May 29, 2012

Overheard: Preschool

It's pick-up time at the summer preschool, which meets on the same floor as my office.

Two teachers: "So I said to him, 'Give Ben back his tiara.'"

Two dads: "She wanted to name him Luke—that's his middle name now—but I told her I just can't say, 'Luke, I am your father.' Just can't do that."

May 28, 2012

Verbatim: Cat Instructions

Sheba is living with us until she can get back to school. She brought her cats with her, and they live in her bedroom. She's visiting family in California and left instructions on feeding the kitties. (BTW: that's a "K," not an "H" in the second kitty's name.)

May 20, 2012


Three days ago, my breast prosthesis arrived. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s close enough. I have a balanced appearance now. Honestly, I really didn’t care, but others were uncomfortable seeing me with one flat side. And my clothes do fit better. It seems I did all my mourning before I lost my breast. And I truly did mourn, especially as time came to a close. Once done, it was time to move on.

It will be at least a year of healing before I can consider reconstruction. I am not eligible for an implant, but that’s okay—I am uncomfortable with that option. I must have a delicate procedure called a DIEP that calls for transplanting skin and fat from my abdomen to my chest. Microsurgery techniques will connect blood vessels to keep the transplant viable.

While I was introduced to a breast surgeon here, I’ve been considering a hospital in Texas, MD Anderson, which has a clinic dedicated to inflammatory breast cancer. When I mentioned that to someone here, she strongly encouraged me to go there for reconstruction. This is a relatively new and difficult procedure; I want to have a doctor who’s done it a lot and well. MD Anderson has that reputation. Bonus: I get a tummy tuck, something I have wanted since I had an 11½-pound baby 20 years ago. ☺ I consider that my reward for going through all this.

The undercurrent that you don’t hear much about is the uncertainty of how much time is left. The everyday-ness of life eventually overshadows it, but there it is. Of course, no one knows how much time is left. This wake-up call helps me to live each moment to its fullest and leave no wish untried. Next stop: NYC!