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, May 19, 2010

The Ken Doll Effect

Not sure if anyone else has this or knows anything about it, but I have just learned the term, "Ken Doll Effect". Some of you will laugh, others will understand. After the DIEP your lower skin is pulled up pretty high creating a bump. Other than showing a picture (which I am not going to do) I can only describe it as a bump, very similar to the bump in the same area on the Ken doll.

Since coming home I have felt like I have two parts to my belly now. One is the Ken doll part and the other is my stomach, but higher. Then there is the line that separates the two. Above the line, if I eat, it gets bigger. Well, not if I eat, but rather if I eat ALOT. The bottom part doesn't really change. I am wondering if this will smooth out or ever feel like it is just one belly. My husband has been my workout coach, but I hate sit-ups. I am wondering if I am destined to a lifetime of endless sit-ups to get rid of it.

Yesterday I was at a school picnic for Jie Jie, and one of the moms was telling me that she had had a tummy tuck after her second child and had the same thing. She said that after about six months the top part of her belly flattened out and the incision become less indented. I am hoping that that will also happen, but I don't know. I can live with it the way it is, but I would certainly like to look a little less Ken-like. I don't know if it is still swelling - it's been 8 weeks so that doesn't seem right, but I don't know just how long swelling lasts.

I put this out there for two reasons. One reason is to detail my recovery in order to help other women and the other is to hear from other women to see if this is something that they have dealt with. So, if you've experienced the Ken Doll Effect and the two bellies, I would love to hear from you.

1 comment:

Teri S said...

I haven't heard it called that before but I know what you're talking about. My doctor told me that the swelling issue can actually last for up to a year. Yikes, right?

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