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.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week 3 - Day 2

I may have mentioned this "Brave Me" canvas before; but it certainly deserves mentioning again. As I reflect on the subtle differences in me as a result of my decision to choose a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction, I can't help but think of this canvas and the friend behind the canvas. When she gave this to me it was two weeks before my surgery. I was 'almost' ready, there were a few puzzle pieces that needed to fall into place, but I was more ready than not. BUT one thing I didn't really feel was 'brave'. Another friend has said that I was an 'inspiration'. All these were before the surgery. I really just felt like it was my own way of dealing with high risk and that most people when faced with this would choose to do the same thing (sooner or later). I didn't feel special, or brave, or inspirational. PLUS I hadn't actually done anything at that point and knew that I could back out right up until they sent me off to surgery.

Well, now it's been two weeks since my recovery began AND I feel brave and proud and happy and at peace with my decision. And maybe in there somewhere is some inspiration. I can honestly say that once I came off the morphine (to which I have a sensitivity) I have never once doubted my decision. That day, two weeks ago, when I was dealing with the phlegm ball and thought I would never leave the hospital alive I had some doubts, many of them morphine induced. My body is different - which is still pretty uncomfortable and ultra-sensitive, but that's okay. I don't have to worry about my risk of breast cancer. I don't have mammograms, MRIs, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc. I sleep well at night, even if I am propped up on pillows so that I won't roll over.

In the end, I am at peace. Others could see something in me that I couldn't see until I had come through the surgery. I am proud. BRAVE ME! And I hope that through some of my blogging or my openess that I can serve as an inspiration to others who are facing a similar journey. I just got a get-well card from one of my beloved aunts and she called me 'gutsy'.  I like that!!!

Physical Update: Today is already better than yesterday. The only percocet I get during the day is in the morning, so when getting up and showering that eases some of the discomfort. For the rest of the day it is Tylenol and Advil. I do feel the ultra-sensitivity all day long which is rather bothersome, but can deal with it. MeiMei asked this morning when she could give me a 'real' hug. Right now they give leg hugs and shoulder hugs, but not belly hugs. Maybe when the drain is pulled. It stills feels so funky and weird and uncomfortable, but maybe a few good hugs with my girls will make it all feel better!!!


Anonymous said...

You should be proud and you are an inspiration!

It sounds like you are healing nicely. Soon will come the day when you feel normal.

Anonymous said...

You're right! I think others already saw in you what you're just now seeing. You took charge of your situation and that is brave and inspirational! Christy

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