A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
And There Is One

Breast Reconstruction

January 1, 2019

Dear Fran Drescher #37

December 15, 2018

Dear Fran,

Remember in my last letter to you, I told you about my upcoming nipple surgery?

Well, I ended up getting that nipple on October 1—and four other procedures done—and I must say, it was quite the ordeal. First off, I remember counting back from 100 and the next thing I knew, I thought to myself, “Why is that surgeon sitting on me to work on my boob? Come on, guy, get off me…I can’t breathe when you’re sitting on my chest.”

Suddenly, medical personnel were scrambling, asking me questions and barking out orders: “Get the leads. Can you breathe? Have you had this before? Is the OR ready?”

I could not open my eyes to save my life, or my mouth to speak, but instead felt sticky pieces of tape being applied all over my chest.

All I could do was think, Oh my word, they think I’m having a heart attack.

In fact, Fran, I had had this same feeling before, the previous November when my husband and I went to Maui. The first morning we were there, I couldn’t breathe and I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I knew it wasn’t a panic attack, because I had learned how to conquer those a long time ago.

To make a long story short, I did not have a heart attack on October 1. I do, however, have a new nipple. I will tell you about the other procedures in my next letter to you.

I hope you have a great 2019.

Best friends always,

Marie

By |January 2019|Breast Reconstruction, Dear Fran Drescher|

September 10, 2018

Dear Fran Drescher #36

Hi Fran,

Yes, yes, it’s been a long time. I’ve been super busy with the wackiest things. For example, this was today’s to-do list:

1. Order nipple
 
Yup. I finally made the plunge (considering the rest of my breast reconstruction was on June 27, 2011 for Pete’s sake) and talked to the plastic surgeon this morning. Surgery is set for October 1.

He asked if I wanted an additional surgery to make both breasts the same size. Hmm. Because I haven’t been through the ringer enough with my eight surgeries—eye correction, 3 C-sections, port in, mastectomy, port out, breast reconstruction—thus far.

Did you ever have surgery for your uterine cancer? I will have to re-read your book and find out.

I hope you are doing well. I will try to be better about keeping in touch. I have so much to tell you.

Best friends always,

Marie
By |September 2018|Breast Reconstruction, Dear Fran Drescher|

October 4, 2016

Dear Fran Drescher #33

August 7, 2016 - Hiking Little Mountain

August 7 – Hiking Little Mountain

Dear Fran,

Back on July 27, I wrote you, “By the way, do you see that hill off to the left of my head? The one that I always think looks like two boobies? I was laughing out loud (when I was posting this picture) to myself because I’ve never noticed it before but the right “boobie” is bigger than the left “boobie.” I will tell you why I think that is so funny another time. Stay tuned for more hilarity….”

You probably thought I forgot all about it, but that’s not true.

I have been biking and hiking, camping, road-tripping to Boise, crabbing with friends, and finishing up a manuscript for my editor. I have been a busy bee.

The real reason I haven’t told you yet, though, is because it’s a bit embarrassing. I said, “Stay tuned for more hilarity” but it really isn’t that funny.

You see, when I had my breast reconstruction done several years ago, the doctor used my stomach to make the new breast. He explained to me that because the blood vessels were still attached, any time I gained weight—because women tend to gain weight in their stomachs before their breasts—my (new) right “breast” would gain weight faster than the left (real) breast. And, he was right.

If I gain just five pounds (which I do on a regular basis… I’ve complained about that to you before), my right breast gets bigger than my left.

It’s kind of hard to hide this fact from the general public. I pretty much wear the tightest sports bra I can find and hope for the best. And try to keep my weight down, of course.

So, now you know why I was laughing at those hills in front of my house. They’re just like me.

Best friends always,

Marie

By |October 2016|Breast Reconstruction, Dear Fran Drescher|

February 19, 2014

Breast Reconstruction – Take 65

While playing volleyball again following my breast reconstruction several years ago is all fine and dandy, playing volleyball while hyped up on thyroid medicine is another story. I’m not sure how my team puts up with me:

“Doug, get it, get it, get it! Whoo-ee, my turn, I got it. Got it, got it, got it. Oh, it’s my turn to serve? Piece of cake. Speaking of cake, hey, Greta, I brought you another Autumn Harvest Muffin so you can eat it for breakfast tomorrow morning. Don’t let me forget to give it to you. Okay. Here I go. My turn to serve.” Wham. “Hey, I never hit it out. What’s wrong with me? I know how to serve. That’s one of the only things I can do. Waaaaaa. I usually serve that ball over the net and keep it in bounds every time.”

I’m sure my team wanted to muzzle me all night long. I ran all over the court talking and yelling the whole time like the Energizer Bunny on crack cocaine.

I could hardly wait until I was back to normal. Normal, you say? Yes. Yes, I do. I realize that normal is a relative term.

 

By |February 2014|Breast Reconstruction|

February 17, 2014

Breast Reconstruction – Take 64

January 13, 2014
Kyle Brown, Valerie Christensen, Marie deHaan, Kennan Christensen

Photo by Gail Schoolland

Since my breast reconstruction (almost three years ago already), I have been approached by a few women who want to know if they should get a breast reconstruction.

That is one loaded question.

First of all, it was the most painful thing I’ve ever endured. The six-day hospital stay felt like three weeks. For quite a long time after the surgery, I felt like my “guts were falling out.” Not a very nice feeling.

In the end, I did not choose to do the breast reconstruction because I was missing my cleavage. Face it, my days of wearing a bikini were over about two or three years into my marriage when I started packing on the weight. Quickly.

I chose to do the breast reconstruction because I felt lopsided. Off-kilter. And couldn’t sleep.

After all the pain and recuperation from that surgery, I now sleep like a baby (when I’m not hyped up on thyroid medicine.) And play volleyball every chance I get.

By |February 2014|Breast Reconstruction|