BRCA+ archives

While I update this new website, please visit my past blogs on my testing positive for the BRCA genetic mutation, otherwise known as the “breast cancer” gene, and my experience with removing my breasts and having TRAM Flap reconstruction:

Ovaries, tubes and tits…Oh, my!
Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, suicide and genetic mutations resulting in removal of body parts.

Ovaries, tubes and tits…Oh my! (part two)
Deciding to have a bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction.

Tics, towels and Tourette’s

My diet killed my camera
Distracted by another shiny object.

Bilateral mastectomy pre-op apointment
Only one week until they remove my breasts. Memories of how I found out about my BRCA genetic mutation and now getting ready for surgery.

Planned maintenance
Only a few days before my bilateral mastectomy surgery and anxiety is striking hard.

A question of community
Dying and a letter to my children

Mother’s Day on the rocks 
A moment to escape the reality of my big surgery.

A few hours left
Lists. That’s what’s been running through my head since the moment I woke up this morning.

Day 1: Surgery
First day of mastectomy surgery

Day 2: Sleepy fevers and sharp pain
Day 2 after mastectomy surgery

Day 3: Walk down the hall
Today was a big day. I managed to get up and walk a few steps outside my door and back.

Day 4: A lovely afternoon turned into an evening of hell
Day 4 and 5. Couldn’t get Day 4 on the web because of too much pain after the removal of the epidural. Lilly and my kids brighten my spirits.

Day 6: So far, a mellow day with an Ativan twist
It’s an exceptional day in the hospital when the catheter comes out and you can sit on an actual toilet to make a pee, but more significantly, a poop, all in one day. What’s not to love about such a morning?…

Week 1: A shower never felt so good
I’m back at home and it’s so nice to be able to shower again. Give me a few 100 pillows and an air raft and I’m good.

Bored batty!
At home with the bitchy cat who tries her best to kill me.

A tear is all it took
Lung cancer and a bucket list

The “after” photos, two weeks and counting
It’s two weeks from the day of my surgery…so, do you really want to know how I’m doing?

My sofa on wheels
Without my big car to drive comfortably into San Francisco, Mark rents a car that would make any senior retiree proud.

I owe how much?
$91,000! Yup, that’s the first big bill for the surgery. With more to come, we’re a tad frightened about how much this will end up costing us and if we’ll have to take out a loan to pay for it.

The secret post from day 4 and mom’s lung scan
Mom acted like a total bitch on the fourth day in the hospital, eventually picking a fight, but perhaps it was partly because of her worrying about her own health.

Two surgeries down, one more surprise surgery tomorrow
As though two surgeries weren’t enough, I’ve got one more last-minute surgery tomorrow scheduled after having gone to my post-op appointment this afternoon.

Belly button surgery…just a quicky
I have to have my new belly button fixed after things don’t go so well the first time around. Memories about grandpa and Italian food.

Recovery: One month gone by
It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since my big surgery (bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction). Here’s an update.

TRAM Flap patient advice
A new friend, a breast cancer survivor, recently wrote to me and asked what advice I had to offer anyone preparing for a TRAM Flap surgery. I realized, I’ve been writing about my experience of having this…

God’s cruel sense of humor
Bloody discharge scares the daylights out of me when I think it might be some other type of cancer brewing inside my genetically screwed up body

Regret or delight? Would I have TRAM surgery again?
Would I do the TRAM Flap breast reconstruction surgery again if I had a choice? You bet.

Eleventh-month update after bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction
It’s been nearly 11 months since I had my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction and I’m finally getting another update about my health and the effects of my surgery.

A year and a day
It’s been a year since I was in the hospital recovering from a bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction. Get the latest updates.

What’s one more surgery thrown on the pile?
It’s been nearly a year and a half since I had my big surgery — prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction — and it appears there may be a complication that could require surgery. …

“The Big C” and feeling like a fraud
A storeroom full of gifts made me feel like a fraud tonight. I was watching the season finale of “The Big C” on Showtime and yes, I felt like a fraud. I know it’s just a story on cable television, but…

Catching stares at my scarred breasts
I used to be a person who could care less about changing in front of other women in a gym’s locker room. After all, I was raised in a household where it was natural to walk around naked…



  1. hi have just had the same opd has u 14 weeks now one off breast still hard did u find it same i allso have bcac 1 gene in our familes my vivien mavor fife in scotland

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