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BRAve Face for Breast Reconstruction AwarenessUpdated October 21, 2014
My Brave Face Story
Eight years ago, July third 2006 to be exact, I was lucky enough to be receiving the “Breast Augmentation” of my dreams. Not because I was vain, but because I had put my time in as a young mother and I wanted to get myself back to feeling sexy. Who would have known that the procedure would prove to be the reason that I survived having breast cancer? Three weeks post augmentation I noticed a burning in my breast that didn’t feel right. I called Dr. Jewell and he ordered the necessary exam. That next week I received the dreaded phone call…” Angie, we are so sorry to tell you this, you have breast cancer.”
The next few days were a blurr, appointment after appointment, multiple tests and a visit to an Oncologist. I decided to take a breath and started to take an active role in advocating for my rights and my health. I decided to consult with Dr. Jewell and his team to discuss my options for mastectomy with reconstruction. I was upset that I had just received the augmentation and now I was headed for a mastectomy. “What are the odd’s?” I asked, “why me, why now?” Dr. Jewell looked at me and said “ this is so very rare and so new to me but the augmentation pushed the tumor to the top of your breast tissue and that is how it was detected.” At that moment my outlook changed, the implants had saved my life. The small tumors were not detected on my pre-surgery mammogram and without the augmentation, there was no telling how far it would have spread before detection.
Fast forward to October 2006, I asked all of my friends, family and Dr.Jewell’s amazing team to please wear pink panties on the day of my mastectomy. This is now known as “The Pink Pantie Brigade.” The morning of my surgery I felt strong, loved and empowered in the fact that I had made decisions to do things my way. I knew that I would be able to keep the implants intact and have the tumor and tissue removed safely. Leaving the implants in served as a tissue expansion that one year later led to the most incredible reconstruction that I could have hoped for. No they aren’t real, but heck, the real ones tried to kill me! I am thankful for what I have, the options that I was given and for the knowledge of Dr. Jewell and his staff. Together we decided what was best for me and today I live a happy, spunky, sexy life as a cancer survivor and warrior.