My mother, several aunts, cousins and one uncle have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past several years and generations ago. (Just tie a pink ribbon around my ole family tree). I was diagnosed on December 20th, 2010. Due to my family history, several high risk/benign findings on my mammograms and a biopsy, I decided to be a Previvor. Definition: One who tries to avoid breast cancer by having preventative breast surgery to lower one’s risk of getting breast cancer… needless to say I had bilateral total skin sparing mastectomies with tissue expanders inserted. On that same day, I was diagnosis with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). Previvor – not so for me and my story! The pathology showed very microscopic yet very malignant findings.
I feel very blessed to have great family, friends, coworkers and medical team in my life. And to have been diagnosed with a very early stage cancer – Stage 0.
Upon healing from my surgery, I then had seven weeks of radiation. I graduated from radiation with a certificate of completion. (Yes, I am a Rad Grad). My mother, Emily, was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after my last day of radiation treatments. I helped my mother through her doctor appointments, biopsy and surgery – as she and others helped me through my “Breast Cancer stuff”.
On July 18th 2011 I had the tissue expanders removed (by then my radiation burns successfully healed) and had bilateral breast reconstruction. The DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforators) reconstruction consisted of using my own tissue “to put me back together again.”
I really am whole now and healthier now. I have a better quality of life and am truly blessed to have a great medical team perform such great, professional work with me and my body.