I think we're on to something big..... New plan, you make a big donation to the Staley Foundation, you'll get the rockstar treatment! Thanks Kaleen for the HUGE donation..... Here's your 15 minutes of fame on MY site! You're awesome!!!
It's been a few weeks since my last post. Things have been moving quickly for The Staley Foundation, it's been an incredible time. Looking at the calendar today, I realized it's the 14th. I guess the number 14 will have some significance for me for awhile. On January 14th, I had a double mastectomy to treat my second occurrence of breast cancer. Eight short months ago.
My body has recovered well. The scars have healed nicely, and I'm back focusing on living the best life possible.
A side note: I chose not to have reconstruction. Many people questioned this decision, and asked why I wouldn't "just go ahead with immediate reconstruction." For me, it wasn't about keeping my image intact... it simply came down to this - I didn't want any more surgery. After battling cancer three times, things like "image" lose its overall importance. Additional surgeries that aren't treating my cancer are no longer on my radar. My goal was simple - I wanted to be healthy. And happy. 8 months later, I can say I'm very healthy and very happy. It's been a long road, but each day I learn more and move beyond my collective cancer experiences.
Beauty is more than an image or a bra size. Beauty comes from within. It's an attitude. And trust me, I have plenty of that. Happy 8 months to me!
Follow-up: Wow, thanks for all the comments and emails. Obviously, I hit a nerve with a few people on this post -- all great comments and questions. To respond for the benefit of all:
1) Yes, after I returned to work and to my normal routines (gym), I did have people ask me "when I'd be having my chest reconstructed." After recovering from the shock of such forward questions, I'd usually explain that it was none of their business... but since they asked, I'd always give a very detailed account of why and how I made my decision. That usually sent them running in the other direction!
2) I have no regrets about my decision. Most women that face the option of a double mastectomy haven't had to deal with the previous cancer battles I endured going through Hodgkin's treatments. After 17 years of cancer survivorship, my threshold for surgeries of any kind is much lower, allowing me to make the no-recon decision without much hesitation. Women that have the option to have reconstruction should definitely consider it.
3) I've had wonderful support from my family and friends, and that makes all the difference.
4) Finally, a big thank you to Steve who continues to stand by me and reminds me each and every day that life is a beautiful thing.