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, April 15, 2010
Week 3 - Day 4
Since today is the day I will get my fourth and final tube out, I want to once again thank my medical team. (See "My Team:" at top of blog). My girls are going with us on this trip and are quite excited. They know we 'go to Boston', but they don't really know what that means, so on this trip they get to 'go to Boston'. They probably won't go in while the drain is pulled, but they will get to meet some of my wonderful team.
So today, let's see how I have changed. Well, when it comes to medical care, my experience has taught me to shop around. There is certainly nothing wrong with going local; however sometimes sacrificing the convenience of local for the expertise of a place like Boston (Beth Israel) is worth the trade off. I have learned to keep looking for what you want or need until you find it. Just because you have a consultation with someone and you like them does not mean you should stop there. Find out where they were trained and then have a consult with the person who trained them. Keep going until you feel comfortable. Don't settle. Again you will see photos of my medical team!! Dr. Tobias was prepared for the photoshoot this time!! And Maria straightened her hair for the event!!! We have an exceptionally long wait for the drain pull, but it was worth the wait and once again, Malika did a super job!! I felt a little twinge (not pain) on the opposite side of the where the drain was located and Maria said that it was the drain on the inside. That thing must have been a foot long on the inside!!! Soooooo glad they are gone!!
It's not like I have a crystal ball, but I am wondering what might have happened if I hadn't been at Beth Israel when I had the bad moments coming out of anesthesia and the whole day I was on morphine. I don't even want to think about it. I do worry about my next operation (Stage II) which is much shorter, but I know I have the best medical care in the world. They got me through the first operation and I am confident they can do it again.
So, yes, life is different. You can face life's challenges. You can be gutsy. You can choose your medical team. You can do it!!!
JieJie took lots of photos on Final Drain Pull Day. She is becoming a very good photographer. One picture I have been waiting to take is me with a chocolate frosted doughnut and a coffee coolata. The doughnut was delicious, but the coolate did not meet expectations. So, maybe I don't need caffeine after all.
We also got to enjoy a meal at Souper Salad. They had stopped serving beef potpies for the season, but the clam chowder was still good. It was very nice, so once again we got to enjoy a nice meal on the patio. The last photo is of JieJie, our official photographer for the day!!!