2017: Out with the old, In with the new (boobs)

My torso is a blue sharpie map of destruction. There are lines around my nipples, across my breasts, a triangle from each hip up to my belly button, and a zig zag line up the center of my tummy. I had radioactive tracking contrast injected into my nipple that will stay in my lymph nodes until they are dissected tomorrow. I have washed with antibacterial soap and sent pictures of my boobs to friends.

I’ve packed my bag with creature comforts for a 3 night stay at the spa-spital: aromatherapy diffuser, a little alter with White Tara, eye mask, speakers, robe, slippers, ginger tea, fake candles, and lots of miralax.

This is the plan. 4am wake up and disinfect body, 5am arrival at surgery center, pre-op, sign lots of consent forms, discuss advance directives, 6:45 begin anesthesia, 7am surgery time. They start by removing 3 lymph nodes and send them down to the lab. Then  Dr. S starts on the DIEP flap on my left side while Dr C removes tumor, nipple, and all breast tissue from right side. The lab will check the margins to make sure there is no remaining cancer. Then they switch sides and Dr S reattached DIEP flap from left side of tummy into right breast. Fingers crossed that they don’t have to take all of the lymph nodes.

The procedure will take anywhere from 6-8 hours. I may need small implants depending on how much fat they can harvest from the tummy. By small I mean the smallest implants they make.



The first night they will check on me every hour throughout the night to make sure that the tissue is healthy. I will spend three nights at the surgical center and then they send me home with recycled body parts and a few drains hanging out of my body. It’s all so bizarre.

As always, I am humbled by the outpouring of love and support. The prayers have been felt and they are holding me up. I’ve shed a few tears in the last few days, but not nearly as bad as the meltdown my preschooler had because I pealed his banana instead of giving it to him whole. So today I’m doing better emotionally than my 3 year old, but worse physically than my 97 year old grandmother. On a scale from 1 to 100 I’m somewhere between 3 and 97.

I’m sad that for a few weeks I won’t be able to hug and squeeze my kids. For 4 weeks I won’t be able to pick them up or take a bath or sleep on my side or stomach. For the rest of my (hopefully long) life I will have numb, fake boobs. But these boobs tried to kill me so they gotta go.

I visited with my sweet GiGi tonight. Her secrets? Ponds cold cream, ice cream, love, singing in your sleep, and telling it like it is.



Did you notice that my eyebrows are drawn on and my hair is starting to grow back?

12 thoughts on “2017: Out with the old, In with the new (boobs)

  1. Jane Cross January 4, 2017 / 6:30 am

    Love you Diana All my prayers and love are with you and your new boobs❤️😘❤️️



  2. Bill Curry January 4, 2017 / 11:00 am

    Dear Diana, Sean, Dian, and Tom,

    You are into the process now, and you are ready. We will pray, cry, and WILL you through it. It will be effective, and you will be able to breathe, smile, and peel bananas properly again-that’s a promise.

    How we love you,

    Carolyn and Bill

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Scott Pilcher January 4, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Love you NaNe!!!! I am so inspired by your strength. Good luck today. 👊


  4. Ginger Worden January 4, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Praying, drumming, holding you, your medical team and your precious family in our hearts! Ginger and Geoff


  5. Missa January 4, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    You have my heart and prayers with you always. I’m so very proud to know you and whitness your courage throughout this difficult journey. Love you Missa


  6. John and Kathy January 4, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Diana your Honesty courage and Faith are a blessing to us all. We will surround you with our Love and Prayers. Pealing a Chiquita to wish you well. J&K


  7. Carolyn Curry January 4, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    We will be with you all day. Sending positive thoughts, prayers and anything else we can think of doing,. You are a brave woman who makes us laugh, cry and love you and your family.


  8. Elizabeth Reiss January 4, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Prayers and love surround you today and as you go through this journey. Libbie


  9. Amy January 4, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    Thinking of you and sending you, your family, and your medical team all my love! Amy


  10. sara farmer January 4, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    Dear Little Sister… I call you this Diana because we are all sisters of the Heart. I feel this journey your going through deep in my soul! Otis crying over a banana is pricelist and he makes me smile. Someday you can tell him all about his banana, I love reminding my kids of stuff! My prayers surround you and feel the love coming from Napa. The next few weeks will go fast in slow motion. Namaste Sara


  11. Emily Birtel January 4, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Love to you and your family from the DR. You are Brave and Strong and Beautiful throughout your journey. You are an amazing writer! I read your posts and I understand your processes and I feel your emotions. Recover with peace! Happy New Year!!! Love, Emily


  12. Mollie January 4, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Sending love and prayers to you and your whole family, especially your Mother. You have handled every step of this journey with extraordinary courage and honesty in sharing all of it with us. I have never fully realized what people with cancer go through until now. Also, you should consider being a writer going forward. You are truly an amazing woman. Tons of love, Mollie


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