Who knew 2014 would be such an eventful year. On January 2, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was told it was a very aggressive type of breast cancer. This of course led to many appointments with many different doctors. I started chemo on January 16th.
After I discovered my breast lump, and while I was awaiting the results of my testing, my husband I discussed what I would want to do if the test showed I had breast cancer. I knew then, that I would want breast reconstruction if it was an option for me. I am young, only 40 years old, have a young daughter, enjoy the outdoors and knew a prosthesis would not be my choice.
When I met with my breast surgeon, she informed me that only a lumpectomy was recommended. My husband and I had discussed having bilateral mastectomy because no one could confirm that I would not have a recurrence breast cancer in my other breast. I also did not want to go through this ever again. As I discussed this desire with my surgeon, she informed me that she can do ‘co-surgery” with a plastic surgeon so that I could start the reconstruction process immediately. I met with a couple of plastic surgeons and after consulting with Dr. Jewell I made my decision to have him perform my reconstruction.
On May 27th I underwent my bilateral mastectomy and began my reconstruction. Dr. Jewell and my surgeon worked together to remove the breast tissue, but spare the skin, nipple and areola. My expanders were placed I am almost completely filled at this point. I will be starting radiation therapy soon and once that is completed Dr. Jewell and I will begin making plans for my permanent implants. It made a difference to me that I could begin my reconstruction at the time of my mastectomy because I felt like I was eliminating one surgery and that gave me the “peace of mind that I was coming out of surgery but already starting the next step.”