Two Year Anniversary

by Bri on November 10, 2007

Today marks the two year anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 28. The same day, I was told I would need a mastectomy (full removal) of my right breast. It was horrifying and surreal. Particularly since I watched my mom go through her diagnosis of breast cancer, a mastectomy and chemotherapy 14 years earlier. She was just 41 and died within six months.

My amazing husband, Marc has been there with me every moment…through surgery and my body’s violent rejection of the morphine. Through the heart wrenching decision of whether or not to use chemotherapy, in the hopes it would kill any wayward cancer cells before it killed me. Through the four months of actually going through chemotherapy, with the stomach turning aversion to most foods, temporary menopause (hot flashes and all), our snarky nauseous wedding anniversary, exhaustion and inability to do much of anything for myself, being covered with hives, and becoming completely and utterly hairless.

I am so incredibly grateful to be alive, healthy, and in partnership with a truly wonderful man, without whom, I wouldn’t be here today. With his loving constructive criticism, photography, Photoshop genius, friendship and encouragement, I write this blog as an expression of my passion for food. I could spend all day buying, preparing, eating, talking about and writing about food (wait…I often do). The breast is the ultimate expression of nourishment. My sense is that it’s not a coincidence that food, nurturing, and nourishment on all levels, are so integral to my being. I feel so fortunate to have an outlet and audience for my recipes and musings on food in our modern culture. Thanks for stopping in for a chat. Sharing food with good friends, is the best part.

A dear friend of ours took this picture of us under the mulberry tree of the organic farm I was working for at the time. It was just days before my mastectomy. You can see I had straight hair at the time. The picture in the “About Me” section of this site is a recent one with my post-chemo curls.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

laxmi November 10, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Hi Briana,

I found your site when I was reading food blog desam. It is great to hear that you fought and won the battle of breast cancer. Long back, I watched a movie in lifetime about a woman who had breast cancer….by watching the movie ..only I cried and can’t imagine a real life person who had this difficult disease. I pray for you and I hope GOD will be with u all the time.

Regards
Laxmi.

Bri November 10, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Laxmi – Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I love your name (goddess of wealth and abundance), and am touched by your prayer for God to be with me all the time. Thank you, and I wish you the same.

sra November 11, 2007 at 5:02 am

Bri, may you always have good health, zest for life, family and friends around you.

Bri November 11, 2007 at 11:05 am

Thank you Sra. That is very sweet of you. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. May you also have the same.

bee November 11, 2007 at 2:50 pm

bri, you are such an inspiration. i checked marc’s site. he is indeed very gifted. wish both of you many many years of togetherness and creativity.

Brent November 11, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Hi Bri, as bee said you are indeed an inspiration. I have had the good fortune to have met you and shared your friendship – invaluable. Marc is indeed quite the catch. I love you both and love your blog – keep up the good work!

JEP November 11, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Thank you sharing yourself to all of us. I wish you well!

gigi November 11, 2007 at 6:00 pm

bri,

you are strong and positive and i must commend you! i think you have so much courage to be able to express what you have lived through, and do it with such clarity and poise. you encourage others who read this to do the same, and lawd knows it ain’t easy to do.

consistently and with feeling, you 1) nurture all of us here is cyberland with your wonderful writing and photography, 2) inspire us to think conscientiously about what we put in our bodies and 3) gently remind us that health, friends and family take precedence over all the other stuff that we as humans can get caught up in on a daily basis. as talented as your hubby is , can i just say that he is lucky to have found you?

thank you for this post. and by the way, i think your hair looks great! 🙂

manggy November 11, 2007 at 6:35 pm

I got a little veklempt reading this post! I wish you and Marc continue your wonderful and healthy relationship. *cheering* Go Bri, Go Bri…

S November 11, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Congratulation on reaching your 2 year anniversary thanks for sharing!

Kaykat November 12, 2007 at 12:11 am

Wow, Bri!

You are one incredibly strong person! Keep going strong, and good luck with everything! Hope things only get easier and better going forward.

P.S.: Love those curls 🙂

Patricia Scarpin November 12, 2007 at 5:21 am

Bri, I have tears in my eyes after reading your post – how wonderful to see you healthy, my dear!
We don’t know each other personally but you can truly believe there are many Brazilian fingers crossed here for you.
I lost my mom to cancer when I was 7 (and she was only 32), so I can have an idea of what you went through with your mom.
Take care, my friend.

Lots of warm hugs,
Patricia.

Anita November 12, 2007 at 11:21 am

Thank you, Bri, for sharing this milestone with us. I’m looking forward to hearing about many more.

And thank you, Marc, for helping keep Bri strong and happy so that she can share her creations with us.

Bri November 12, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Thank you so much everyone! I can so clearly feel your kindness from miles away. I was so touched to come home from a busy weekend to find all your sweet comments and get to read them aloud to Marc.

Bee – Thank you! I’m so fortunate to be supported by such a loving parter.

Brent – Thanks so much. We are better for knowing you, and love you too. You are a great friend and an inspiration as a parent.

JEP – Thank you for your sweet comment.

Gigi – You are such a sweetheart! Thank you for your loving comments. (I laughed out loud at “lawd knows”) I’m so touched that what is so important to me: nurturing, being conscious of what goes into our body, and getting joy out of spending time together over food…is so well received. And thanks, I like the curls too.

Manggy – Thank you. It’s so amazing how, through the internet, we can touch each other.

S – Thank you for your comment, and thanks for stopping by.

Kaykat – Thank you so much. I do my best. I hope things get a little easier too.

Patricia – Thank you for your loyalty and kindness. I sure appreciate those Brazilian crossed fingers! I’m sorry you lost your mom at such a young age too. I’m lucky, I at least had mine into my teenage years. I can’t imagine losing her as young as you did. Thank you for sharing that. Warm hugs right back at you!

Anita – Thank you for your encouragement. Marc sends a big thank you as well.

Nicisme November 12, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Dear Bri, I am so happy that you are healthy and happy. I cannot imagine going through all that you have been through – you are amazing!
Take care and keep writing.

Bri November 12, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Nic – Thanks so much for your encouragement and sweet words.

Tammy November 13, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Wow, what an amazing story. So glad you introduced me to your blog through your comment. Keep cooking and writing!

Bri November 13, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Tammy – Thanks so much for your comment. I’m up to the challenge!

Megan Montero November 19, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Hi Br,
thank you for your beautiful sharing. I feel very lucky to know you and grateful to be your friend. This picture of you and Marc is precious. You really do look different with straight/long hair!
I’ve been enjoying catching up on your blog and reading all the posts I havn’t read yet. You’ve been busy! Just yesterday we were picking apples and I was thinking of making an apple crisp using a pie crust I already have. Now I’ve seen your recipe and I will use it as my guide. thanks.
Marilyn shared a piece of your yummy banana bread with me.
Yesterday I made my nettle cornbread with the addition of apples for Marilyns house warming and thought of you(I made more today for us!)
Tell Marc I love his photography and I really love the food sculptures, he is an AMAZING artist. The potatoe turkey and I especially loved that squash rattle snake.
It was fun to see you both last week!
Much love and yummy dinners,
Megan

Bri November 20, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Megan – Thanks, you are such a sweetie! I’m glad you got to taste the banana bread. I’m going to post the recipe in a few days. Yeah, the apple crisp would be delicious with a bottom pie crust and the crisp topping. Yum, your nettle cornbread is delish! It’s true, Marc is an amazing artist. He never ceases to amaze me. He recently started two blogs of his own, that I put links to in the right sidebar. Wonderful to see you as well. Sending love and tasty treats back to you!

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