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.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pre-Op Scheduled for Stage II

For the last few months I have been a resource to some friends who are facing the decision of whether to get the DIEP or not following their cancer diagnoses. But now I am the patient again. With Stage II looming on the horizon I am starting to focus on what I need to do and what I can expect from this procedure.

What I know is that Dr. Tobias will go in and smooth out the 'dog flaps/ears' on the abdominal incision. He will also do some lipo and add the fat to spots where breast tissue was taken. This doesn't seem too awfully invasive; however I am quite concerned about me and anesthesia. If you recall, I had a very tough time with that during Stage I, which was 14.5 hours long. When I came out I had a phlegm ball and couldn't breathe for a couple of days. Not breathing meant not sleeping and not sleeping meant "crazy" times. Then, on top of that, I have a sensitivity to morphine! I've been reassured that with this surgery which will be about 3 hours this should not happen again and they won't give me a morphine pump, but I do have my fears.

With all that in mind, I am still moving forward. Today I scheduled my pre-op appointments. I have timed these appointments so that I can dovetail my trip to Boston with a visit to a friend who is having Stage I that week. This will be my first visit to Boston by myself. I am excited about the adventure of the trip, but also that I don't have ask to anyone to watch the girls since DH can do that.

It feels like years since I have had to deal with referrals and authorizations, but I am back at it. Luckily I have a wonderful PCP whose staff 'gets it' and makes it easy for me. One thing I have learned along the way is that my insurance provider is very much a member of my 'team'. They may be the silent partner, but without them none of this would be possible. Before each appointment making sure that they are on the same page is essential.

So, now I need to wrap my mind around another surgery. One thing that is very very different this time around is that I am not spending endless hours on the internet like I did with Stage I. I want Stage II. I know that I am in good hands. I know that they will answer all of my questions and Maria has already done alot of that!!!

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