Dena is having a Mastectomy on Thursday

And I could not be happier about it. When the tumor in my breast started growing into the horrific, painful, black colored protrusion that it is now we feared the worst -  the cancer was growing/spreading/not responding treatment.

The PET scan showed that the tumor was responding to the treatment, but it was slowly rotting in the center, where the tissue was hanging out, being dead and painful. The PET scan looks like a red donut, with a dead black center. There is no visible involvement of the chest wall but they will probably take a few lymph nodes just to be safe.

After consulting with a million doctors (oncologists, surgeons, plastics) the decision was made to finally end the suffering I have been enduring for the last month.

#getthisthingoutofme

To be clear I have been in pain and taking Norco almost everyday for the last month. It's time to say goodbye. Yes, surgery/mastectomy/boobs all very scary words to say but when I left the doctor this evening all I felt was relieved. A giant (painful) weight is going to be lifted. If I could I would be doing the surgery now.

My wing is broken, but it will be patched soon... 



Yes, mastectomy is a big deal - but we went over tons of options and this is the best one for me physically, psychologically, and in terms of both short and long term recovery. I will have a tissue expander inserted and there will be a second surgery to do the reconstruction. We have not made a decision about implants/natural tissue and a lot of that will depend on how the surgery goes. My surgeon cares more than I do about saving the nipple. I care mostly about not having to buy new bras, which is apparently a big deal as they do not make implants big enough to recreate my current breast size (yes, I know WTF) but my surgeons are awesome and they promise I will be happy with the results.

In the interim I will try not to show everyone my bionic breast (no promises.) If you have had a breast reconstruction and it looks AMAZING, feel free to send me pictures. If you're still figuring it out, or you've heard some horror stories, I'm not interested in hearing them (sorry - only unicorns and rainbows coming my way right now please!)

If you would like to help, I'm sure I will need it but I am overwhelmed with thinking about coordinating that kind of thing so here's what I have decided, please forgive me if I come off crass or rude.

If you want to buy me a present, send me flowers, do something nice, assemble a gift basket or some other very thoughtful, complicated thing I would prefer that you just give me some money. I don't know what I will need but I'm sure it will be something very weird and specific and impossible to anticipate. If chemo has taught me anything it's that. Also, I already know the copays are gonna be in the 4 digits so paying for that supercedes any need I might have for $8/stem peonies. Rather than have your thoughtfulness go to waste, I am just going to be honest and say that I'd rather have a discretionary fund to help with whatever strange thing does come up.

You can donate here.

If you have a burning need to feed me, I am on a very specific and complicated diet which makes gifts of food overwhelmingly unhelpful (please see above)... so you can donate here.

However, if you want to walk Fenway definitely talk to me because I've been told it will take at least 2-3 weeks before I can walk him at the best case scenario. We are also entertaining the possibility of some kind of extended stay while I'm in recovery because of Fenway's propensity to use aggressive affection. If you're interested in hosting him definitely let me (or my husband know.)

My husband will be acting as the gatekeeper for visits, and also telling me I am the hottest bionic-breasted woman to ever walk this earth.

If you have any other questions, or just want to tell me you love me I'll be checking the comments here and this photo on instagram.  I will also have Steve posts updates on how I'm doing via my instagram @leowithcancer so follow me for the most up to date deets.

Love you all so so much! #getthisthingoutofme




Inbetweeners should not fear the bodycon dress...



In fact, with my weight fluctuating on an almost daily basis from my new fun hormone drugs, these are the only things in my closet I can consistently count on fitting! They are soft! They are stretchy! They are hot flash friendly!

The real trick is to find a thick soft fabric with some "structure", I know I know but in as much as cotton fabrics can do that. Cut is also very important as the right seam, neckline, hemline, or gathering is basically like the blur feature in aviator** when it comes to dressing.

With my weight fluctuating alarmingly in about a 20 pound range, I am eternally grateful that I conquered my fear of these light, comfy, very sexy closet staples.

Lastly, color is very important. Find the right one and it will make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle. I'm currently obsessed with this one from Bobi which they call magenta but I would call plum. I desperately want it in black also, and at under $60 that may be happening soon.

Bobi Scuba Dress in Magenta | Vintage Swedish Hasbeens (similar)| Moto Leather Jacket (Similar) | Clear Cat Eyes 















** These photos have not been edited or photoshopped or aviaried, although I did use the magnolia fileterfilter and had some REALLY good lighting

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