, not something I am immediately forced into. Excited to recover at home with DH for 6 weeks. So I guess when I look at this list that I am more excited/anxious than scared.

When I think of my original breasts, I am reminded by those who have been an inspiration to me that my new breasts will be my "new normal". My new normal will come with a 2% risk of breast cancer. I am okay with that. No more mammograms, no more MRIs, no more belly fat (yeah).

Once I was diagnosed I became a member of a very special 'sisterhood'. I can't tell you how helpful my 'sisters' have been. Friends from Kindergarten, friends from college, friends in town, friends of friends, online friends have all been tremendously supportive and encouraging. They all have spoken of being brave and courageous. Those are not words that I would typically use to describe me, but they are words that others have used. I am doing this because I don't want to have the cloud of breast cancer hanging over my life. I want to move on and enjoy my DH and beautiful, loving daughters in a carefree way - the way life was before my diagnosis of non-invasive breast cancer.

This is a quote from a BRCA sisterhood facebook letter (thanks Karen & Teri) - I really like it.

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

-- Eleanor Roosevelt


Anonymous said...

Not sure where I'd be today without the sisterhood - but I'm glad I don't have to find out. Will be thinking of you this week, and next! I'm 6 weeks out now, and getting better all the time, taking care of Brady all day, and life is marching on. Just try to remember that the hardest part, in the beginning, doesn't last forever. Keep your eye on the prize, so to speak. If you want/need to talk more before you go, you can reach me on my blog, facebook, email, or even by phone if you want (just message me and I'll give you my number). You can do this.

Teri S

Beth Israel said...

Thank you Teri. I am getting a bit scared, particularly when I look ahead and think "in one week".....everything I buy now has expiration dates past my surgery date. I have to swallow really hard and move. It's just so hard to feel great (and normal) right now and next week I will feel the worst I have ever felt and will have had my breasts replaced with belly fat. Surreal. My real inspiration comes from all of you who have journeyed this path before me and who are truly holding me up. Thank you.

Teri said...

It's totally natural to be afraid - I always wonder about the few who have no fear at all, ya know? Just think though, soon it'll all be behind you! There are a lot of positives here, and if you can, just do your best to try to focus on those.. think of your children, think of why you are doing this.. and yep, know that many have traveled this path before you and made it out the other end - better than fine - with less than a 2% risk of breast cancer. You can do this! :)

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