LIVESTRONG:

What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).


So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.


I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

WARNING:
Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

After Mastectomy ~ Reconstruction or Not

Nearly six years ago, when first diagnosed with breast cancer, the first thoughts of considering reconstruction after mastectomy occurred, if that became my surgery requirement. 

Then, back then in July 2011, even with what was expected to be a lumpectomy, reconstruction came up again. The thought was that to conserve as much of my breast, a plastic surgeon should be consulted, which I did. And I decided against any extra surgeries, implants, or any of those options. But the plastic surgeon was very perseverant. So much so that soon after my lumpectomy, and before radiation (as reconstruction cannot be performed after radiation as the skin becomes too damaged for good results) he called personally himself yet again almost insistent that I come in to see him. I tried to turn him down, but then decided that another consult wouldn't hurt.

During my appointment with the plastic surgeon, he showed me many pictures on his camera of breasts that he had successfully reconstructed. (Go to the link above for the Blog post on this in July 2011, although I really down played his persistence back then.) I had to be pretty forceful and explain to him that I was happy with the look I had while dressed, my nipple was preserved, and while my breast was reduced in size considerably and deformed in shape, it filled my bra out pretty well, and I was good with that. I mean, I was 57 years old, overweight, and rarely wore a tank top. As I told him, "I didn't plan to wear a bikini any time soon." Reluctantly, he stopped calling me and let me be. I knew he was a professional, and apparently a perfectionist at his profession, but his persistence was a bit over the top, in my mind.

This subject arose again recently when I met with Dr. Elboim to discuss the upcoming mastectomy, if  my breast had healed up enough for the surgery. First off this won't be happening any time soon for reasons mentioned in this previous post. And it is apparent that there are new complications to prevent any further talk of reconstruction, which is quite fine by me.

But thinking back on this whole experience has reminded me what it was like. I am here to say that it is OK to chose it one way or the other, reconstruction or going flat. We as women have that choice, and no professional, plastic surgeon or otherwise, male or female, should try to make us feel like we don't have that choice, or that one way is the "right" way. But to help those torn with the decision, here is a wonderful article at Breastcancer.org to help you. Just click on the text below to navigate to this article.


I hope this helps!




Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes.





Die cancer, DIE. You are messing with the wrong woman!!

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
B E L I E V E

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
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