Category Archives: Cancer

A letter to my mother

October 7, 2015

Happy Birthday Mum!

It’s been 19 years since you died from breast cancer.  I wish you had been around this year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer too.  There have many days I wish I could have called you, but instead I just looked up to the sky and talked.  I’m sure you would have reacted the same way as your son did, when his big sister told him she had been diagnosed with the same thing that killed his mother.

Somehow I always thought I’d get a similar call from pathology, so when that day came, I had a well digested plan. Thanks to you and your experiences, I made a plan 20 years ago. This year I executed the plan to have a double mastectomy. Surprisingly it wasn’t very difficult to look at the surgeon and say “I want a double mastectomy.” It also wasn’t very traumatic to go through the procedure; I was happy to say goodbye to the girls. You’d be amazed at how good I looked after surgery, and how well the field of reconstructive surgery has progressed. May be you would have chosen the same path as me.

I’m about halfway through the reconstruction process, but I’m over the hardest part. I’d love to be able to giggle with you about being under the care of a plastic surgeon. Of all the doctors you’ll need in a lifetime, a plastic surgeon was not one I had considered. You’d probably laugh if I told you I asked him if I could get a 2 for one (mastectomy and facelift), and how he didn’t think that was funny.

You’d be happy that a month after my mastectomy the oncologist discharged me because the surgery removed all detectable traces of cancer.  I’m sure you’d also appreciate the high-five he gave me when we discussed post-surgery pathology reports that showed I had pre-cancerous cells in the other breast. And I think you would have agreed with the oncologist when he said I’d made a very good decision to go forward with a double mastectomy; even though that was something you did not want in your cancer journey.

It’s early days for me, but my prognosis is good. I miss you Mum.




Hospital Discharge – July 8, 2015

The day after surgery I was feeling pretty good, but neither Chris nor I had slept much. I didn’t want breakfast, but Chris ate something.

Dr Schwartzberg came by around 8 am, I think, and asked how I felt. It was nice to see her. I had a little bit of pain on my left side, she looked under the corset I was wearing and thought everything looked fine. Understandable I was a little bruised and I’m sure the stitches didn’t look pretty.

Later in the morning Dr Capraro came by. I told him I had some pain on my left side. At first they thought the corset may have trapped a drain, but everything looked okay, so they pulled the corset down a little. It helped with the pain, but  I just lay there with a finger under the corset to relieve the pain pressure. Continue reading Hospital Discharge – July 8, 2015

Mastectomy Surgery Day – July 7, 2015

On 7-7-15 I posted this to my secret Facebook group; “I slept well last night, I’m ready to have the cancer removed and the rest of the tissue so it can never come back. Thought there may be some days that I might regret my decision, but no. I’m all in”. I also changed my profile picture to Rex, the green T-Rex in Toy Story.  I’m sure a few people wondered why, but those that knew, knew why.

Details for the hubs.
Details for the hubs.

My calendar had 3 entries for today;

  • 8:15 am Dye Infusion at Cherry Creel Women’s Imaging Center with Dr McAleese
  • 9:30 am Check Into Rose Medical Center
  • 11:30 am Four Hour Surgery

Continue reading Mastectomy Surgery Day – July 7, 2015