Monday, May 20, 2013

Toughest Decision I've ever made....

May 20, 2013

current mood:  jealous

I was watching Dr. Oz the other day and he did a special on women who have the BRAC 1 gene.  Some women chose to take action and some are too scared to have the surgery. 

The reason why most of them were afraid to have the surgery was the fear of losing their femininity. 

I know first hand about that fear.  I still live with it every day.

I was tested for the BRAC 1 gene and even though I thankfully did not have the gene, I too opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy.  Taking the healthy breast was the hardest decision I've ever had to make.  But at the time it was a no brainer.  The cancer was VERY aggressive and in the words of my breast surgeon, it would only be a matter of time before it attacked my healthy breast.  I didn't want to go through chemo a second time and the reconstructive surgery I opted for, the DIEP Tram Flap can only be done once so for me the choice was made, take the healthy breast.

The fear of losing your femininity for me was so difficult because I was single at the time and my biggest fear was how the hell am I going to date after this.  Who is going to accept me for who am and love me for me and not the fact that I don't have real boobs.

I posted my current mood for this blog as jealous because I am so jealous of the new procedure that is now out there for women facing breast cancer.  The new nipple sparing procedure is so beyond amazing in helping to prevent that fear of losing your femininity.

I know for me the breast that was affected by the cancer would not be able to use this procedure because my nipple did test positive for cancer as well as the breast tissue.  But this new procedure could have been used when taking my healthy breast. 

It's amazing how much has changed in just the short 6 years since my diagnosis.

Thank you to all the amazing surgeons who are making this new procedure possible and helping my sisters feel a little bit better when they are faced to make their difficult decisions.

And thank you Brad for supporting Angelina in her difficult decision as well.

I love Brad Pitt's quote....

"Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic," Brad Pitt said in a statement to London's Evening Standard. "I thank our medical team for their care and focus.

"All I want is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children," the actor continued. "This is a happy day for our family."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Madeleine Maris AKA Maddy

Saturday, May 4, 2013

current mood:  reminiscent

I can’t believe my Baby is turning 14 this coming Tuesday.

Madeleine Maris…

I remember the day I brought her home, like it was yesterday. See Maddy wasn’t really supposed to be my dog, she was originally going to be my Dad’s second dog. Maddy is my Dad’s dog’s puppy. When he changed his mind about having two dogs, the idea of Maddy becoming mine was given to me. I have to admit I wasn't too keen in the beginning. I just bought my first house and wasn’t quite ready for a puppy. Yet, the more I saw her, the more I fell in love. So 4th of July weekend, 1999, I brought Maddy home.

I guess I should start off my explaining how I chose her name. Maddy was named after Madeleine Albright. For those of you who don’t know your history, she was the first woman Secretary of State. Maris is in honor of Roger Maris. The story behind that is…like I had mentioned earlier my Dad was supposed to keep her and his name for her would have been Maris and yes my Dad’s dog’s name was Micki (spelling for a girl) named after Mickey Mantle. Yes my Dad loves his NY Yankees.

It’s funny cause the day I went to pick her up, she was the only puppy left among 5 or 6 adult dogs and she didn’t seem very playful. I remember telling my Dad that and boy did I jinx myself. Maddy was more than playful in her “puppy” days. She was a handful until she was about 6.

Over the years I would bring Maddy anywhere and everywhere dogs were permitted. She was the adventurous Bichon Frise of the family. Yes, everyone in our family has a Bichon thanks to my Aunt Gloria who is the one that breeds them.

It’s sad to say but I do believe Maddy has a better life than some children out there.

She’s traveled with me on vacations. Yes she’s been on an airplane, a train, a boat and of course been in a car. She’s learned to change with my new adventures in life too. She went from having a BIG backyard in our house in CT to having to share a yard in our Condo in CT as well. She adapted pretty well to the move to NYC and quickly learned to “do” her business in the concrete jungle. And I haven’t heard her complain about her new apartment in Florida. I think she enjoys the mild winters.

We’ve been through A LOT together! She’s seen me at my highest highs and she’s been there at my lowest low’s , usually propped up on my chest licking my tears away. She was there for me when I lost both my Mom and Grandma. And she was there unconditionally through my cancer crapness journey. I always say that her sodium level must be through the roof from all the tears that she has licked away over the years.

There is nothing better than unconditional love from your dog. You can have the crappiest day and when you put that key in the door and open it and all you see is a dog wagging their tail, it’s makes everything OK.

It’s sad to say but Maddy has been my longest relationship. She’s seen all of the guys I’ve dated over the years and yet she’s never judged me. Well she did mention a few that she didn’t like…

As my Baby gets older, I’ve had to make some adjustments myself. Yes, we go for our morning walks at a slower pace. I now have to turn the light on in the hallway on our way to bed because she has night blindness. And I have learned to speak a little louder when calling her.

Don’t worry Maddy, Mommy is going to take care of you unconditionally just like you have for the past 14 years.

Happy 14th Birthday Maddy!