A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life as it should be lived

When you've stared death in the face twice before the age of 50, you get a few things in order. 

One of the chief realizations through my battle with cancer is the brevity of life (no big shock there, I know) and the importance of living out your dreams, if possible, rather than putting them off for "one day" that never comes.

Despite depleting my life savings account, I'm embarking on my dream of taking my two nieces (ages 15 and 22) to Paris.  Since they were little girls, I've talked about taking them to Paris, even using this as a ploy to get one of them to expand her culinary tastes beyond, "eew, yuck, gross." 

So, with map and credit card and a French-American dictionary in hand--and a suitcase packed with nothing but black--we leave today for a week in Gay Paree, exploring the touristy sites, visiting the local markets and eating nonstop. 

It's a dream-come-true for me.  I hope to give my nieces a memory for a lifetime.  I'm so mindful in light of cancer that what's important to me are people and experiences - and I want to fill my time with those two things.

Au revoir.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Two Year Mark

I know why they call it the Terrible Two's.  I recently marked 2 years post-surgery and find myself constantly throwing tantrums like a toddler. 
Even after all this time, I'm still building back my life physically, emotionally and mentally.

Physically...I'm trying to build abdominal muscles and stretch tissues that are too tight because they were cut. 

So, MY ADVICE before you go under the chopping block: get details in writing from your surgeon and then go see a physical therapist, your new best friend.  Because this surgery affects your entire core, from top to bottom: muscles, tissue, ligaments. 

My recommendation after surgery: Get a doctor's referral to a physical therapist, who specializes in pilades. 

In addition, you'll need to do the following:

* Pilades (for core)
* Yoga for flexibility.
* Weight training to build muscle strength.
* Water aerobics and swimming for all the above.
* Lots of martinis for everyone who has to put up with your mood swings.

See you at the gym.