September 11, 2012, already a bad day for our country and now even more so for myself and my family. I, Judy, heard those words every woman dreads to hear. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I always thought myself to be pretty healthy. I eat well and have exercised for many, many years now. A memo to myself and all the other women out there, “do NOT be late with your yearly mammogram”. I was a year and half late with mine. Had I been on time I may not have had to do 4 months of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation. Early detection is a must! Was I really that busy to neglect myself? As Mom’s, sometimes we are….
The first thing I said was, “I can’t do that, I can’t lose my hair…my job is to be on TV and look like Joy. We are twins! Well…. cancer doesn’t care about a job, your hair, a heartbroken family or anything else for that matter. My oncologist recommended that I get a wig before my chemotherapy started. They stress that if you look and feel more like yourself you will do better with the treatment. So…….the wig hunt began. It was awful, we went everywhere in the tri-state area and nothing was acceptable. And then we heard about Lucinda’s Hair and Wigs in Cheshire, Ct. A tiny little lady with a big personality. Lucinda greeted us at the door and won us over with her knowledge and compassion within minutes. We were totally blown away. I loved and wanted every wig she brought out and so did Joy. Ohhh did I mention…. in every picture on this website I am wearing a wig?….and so is Joy!!! Joy became jealous that I was always ready in seconds with no stress about my hair, and it always looked so beautiful, so she wears one now all the time!
We slowed down a bit, as far as TV appearances, during my treatment time but continued to write our newspaper columns, blogs and radio spots promoting our brand.
I also realized that all of the foods I was craving were the pasta recipes that my Mom would make from our childhood. Macaroni and meatballs, cheesy lasagna, and just about anything pasta. These meals were not the healthy choices the doctors were recommending. I desperately needed to feed my soul with the comforting recipes from my Italian childhood. With that said, Joy and I decided we would rewrite those treasured favorites and use healthier ingredients…not an easy task for Italians!
Joy physically dragged the couch from the family room into the kitchen so I could lay down while she stood at the stove. We just kept testing, tasting and rewriting Moms recipes……. and our cookbook was born,. We like to call it, The Traditional &The Twist.
I would also like to leave you with one more thought for yourself or someone dear to you who is battling this disease….there is life after cancer. Stay true to who you are during this time. Even if it is so difficult to get up and do your favorite activity, whatever it is….DO IT, push yourself and do what you love because there is an end in site and life is even sweeter than it was before.
Dr. Shareef Jandali is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. He completed his residency training at the University of Pennsylvania. He performs a high volume of oncoplastic partial mastectomy reconstruction to avoid deformities of the breast after radiation therapy. He also performs mastectomy reconstruction with cutting-edge techniques like nipple sparing mastectomy reconstruction, one stage direct-to-implant reconstruction, and DIEP flap reconstruction using abdominal tissue.
Follow Jandali Plastic Surgery on Instagram! https://instagram.com/jandaliplasticsurgery/
- Jasmine Lengyel, LPN Jandali Plastic Surgery 5520 Park Ave, Suite 305 Trumbull, CT 06611
Dr Leonaura is a mom on a mission to help other moms reduce stress, find balance and improve their health and wellbeing.
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Author of Beyond Soccer Mom: Strategies for a fabulous, balanced life
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Lucinda’s Hair and Boutique is a Full Service Salon that specializes in hair extensions and additions. All of our stylists are highly educated in color theory, precision hair cutting and styling techniques. We profile each individual in order to customize the best style to compliment your personality and lifestyle.
If you are experiencing temporary or permanent hair loss due to fine thin hair, male or female pattern hair loss, chemotherapy, alopecia, trichotillomania or other forms of medically related hair loss, we have solutions to meet your specific needs.
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