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Nice comment from nipple sparing mastectomy patient

Monday, August 15th, 2011, 8:06 pm

Reflections one year later, ” I will remember when”…

Postby LISAMG » 8/14/2011, 10:15 pm

…I had my first encounter with BC when my paternal grandma [aka grammie] died at the age 0f 52. I was 10 years old and the “C” word was like the forbidden “F” word, never spoken. My maternal grandmother had died when i was 5, but thats about all i remember of her.

…My mom’s sister developed BC during my late teenager years. She died a few years later. It was years following that i learned my paternal great gm died of OVCA in her mid forties, but i managed to conceal this and never thought much of it.

…Another aunt had BC too, but later died of other causes.

…I had my first surgical breast biopsy in 2005 to rule out Pagets Disease after unsuccessful treatment with a dermatologist. Thankfully, all was benign. This is when i first began to realize a hereditary/familial predisposition was a possibility.

…Exactly 4 months later, I found a lump in the same breast, but it too, was found to be benign.

…Four months passed and my younger cousin developed stage 2 BC at the age of 42.

…I found FORCE in February of 2006 as I was awaiting my genetic testing results. I tested negative for any BRCA mutation in March, but nobody had yet tested for a possible mutation in my family.

…During the summer of 2006, just 15 months after my first biopsy, i finally told my BS I wanted to remove my breasts. I was facing another surgical excision on the opposite breast for new onset bloody nipple discharge. Again, i dodged the bullet with hyperplasia and papilloma findings.

…My maternal aunt was diagnosed with stage 3C ovca just before the Christmas holiday, December 2007. She is also BRCA negative.

…I spent 4.5 years of trying to make a decision for myself, but stuck with surveillance until my tolerance wore me down ever so tirelessly.

…I had an atypical mole removed on my left chest above the breast one month prior to my NSM as per my surgical oncologist. All was OK. I also had a complex ovarian cyst that required repeat scans and blood work 2 months prior to my mastectomy date. I was on the verge of collapse, not knowing whether i would be having a PBM or a BSO. Thankfully, i was given the green light to proceed with MY choice.

…On the morning of August 10, 2010, I was given a new life, a new beginning with a sense of renewal, hope and empowerment. I received a priceless gift that was denied to both maternal/paternal grandmothers, aunts and cousins. Each one of these family members suffered from hereditary breast cancer. I refused to become another potential victim of this devastating familial disease.

As a result, I had a risk reducing bilateral total skin nipple/areola sparing mastectomy followed by immediate breast reconstruction. Not only does this “cutting edge” procedure allow many women a dramatic risk reduction, but it also provides us with a huge sense of normalcy and amazing outcomes, without compromising oncological safety. This is also in accordance with the latest research findings that continually demonstrate a broad acceptance and approval within the oncology community. It was the expertise, amazing skill, compassion and trust with my breast surgical oncologist [Richard Shapiro] that made this possible for myself. My PS [Nolan Karp] was equally impressive by fully restoring my breasts with such skillful artistry, leaving me with a natural appearance. Together they have formed a unique and highly skilled partnership. Many women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, whether they are a “previvor” like myself or survivors, have this gentler option. I truly feel as though I have lost nothing, but my risks.

…Another cousin was diagnosed with advanced BC at the age of 53 just one month after my PBM. She continues to battle the disease without an identifiable BRCA mutation.

…Sadly, my aunt dies of ovca after a courageous 3.5 year battle in June of this year.

…August 10, 2011 arrives!! My first anniversary & many many more yet to come, my new birthday, i feel…fortunate and ever so blessed. Its been an amazing journey. I hope to always remain a previvor. For those who are also previvors, may we all previve together, forever and ever. And for those less fortunate, may you always be a survivor, true inspirations for all of us. Finally, for all of our loved ones who have died of hereditary cancers or any cancer…We will always remember you & shall never forget how much our lives were touched by your brief and powerful presence as we seek a cure to end the deadly curse once and for all.

Posts: 3170
Joined: 2/20/2006, 10:21 am
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow…

Category: Breast Reconstruction

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