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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Week 5 - Day 3

Today, I am feeling so much better. Yeah, I did get up at 5:30am to WATCH Mike do his workout. Baby steps. Getting out of bed. Maybe tomorrow I will actually do the workout with him again. Still getting adjusted to the lack of energy. BUT not for long. I just put a pot of coffee on - YIPPEE!! I admit I NEED IT. Hopefully caffeine will get me over this low energy hump. I can always quit - again.

On the recovery front - my scabs are falling off along with the glue that has held me in place. I am excited about seeing what I will look like without the brown scabs. I am also gearing up for Stage II. Realistically that won't happen until the fall, but I really want to move forward with it.

Although I have been wearing jeans and a sports bra, I find that I am so much more comfortable in a cami and sweatpants. Oh, I am so much more comfortable. So, today it comfy clothes all day. Since I plan to do some bookkeeping and cleaning it will work out just fine. I do worry about when I have to wear work clothes again and how that will feel. My original plan was to take 6 weeks off from work (I work for myself) so I think I will stick with that plan. Luckily some of my work is online, so that's been easy. It's the face-to-face career consultations and the traveling that I do that will be a bit more challenging. So if I give it another week and a half I should feel that much better.

Last night was my first night without Percocet. I took two Tylenol at 8pm and made it through the night. I was a bit uncomfortable, but not enough to wake up and take another pill. I also slept on my stomach - wow. I love sleeping on my back, but found that I had rolled over and if was fine. So, I guess these are some of the baby steps I am taking.

Last night I was so happy!!! Three of my favorite nephews stopped by with three of their friends on their way to a canoe trip on the St. John River. My oldest nephew said that this was something on his 'bucket list' and was excited about checking it off. They will be camping in snow at the start of their trip as they canoe 120 miles to the very northern part of Maine (Allagash). How exciting for them!! One of my nephews is a Registered Maine Guide and two of the friends have hiked the Appalachain Trail, so I think they are in good hands. However, when I asked about the temperature rating on their sleeping bags, they were talking about Walmart sleeping bags with a rating of 40 degrees. Yikes. It's going to be much colder than that at night. I gave them my LLBean bag with a much lower rating. They were impressed when they saw just how small it was once it was pushed inside the attach sack. Hopefully it will keep someone warm at night. Here are some pictures of my 'boys' with their little cousins.


Anonymous said...

Great photos! The fatigue thing will last a little while - be easy on yourself. I was told to wait 6 weeks to resume full activities, but even at 6 weeks I still had some limitations.. You'll get there, just ease into it a bit.

And keep on enjoying that lovely family of yours! :)


Joanie said...


Thanks so much! How are you feeling now? Do you still feel the incisions? Did you do arm exercises? Did that work for the underarm tightness?

Anonymous said...

Joanie, thanks for the lovely card...I am starting a Boston DIEP team to walk in the american cancer strides against breast cancer walk in Boston October for you to be a part of it!!xoxo Maria, your nurse!

Joanie said...

Maria -

Oh, I would love to do the walk - BUT we just bought airline tickets to Orlando for October 2nd. I will certainly donate to your team AND would love to be included in any other events you find. What a great thing to do. Does Boston have a Race for the Cure event? Would be happy to join a BostonDIEP team!!!

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