Six word memoir

I had composed a great six word memoir last year, in the midst of my chemo treatment, encapsulating my engagement with science, my love of family, and my fight with cancer, but I think my answer to Stella’s challenge this year can be summed up in one phrase.

Mother with cancer, trying to forget.

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5 Responses to Six word memoir

  1. This is for WhyMommy:
    Good Evening,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your clever acconts of your journey of IBC. I too, was recenly diagonised with IBC on Oct. 14 ’08 (Breast Cancer Awareness Month..how timely, right?) I’ve had 4 chemo treatments, and want to have a double even though it is only in one breast now. I appreciate your aritcle on that. It almost appears that my surgeon wants only to do one breast.not srue why. Have you had reconstruction surgery and if so, what did you have? Any wisdom, suggestions, or list o questions to ask my surgeon and oncologist will be appreciated. Thanks, Diana (LA, CA)

  2. This is for WhyMommy:
    Good Evening,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your clever acconts of your journey of IBC. I too, was recenly diagonised with IBC on Oct. 14 ’08 (Breast Cancer Awareness Month..how timely, right?) I’ve had 4 chemo treatments, and want to have a double even though it is only in one breast now. I appreciate your aritcle on that. It almost appears that my surgeon wants only to do one breast.not srue why. Have you had reconstruction surgery and if so, what did you have? Any wisdom, suggestions, or list of questions to ask my surgeon and oncologist will be appreciated. Thanks, Diana (LA, CA)

  3. imstell says:

    Susan – Yours is my new favorite.

    Diana – I had IBC and a double mastectomy also. My oncologist and surgeon both originally talked me out of the double that I wanted. They told me it would only be an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to a cancer diagnosis and would in no way minimize my risk of a recurrence. Of course, we also did not have the results of my genetic test at that time. So I buckled to their pressure and only had a single initially. 3 weeks later my test results came back positive for the BRCA2 mutation. I should have listened to my gut. Ultimately, I had the second mastectomy at the same time as my reconstruction. I have never regretted my decision for one second. It was the right one FOR ME with or without the mutation.

    Other things you should consider when making your decision:
    –Your breast size: If you are large breasted it is very difficult to match your size with a prosthetic and you spend a good deal of your “down” time very unbalanced. This caused a significant amount of back issues for me in the 8 months between my surgeries.
    –Reconstruction Plans: If you planned on reconstruction you should ask your surgeon how well they will be able to match your remaining breast. If you had planned on foregoing more surgery then pay particular attention to the “balance” issues above.
    –Paranoia Factor: To me this is the real bottom line. It was about not feeling like I was walking around with a ticking bomb on my chest. Knowing I had done everything I could do (i.e. removed all breast tissue possible) to prevent the return of the disease. The double mastectomy game ME the peace of mind I needed to go thru life without feeling continually paranoid.

    Bottom line: my best advise is to spend some time examining your motivations then follow your gut instinct and hold your ground.

  4. whymommy says:

    Diana,

    I’m dashing off to put my kids to bed, but I will come back and talk to you more later. HAng in there, it’s a tough road. I chose not to have reconstruction — and have never looked back. IT’s so easy!

    Will write more shortly.

  5. whymommy says:

    Hi, Diana. I chose to do a double (after talking with Imstell!) for several reasons. These are just mine —

    – balance. I had back issues with the tumor and didn’t want to make it worse.
    – comfort. I didn’t want to wear a bra and prosthesis if I didn’t have to, and I would have to with one breast.
    – symmetry. Maybe it’s just me.
    – paranoia factor., as Imstell calls it. I didn’t want to have to worry every 6 months to a year, to get my mammograms, to expose my single breast and have others see the lopsidedness, etc. Of course, in my case it turned out not be be paranoia at all. I actually DID have cancer in the second breast already — Stage 1, which they found in the biopsy afterward.

    IBC has such a high rate of recurrence, I wanted to do everything I could. FOR ME, that was taking both breasts off.

    And you know what? I haven’t regretted it for a minute. Not. a. minute. I haven’t even fitted for a prosthesis or tried tube socks. I’m just me. Flat as a board, but twice as healthy.

    (And I’m now in training to run a 5k — it’s so easy to go running with out a sports bra and stuff!!!!)

    Good luck to you. Come back often, this is a great group of support.

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