Thursday, November 5, 2015

A 5 year hiatus...

I haven't thought about my blog in many years. A lot has changed since my last post; engagement, new house, marriage, vacations & fertility struggles. I'm going to try to be better at posting and will add updates to fill in the blanks of the past few years. 

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Freeport, Bahamas for a little r&r

The night before I left for Los Angeles I stayed with my friend Stacy near the airport in Connecticut and we got to talking about going to see her friend in the Bahamas. I didn't take it too seriously since I was leaving for the west coast the next day, but looked online for airline pricing anyway. Much to my surprise, it was quite affordable to fly from NYC to Freeport. Hmmm, this just might be an option! The next day I flew out to California and didn't think much about the Bahamas idea until I got a call from my friend in Connecticut, she was serious about booking the trip to the island, so how could I say no!:) There's nothing like booking your next vacation while you're ON vacation!

So at the end of March, it was off to the island we went to see Leo. This was going to be interesting . . . driving on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, and no open container law . . . sweet! Luckily, our rental car was what we were used to driving . . . driver's side on the left! We spent the next 7 days on the beaches - Gold Rock Beach - Banana Bay - Coral Beach, exploring the island, meeting some fun locals, snorkeling at Paradise Cove, and partying at Port Lucaya. Even got to go horseback riding with Leo on the beach (her "job"). Loved, loved, loved riding on the beach. She's so blessed that that's her job and she gets to do something she loves every day in a beautiful place! for anyone who's looking to go riding while in Freeport!

First night out in Port Lucaya

Coral Beach

Gold Rock Beach

Leo at the "office"

back at the stables

Fun times!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Surgery updates . . .

To say that I've been slacking on the blog would be a gross understatement! Much has happened since my last post. The August 2009 "scar revision" surgery went well. More pain, more bruising, more waiting to heal . . . but in the end . . . all worth it. They extended the incision on my sides to smooth down the "dog ears" and also did lypo to smooth down my hips (which is why the massive black and blues). They then did "fat grafting" to fill in some of the hollow areas on my chest where the donor tissue settled. UGH, more drains! So sick of dealing with surgical drains!

Next step after this was to wait a few more months for the new tissue to settle and give time for the scars to fade . . . 6 months, then back to see the doc to talk about nipples!

October 2009
I had my last appointment with my radiation oncologist. She was very happy to see how the reconstruction had progressed and that the radiation had not done damage to my right side. One less doctor to see on a regular basis! And to celebrate that . . . I'm off to Los Angeles to spend some time with my friend Ev!

Downtown Los Angeles

In Malibu

On the Sunset Strip

At the wrap party for "The Chicago 8" in the Hollywood Hills

March 2010
Back to Boston to see my surgeon. Pretty happy with the results thus far, but still weighing the nipple options. After much thought and talking it over I decide to go through with the surgery. Afterall, it would be like having a sundae without the cherry on top . . . that's no good . . . so June it is. A few days after that, I left for the Bahamas for a little fun on the island with a great friend! Excited to get away and not think about surgery, cancer, stress . . . ANYTHING!

. . . more to follow . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Loving Memory . . .

September 2007

Cancer has reared it's ugly head again in my life and claimed another person close to me. Just when I thought the year was looking up . . . I was cancer-free, on the road to recovery from surgeries, and feeling in good health. Then I get some heartbreaking news that a dear friend has only months to live. At first I couldn't believe it. How could his time be limited? He's only 33 years old and CAN'T be dying from a brain tumor!

I've know Jimmy since I was 5 years old, when we first started school. We grew up together, had the same friends, and were even high school sweethearts. Even though we ended our romantic relationship after college, we still remained close friends and would always have that love for one another. After all, how could you stop caring about someone who has been such a major part of your life growing up? When I first found out 5 years ago that he was diagnosed with brain cancer it was like a shot in the gut. I couldn't breathe, couldn't think, couldn't focus. I kept wondering, how could this be? We're too young for cancer! The doctors were able to operate and remove most of the tumor and with chemo and radiation he was on track to getting better. But there was always going to be that chance that the tumor would grow again.

We all heard the words . . . "the cancer will come back" . . . but I don't think any of us REALLY understood EXACTLY what that meant. This year when it did come back and it was aparent that there was nothing more that the doctors could do I was in disbelief. Just two months earlier we were talking about how we were going to walk the survivors lap together in the Realy for Life that next year. We had talked about how strange it was that we both ended up with cancer but he was the one who helped me through my treatment, having gone through it himself.

I still find myself asking why. Why him, why so early in life, why, why, why. These questions will never be answered, I know that. But what I do hang on to are the memories of him and the time we spent together growing up.

James E. Beckwith, you will be in my heart always!

September 1993

Monday, August 31, 2009

The SCAR Project

I was lucky enough to be involved in a photo shoot for The SCAR Project with photographer David Jay in New York City. I stumbled across the site for the project while on my laptop passing time at the hospital during treatment last year. I was looking for other young women my age and how their cancer had affected them, and how they dealt with it. I was also working with a photographer close to home, having her shoot black and white photos of my stages through cancer. When I came across the website,, I was in awe of the photos he had taken and how he had captured their beauty, even though they had been through hell. I wanted to get involved too! I submitted my information and waited. Within a week I heard back from him. Unfortuantaly he had finished shooting for the year and was off to Australia for the winter, but indicated that he would get in touch with me when he got back to the states in the spring.

Spring came and went and I started to think that maybe I wouldn't be chosen for the project. I had heard on some message boards of other women being turned down because they were out of the age range. I was still within the range, but just barely. In July I got an email from him saying that he was back in NYC and wanted to schedule me for a shoot. I was so excited! I had to have surgery at the beginning of August, so I scheduled the shoot for three weeks after the surgery.

I asked a good friend of mine to head down there with me. We decided to take the train from Hartford into NYC so we didn't have to fight with traffic (which was the best idea ever). I was a little nervous about what to expect but excited to get there. When we got to the city we had a few hours to kill before the shoot, so we decided to head to the Empire State Building. Wow, what a view! Heading up the top was fun, but we were a bit rushed. It would have been nice to have a little more time. At least we picked a great day to head down there . . . sunny and 90 degrees!

The photo shoot was a such cool experience. Instead of shooting at his studio, we shot at The Thompson LES Hotel. He was going for a more natural setting for some of the shots. When we got there it was straight to hair and makeup while he was finishing up with the first client. He made me feel very comfortable and surprisingly it wasn't akward at all. We started shooting and within 15 minutes he thought he had got the shot he wanted. I kinda felt a little jipped, he had only shot about a few dozen photos of me. I traveled all morning for this and I wanted more than just 15 minutes of fame!! :) He decided to shoot a few dozen more just to make sure everyting was in focus and then we were done.

I had such a good time while down there with everyone involved. I would definately do it again. It was bittersweet though, coming at a time when a good friend's health was taking a turn for the worse, and I think that he really captured that in my expression. This is a horrible disease, not just breast cancer, and when it just so happens that young people get it, it's that much more shocking. Which is why I wanted to be part of the project . . . to put a face to the disease and show people the absolute reality of what it's like to live through cancer.

For the gallery photos check out:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Just a quick update. . . surgery went well today. Dr. C and Abby are happy with how things went in the O.R. Was supposed to take 2 hours, but they did a lot more work than originally anticipated so it ran long, 3.5 hours! Fine with me. Whatever it takes to make things as close to perfect as possible! Will post more later when I'm not so medicated! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Surgery . . . again

The date for my next surgery is fast approaching . . . August 4th. This summer seems to be flying right by and I wonder what my life will be like next year when I'm not planning events around my surgery, or radiation, or chemo, or multiple doctor appointments. While I'm very excited to have this next surgery and be that much closer to the reconstructed me, it's really putting a dent in my social life. Already there are 3 things that I was looking forward to this summer that are now blown . . . Kenny Chesney concert - can't go, too close to surgery, Entrain Harbor Cruise in Boston - ditto, lobster boat races in Maine - major ditto!! WTF! And I really don't want to push the surgery date back, I want it OVER!

One thing I am looking forward to this summer is my photo shoot with David Jay for The SCAR Project. More on that in a later post.

"Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine."