My mastectomy is scheduled for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., about 34 hours from now at the . I have a little more than a day to walk around in the body that betrayed me. And yet, for my own sanity I need to place my trust in it – trust that it will be strong enough to survive the surgery, trust that my decisions and the decisions that will be made for me are in my best interest, trust that my courage won’t fail me.

Box 'o BrasI am oddly at peace with my decision not to reconstruct. My plan is to come home without cancer, and if that means coming home without breasts, so be it. I collected all my bras, placed them in a cardboard box, and banished them to the garage. I imagine that at some point I’ll break down into a sniveling, sobbing mess, but it hasn’t happened yet, which makes me wonder how much emotional denial I’m capable of. But when and if I crack, I have to trust that I’ll get over it and subsequently take back my life. What else can I do?

Posted in Breast Cancer.


  1. Y’know, it’s posts like these which makes me wish I had already established a rhetoric with the blogger in question….

    My words may ring hollow, but they ARE genuine. The human individual can survive ordeals far greater and far less than this.

    It’s ultimately up to you if you’re going to survive this or not, with or without reconstruction. An ordeal is an ordeal – it’s how you respond to it, how you deal with and internalize it and survive it that counts.

    Either you rise to the occasion or you don’t.

    And yes, spoken from personal experience.

    For what it’s worth, from me to you, I do hope you find whatever it is that’s inside of you, and I hope that it is both strong and flexible for what you’re going to face. I sincerely hope that it’s what you need, and what’ll help ya through this time.


    ~Thomas Duder

  2. Denise,
    Must admit I have not not been reading much of anything these days, so I just found out about this road you are on. You will persevere. You are strong and stubborn and full of life that the wanna be “big c” put hurdles on for you to exercise some. While going for surgery is frightening and numbing, you are a fighter and will kick its @$$. And Carol is right there with you, which makes you two together unstoppable.

    Sending you virtual {{HUGS}} and strengthening/healing thoughts.

  3. I think you’ve reached the heart of it, my love. You have whittled it all down to trusting yourself, with strength and grace I so admire.

  4. My Dear Denise
    You are AMAZING! You are strong, and you are a Winner!! I am sending my most positive energy to you. I will be thinking and praying for your strength,courage and return to your “Perfect Self” tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Please feel all of the hands holding yours, and all of the love you have in your life! I will be at the airport, leaving for Chicago at that time, returning very late on 12/25 . We will both be vulnerable to the expertise of the professionals controlling our lives at the same time tomorrow! I will be only a phone call away when I return home, please remember that. Be well, my friend, I will check in with Sherrie in the next couple of days to follow your recovery. Much Hope, Love and Affection

  5. You are being surrounded by light of healing and recovery. There are circles of friends and loved ones who are ever present with you. Walk forward in the knowledge that you are being supported by the universe.

  6. I wish I could be your nurse. I’m sure you will be very well cared for. I always try to be extra specially nice to patients like you and their family. We will be thinking of you, and sending you great positive energy. We’re really sorry that you have to go through this. Breast cancer sucks. Your body does not betray you. It constantly strives to reach optimal health, and starting on Tuesday at 10:30, you’re on the road.

  7. Denise, you are amazing and fabulous. The essential Denise does not change. You have Denise-ness.
    Denise-nicity. I love your friend Mary’s comment about being on the road to health. Sending you much positive energy.

  8. Good for you, Denise! I imagine that you’ll have a grieving period, but, as everyone keeps saying, you are obviously an amazingly strong woman, and that will continue to be true Tuesday afternoon and every day after that. Grieving doesn’t equal weakness, after all. I hope you will continue to be “oddly at peace” tomorrow morning; I’ll be sending all the good juju in my power at 10:25 your time tomorrow.

  9. 10:30 am Wisconsin time I will light a big candle in my living room Sending love and talent in the hands of your surgeons, after all they are working on OUR Denise so it has to be perfect.

  10. My heart is with you tomorrow. I will be sending every ray of healing energy there is in this universe. Much love always Denise. Dream fabulous dreams while your under the anesthesia. Begin your next book love. Kickass girl ???? may every blessing known to wo/man be bestowed on you. xoxoxoxoAngela

  11. Hi Denise,
    I chose not to have reconstruction also. I had a double mastectomy in 2008. My body is beautiful and strong and I feel more at home in it now than I ever did before. Surprisingly I feel more feminine now without my breasts than I did with them. Wishing you well on this journey.

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