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.

About Me

About six years ago I became a first-time Mom at the age of 44. This was by choice. Now I am the Mom of two beautiful, vivacious, delightful girls who miraculously became my children from half a world away. I am blessed beyond belief to have the most wonderful family I ever could have imagined. I have been married for 20 years to my best friend and the best Dad in the whole world.

Choice is important to me, I don't like being boxed in. So now that I am faced with a diagnosis of non-invasive breast cancer, I am choosing to undergo a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. My surgery is scheduled for March 29th. My choices are to 1) Do nothing - other than regular follow-up apppointments, 2) Take Tamoxifen, and 3) Bilateral Mastectomy. I am not interested in the 'wait and watch'. What am I waiting for? Tamoxifen - there's no guarantee that will work and the side effects scare me. That leaves me with BMX. This blog is my online journal about my diagnosis, decision making, my feelings and my fears as I move forward.

Post March 29th Update:  I am a mom who used to be at high risk for breast cancer, but now I don't have to worry about breast cancer invading my life because of the decisions I have made during the past year and a half and because of the most incredible medical team I ever could have assembled.

Throughout my posts I was working hard at keeping our identities anonymous, thus the email address I used reflected the hospital I was having my procedures in and not my name. However as the surigical date creeped closer I decided to go public with my blog. So our names DW (Dear Wife) - well that's me, Joanie. DH (Dear Husband) - well that's my wonderful husband, Mike. JieJie is our older daughter. JieJie means big sister in Chinese. MeiMei is our younger daughter. MeiMei means little sister in Chinese. I will keep their identities private, although I will post some coming home pictures of my beautiful girls.

Thanks for traveling down this road with us. Please post any caring comments you may have. If you want to contact me directly you can reach me at Joanie.
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