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, November 12, 2010

Moving on.....

It's been a week since my Stage II DIEP surgery and I must really be moving on since I have yet to post pictures of my awesome bruises. When I look back to even a year ago, I was living and breathing this whole bilateral mastectomy with DIEP thing. Should I or shouldn't I? I knew I wanted to reduce my risk of breast cancer, but wasn't so sure I could actually go through with a PBM + DIEP. And now, it's been what, maybe 8 months, and I don't even think about it anymore. The fears that were trying to hold me back are gone.

Since I didn't share any pictures of DIEP Stage II, I will do that now. It looks worse than it it feels. Dr. Tobias did lipo on my thighs, waist and belly and it looks fabulous. There is minimal bruising in the other areas, so of course I post the "worst" pictures.

I am still wearing two binders, one for my breasts and one for my belly. I have them on for just about 24-hours each day. I don't mind them and I feel safer around kids when I have them on, so it works for me. On Thrusday I will have my follow-up in Boston. Then I will be done until tattooing sometime in February.

When I say "moving on...." I mean that this chapter of MY life is coming to an end. No more surgeries, no more Boston medical trips, no more appointments (which I will miss), no more worries. But what isn't going to change is my commitment to other women who are considering the DIEP. I will be there 100% for anyone who has questions about this procedure, my medical team, my recovery, etc. If anyone has questions please feel free to ask me. I also have two Boston DIEP "Sisters" who have had invasive breast cancer and have done the DIEP who, I am sure, would be happy to help as well.

My blog will stay up, but my posts will stop in time. Officially I won't stop blogging until after my tattooing and on some of my 'big' anniversaries.

So, if you are reading this for the first or the fiftieth time, please know that I am only an email away if you have any questions or just want to reach out. I will always respond. My best to my DIEP sisters and to all the others who have yet to make this journey.



Anonymous said...

You did it! You are one week out from Stage II and I am so proud of you! You are such an inspiration!

Your DIEP Sister, Sara

Joanie said...

Thanks Sara! From this blog we will have to join forces on the Boston DIEP Sisters blog - coming soon - so that others can have you and Kristine to learn from as well!! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful sunshine today! Thinking of you!

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