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, June 1, 2010

You're Doing What???

About a year before my PBM + DIEP I told some of my extended family what I was planning to do. There were varied reactions as can be expected, but what I didn't realize was that no one thought I was serious. I think the nature of the surgery - removing both breasts and replacing them with abdominal fat seemed way too far out there for them. I hadn't realized that it was just too incredulous for them to believe. At the end of the summer I left it that sometime before the next summer I would do the operation, but that I needed to assemble my medical team.

As the months went by I never heard from anyone. This is typical, but I thought they might be interested in a surgical plan update, but no one asked. So I didn't tell anyone. I had assumed that they didn't really want to know. Little did I know that they hadn't taken me seriously.

This was a great lesson for me. Although I blog (translated that I share my thoughts with the world) I am a very private person. I tend to talk about things during the processing stage, that's how I gather information. Once I have processed all the information I stop talking. My decision making style is very internal and quiet. When I am in that stage my efforts are not on discussing, but on researching and clarifiying. Only those in my very close inner circle are privy to what's going on then. So unless someone had specifically called to ask about my pending surgery or my non-invasive breast cancer I would not have reached out to tell them once I had moved from the processing stage to the decision making stage.

To take a step back, when we were exploring international adoption I did the same thing. For years beforehand, I talked about it, gathered impressions from family and friends and processed it. Once I was ready to move forward I stopped the discussions and started moving forward toward the making it a reality. It was only when our first referral was imminent that we shared our news. Same as with my PBM + DIEP.

The knowledge of how I actually make decisions will help me to keep people in the loop if they choose to be. I can honestly say that there are some who prefer not to know certain things and I will certainly respect that. In the end, life is a process of learning and growing and changing, much like a puzzle. It's just a puzzle without a clear picture. There are always new pieces you discover along the way. Here's a quote by Joseph Campbell that speaks to how life sends us down unexpected pathways. It is from these pathways that we bring depth and color to our lives.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

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