My journey began July 2015. I had made lifestyle changes at the beginning of the year, with a healthier diet and daily exercise resulting in a 30 pound weight loss. I was thrilled with my progress until one day, kind of out of nowhere, my breasts went way down south. I decided I needed a breast lift with augmentation, and so my search for a plastic surgeon began. I googled the best plastic surgeon in GA, leading me to Dr. Diane Alexander. I read everything I could find about her and was confident with my choice. After making my appointment, I had to wait 9 weeks to see her, and this made me even more confident with my choice. When my husband got home from work, I showed him all my information about Artisan Plastic Surgery and Dr. Alexander. Then I waited, feeling like a kid at Christmas.
My first consultation with Dr. Alexander was very in-depth. I told her that day I was ready to schedule surgery. I remember her telling me the tissue removed during surgery would be sent to pathology. Of course I did not think twice about this; my doctor also requested a mammogram report no older than 6 months, and mine was 5 months old at the time of my consultation. Surgery day came and all went so smoothly. The excitement of getting something I was not born with made me fearless! My breasts were the prettiest breasts I had ever seen!
Then came my first week post op appointment. When Dr. Alexander came in the room, she greeted us and pulled her chair close to me and my husband…and my heart fell. I think I knew there were bad news at that moment. Dr. Alexander took my hand and said, “Remember I told you we would send the tissue for pathology testing.” Before she could say it, I knew I had breast cancer. She had tears in her eyes and of course the first thing I said was, “But these are beautiful and I am going to lose them.” Dr. Alexander promised that she would make them even more beautiful! And I believed her.
I was diagnosed with stage 0 ductal carcinoma after undergoing a double mastectomy. My cancer was aggressive, and my oncologist explained to me how lucky I was to have found the cancer early. It did not show up on my mammogram, I could not feel it, and I felt great. When I was told within Two years my story would be a lot different.
What I want other women to understand is not all plastic surgeons doing a breast lift send the tissue to pathology! I didn’t know that and don’t understand it now! Taking extra steps and being a good doctor can save lives and be the difference in how a person’s story ends. Because I chose the best—Artisan Plastic Surgeons—my story will have a happy ending. I have one more reconstructive surgery to go (to make the nipples) but I have to say, my breast are so beautiful even without the nipples. I owe my life to Dr. Alexander, I truly do. The staff and everyone I have come in contact with are so professional and caring. The day I was diagnosed, the staff and nurses cried with me and reassured me that I would be fine…and I am. I am forever grateful, Candice Franklin (Candi)