Beatrice: two years after breast cancer and breast reconstruction
Without the physicians who are experts to their fields and dedicated to their patients, I would not be so lucky and confident in my life. My story began on May 25, 2005. My radiologist found calcifications on my left breast mammogram. She suggested I have a needle biopsy on 06/09/05. Three days later she called me at work and asked me “Can you talk?” I knew that means something horrible. My heart started pumping so fast. And then she said “Your left breast has breast cancer — DCIS.” I was shocked and wanted to cry. I asked her what I should do. She told me to go to my primary physician and get a referral for surgery. I was 61 years old at the time. I never smoked in my life. There is no family history of breast cancer. I have had a mammogram every year since I was 40.
My primary care doctor saw me on 06/14/05 and referred me to a breast surgeon who saw me on 06/23/05. I had a lumpectomy on 7/12/05, but the margins were positive. After two weeks, I had a second lumpectomy on 7/25/05. Again, the margins were positive. I wanted to cry and asked her why a –0- stage gives me so much trouble. After discussing with my husband, I decided to have mastectomy and TRAM flap reconstruction, so I would not feel I lost any part of my body.
Breast reconstruction has made my life after breast cancer happier than before. I have a better figure now. My bra was used to be 34A. Now I need a 36B. My fat in my belly area is gone. All my friends praise me that the older I am the better I look. Of course I have to pay the price for this situation. After I woke up from the mastectomy and TRAM operation, I felt so painful. It was so tight between my chest and stomach. I had to bend my body for almost 3 weeks. My husband had to help me drain the fluid from my surgery sites for two weeks. I could not walk or lie straight; I had to sleep on sofa for 2 weeks with sitting position. Pain pills helped me through this awful period. After five months, I had a second surgery on 2/24/06 for left nipple and areola reconstruction and right breast implant for symmetry. Nine months later, the third surgery was performed on 11/21/06. After all of this, I am so satisfied with all of the treatments. I appreciate so much all of my Doctors.