Marathon B4 Mastectomy. It’s about running, health, and cancer. But, through those themes, it’s also about love, inclusion, acceptance, parenting, and honoring how wonderfully different we all are. It’s also about trying, failing, and never giving up. I am a teacher, a musician, a listener and a facilitator. I am a wanna-be writer, a try-to-be woman of faith, and a hope-to-be great mother.
How did this blog start?
I’m a mother of 3 with a genetic predisposition to cancer (BRCA1).
Woman after woman was developing cancer in my family, and we all tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation. After a few years of figuring out whether or not to get a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, I decided that 2010 would be my “Year of the Mastectomy.” So, on November 18, 2010, I had a One Step bilateral and reconstruction.
I’m a mom of a cancer survivor, a sister of a cancer survivor, a daughter-in-law and a cousin and a niece to cancer survivors. I am the granddaughter of a woman who died of ovarian cancer.
To keep me honest, motivated, and committed to my surgery, I’ve gotten a team of people together to help me prepare for a 1/2 Marathon prior to my surgery date. It’s a way to take the focus off of my surgery, and a great way to prepare physically for the challenges ahead.
So, feel free to join me virtually! Keep me motivated! Check in! Let me know how you are doing with your training!
JUNE 2010 UPDATE:
I managed to finish the Worcester 1/2 marathon that I have been training for since January 2010! Thanks to all of my supporters, fellow runners, and family who helped make it all possible!
JULY 2010 UPDATE:
Ran the Harvard Pilgrim Health 10K
AUGUST 2010 UPDATE:
Organized my own 5k with some great friends!
SEPTEMBER 2010 UPDATE:
I began my appointments for my mastectomy, and I started training for my 2nd 1/2 marathon
OCTOBER 2010 UPDATE:
Surgery date set! And, I ran my 2nd 1/2 marathon of the year!
NOVEMBER 2010 UPDATE:
November 18, 2010 – - I underwent my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with One Step reconstruction. So far, so good. At just 2 weeks post surgery, I am healing well. And, because I’m totally nuts, I’ve also registered for another 1/2 marathon. What? Yes, May 1, 2011, I’ll be running the Rhode Island 1/2 Marathon. This means I’ll need to start training just 3 months after surgery. This should be interesting!
DECEMBER 2010 UPDATE:
Just heard back from my breast surgeon that the tissue removed showed no sign of cancer. Yay! I also found out that one of my cousins — likely a BRCA carrier — recently died of breast cancer. She was young, had a family, and serves as a reminder to me of my decision. I am again reminded of the opportunity I was given to take charge of my life, before cancer took charge of me. Rest in peace, dear cousin.
At 8-weeks post op, I began working with a physical trainer who has helped me to slowly gain confidence in using my muscles again.
Got inked! Now, permanently “BRAVE.”
Won’t you join me??
Peace, love, and health,