Breast Cancer Patients Paying It Forward

Breast Cancer Patients Paying It Forward I have met so many breast cancer patients paying it forward after they have been diagnosed with the disease. I see these pay it forward breast cancer survivors writing blogs and sharing their lived experience. Some breast cancer survivors have opened nonprofit organizations to support and assist others going through healing and recovering from the devastation this disease can have on a person. Still others have become fierce advocates. They research and explore the science of breast cancer, clinical trials or they “go to the hill” to make policy changes in breast cancer care. It is inspiring and honestly keeps me focused and stimulated to continue my own DiepCFoundation work. I was recently the beneficiary of a breast cancer patient paying it forward from her own nonprofit organization, Nadia Strong, Beautiful Beyond Breast Cancer. Nadia’s mission is to empower women through breast cancer with Continue Reading →

Two-Year Post DIEP Anniversary

Two-Year Post DIEP Anniversary Today, December 1, 2016 marks my two-year post DIEP anniversary.  Anniversaries are for remembering and celebrating.  That is what I’d like to do in this blog as I recall some of the memories etched in my mind from this day two years ago, in 2014 when my life and my breasts were rebuilt after living with a mastectomy and no breasts for seven long and difficult months.  I want to share those bright moments from that day, fun things I remember, and give hope to those who are newly diagnosed or have their breast reconstruction date on the calendar soon. Good-bye Boobs in a Box! I remember looking at my prosthesis the morning I got up to prepare for surgery.  I bid them a formal and fond farewell as I placed them in the box for the last time.  I traveled with that box more than Continue Reading →

A Letter to My DIEP Flap Sisters

A Letter to My DIEP Flap Sisters I hear from a number of DIEP flap sisters when they are having upcoming surgery for phase one or two of breast reconstruction. Some currently have cancer. Others have gone through their cancer surgery and treatments and are at the point they can now physically proceed with DIEP flap surgery. There are those of you who are having prophylactic mastectomies due to a gene mutation and still others are ready to complete phase two and finalize their journey. There is excitement and exuberance in their comments. I am so excited I have a date for my surgery! My insurance has been accepted for my DIEP flap! My surgery is just two weeks away! I will be able to look back soon on this entire process and be able to move on! I know how you feel. I sense your anticipation in removal of Continue Reading →

Delayed DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction

Delayed DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction ~ My Story Delayed DIEP flap breast reconstruction, my story, my experience, will hopefully give others considering this method some insight into your planning. In a perfect world immediate reconstruction, that is, reconstruction done at the same time as the mastectomy, results in the best possible aesthetic outcomes for a number of reasons.  But, we all know that breast cancer is not a perfect world. There are reasons that patients have delayed reconstruction: Adjuvant therapy Adjuvant therapy may be necessary after a mastectomy. If there are lymph nodes that have tested positive for cancer and chemotherapy or radiation is recommended, this could delay your reconstruction. My story: No lymph nodes tested positive and radiation was not deemed necessary. However, because of the type of cancer I had, left breast recurrence from twelve years previously and a new cancer in my right breast, I was encouraged Continue Reading →