Skip to content

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and you will receive our stories in your inbox.

Thought for the week…#232

Posted in Things We Love

The truth will set you free, but not until it’s done with you first.

David Foster Wallace

Share on Facebook

9 Comments

  1. E ancora non ho letto Infinite Jest

    June 1, 2017
    |Reply
  2. lolamillebolle
    lolamillebolle

    Have you ever put your hand in that thing?!?! Talk about moment of truth. Love your blog. I don’t follow many but I stumbled across your site while processing breast cancer (hormone therapy for a hormone receptive cancer). After a few months of wigging out (no pun intended) and armed with a super-low score from an Onco-type DX test for recurrence, I’ve opted for better focus on what I eat and Pilates, and ditched the ‘baby chemo’. I lived in Italy long enough to become a naturalized Italian (dual citizen) and was once a baker and cook — ya da ya da ya da — I am just now finishing up reconstructive surgery after 20 years and 3 separate cancers (all 3 found early enough)…. I am DONE. I look forward to a year from now when I will be whole and strong in a way I haven’t been for a while. I wish you the best and that in a few more years you’ll feel that your own recent misadventure is in the rear-view mirror. As for the Bocca della Verità / Mouth of Truth (somewhere in Rome) there’s always someone nearby to scare the pants off you just as you insert your hand. Vague memory of Roman Holiday scene Gregory Peck scaring Audrey Hepburn. Thanks for the ramble. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face, more often than not

    May 22, 2017
    |Reply
    • I have put my hand in and, ridiculously, I know, it requires a leap of faith! Always convinced something will bite my fingers. I respect your choice. My Onco-Type DX is low, but not super low, so I decided, with a lot of fear, trepidation and second guessing, to go ahead with the hormone therapy suppression. Over a year in, my body seems to have adapted and the only side effects are hot flashes that come and go. But I worry about the long term risks. Both through the blog and through sharing my experience, I have now spoken to so many women who have gone through what we have gone through and what is clear to me is that each one of us had the burden of asking questions and processing the answers in relation to what we were prepared to do. Like you, I questioned doctors and then I decided for myself what I thought was best. And now I can only hope to have left this behind. Are you American by the way? Did you take my place in Italy and I yours over here? I like this thought.

      May 22, 2017
      |Reply
      • lolamillebolle
        lolamillebolle

        Yes, I am American. I have a dear friend, who I’ll be seeing on Wednesday, who I met here but she is originally from Florence. Though I now live a good part of the year in Ireland, there is that Italian connection. Come to think of it, my other dear friend is Irish, living here and we have the same thing going. I am completely and utterly in support of the idea that we each have our own path through this process. I’m not as big a fan of this idea that we are expected to make the major decisions w/o benefit of a medical degree. Still, on those occasions when I am able to gather the information and arrive at the (to me) logical conclusion, I’m grateful that the choice is ultimately mine. I just resent being put in that position. I am also cognizant that the decisions I make today could not have been made by my younger self. Brief history: 3 cancers, caught early and all different. First one in 1996, lumpectomy, 7 lymph nodes, 8 weeks radiation, 2 years of being really tired. (side note: Chinese herbs, acupuncture and a diet that eliminated all heat, at least while I was doing radiation). 2008 2nd cancer, same side, for which I had a DIEP flap — the most brilliant and suited therapy for myself. Ended in failure (w/ no warning of difficulty presenting during surgery) and a superbug infection VRE and a month in the hospital. Wound Vac. Long healing. Lots of scars. 2015 3rd cancer in the other breast and by now I’ve retired 2 surgeons. Meeting with a new young surgeon whose approach is whole body, I had moved on from any idea of using my body for reconstruction. It was the perfect moment. She was just starting out, and yet this did not make me nervous in the least. My husband came with me to the office visit, for the first time (prior I had managed fine) and somehow the 3 of us sat in her office discussing how me might approach reconstructive surgery. A year and a half later I am 2 weeks out from what I believe is my last surgery. I feel whole and strong, growing stronger. I head back to Ireland in a week, to Pilates and more PT. For whatever reason it became important to me to put my body back together again. I don’t think I would have felt this so strongly if I were at the beginning. In the process (scar revision across the belly) we discovered that my fascia was in pieces — necessitating hernia repair. I feel incredibly lucky, even as my luck swings radically to the extremes. I look forward to a year from now when I will be that much stronger, and healed, and this will be behind me. Well and truly. Which is what I wish for you. To be at that point where all that you are currently going through will have slipped into recent history, and you’ll be through it. Ti abbraccio.

        May 22, 2017
        |Reply
        • lolamillebolle
          lolamillebolle

          Forgot to mention I now have an implant (right) and a latissimus doors flap and implant (left) with a split nipple surgery to create a nipple on the left. Never ever thought I would go for that route!!! Very happy. Back in 2015 I called the year ahead Brave New World. I am NOT looking back.

          May 22, 2017
          |Reply

Got some thoughts? We would love to hear what you think

%d bloggers like this: