Tag Archives: breast cancer. high risk

Lean On Me… You Are Never Alone

2 Feb


I know it has been awhile since I last posted anything. When I started this blog, I did not do it so everyone could be a voyeur into my life. I not only wanted to update my relatives and  friends, but mostly help others who were going through the same genetic unknown I was. I got an message the other day on Facebook from a friend I used to work with at the hospital who is in a internet mom’s group.  She said there is girl she knew who just found out she was BRCA + and had questions about my surgery. My friend asked me if I would mind messaging  her and tell her about my surgery and answering any questions she had.

Her and I ” talked ” back and forth for about an hour and I thought it was neat that I could meet someone half way across the country and let her know I understand and she is not alone even though it feels that way sometimes.

Well, I had my second phase of surgery on December 27th and it was a breeze compared to Phase 1. I had nipple reconstruction and fat grafting to fill in any breast  dents from the original surgery. Fat grafting ( liposuction )  was horrible but healed up in a few days. I do not know how women do that all over their body (OUCH).  I still have at least 1 more surgery to fix my donor site incision on my abdomen ( the one that was so infected after my original surgery. ) That surgery will be in the summer.


Baby Ellen I gave you life now you save mine.

2 Apr


I have a confession to make. I have never told a soul, not even my husband or daughters, but now I am sharing it with you. I gave my 1 day old baby a job and that job was to save my life.  Let me explain; since I knew of my high risk for breast cancer, my OBGYN told me that breastfeeding for 6 months reduces ones risk of breast cancer. If a woman breast fed longer,  it did not lower the risk.  6 months, in my book, was the magic number.

I had my first daughter in 1995 and my plan was to breast feed for as long as possible, not only for her health, but for mine to lower my BC risk.  I had imagined my child would just come out knowing how to feed and we would have a wonderful breast-feeding relationship. Ellen, my daughter, must not have gotten the memo that breasts were for eating not for falling asleep on. We tried and tried to get the breast-feeding going.

I remember crying in the dark holding her telling her she must nurse or I will die.  “Please save my life. You MUST eat or I will die!”  I know now it sounds illogical but I was a postpartum mom with crazy hormones. My mother saw what stress I was under to get her to eat and she wanted me to give her a bottle of formula. I was adamant that she nurse at least 6 months, not that there is anything wrong with formula.  In my mind, she had to save me.  She finally got the hang of it and breast-fed for 9 months.

The other day I was reading a new study, that for every year of breastfeeding a women’s risk is lowered by 4.3%. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/how-is-breast-feeding-related-to-breast-cancer   My daughter should be thanking the good Lord that I did not have this information back then or she would still be breastfeeding to this day. I know I am totally grossing her out as it is:)

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