The Perfect Breast Shape and Plastic Surgery

How I got to the “Breast” Shape Ever Twitter is such a valuable tool for me. A year ago my Twitter account was full of nothing but educational websites. I returned to school to attain my M.Ed. and I used it for the sole purpose of gathering information about the latest “speak” in education. I did not tweet, like, retweet, or DM (direct message). I only lurked and learned. The lurking and learning changed in October of 2014. School ended for me to focus on my health.  My Twitter account went from education to all things breast cancer and breast reconstruction. I entered the world of plastic surgery as a breast reconstruction patient after undergoing a double mastectomy following a second breast cancer diagnosis. It was a world I was unfamiliar with and had much to learn about both on an academic and emotional level. I was now following, being Continue Reading →

Breast Cancer Education Act

A Time to Educate I have spoken to many women in the past six months since I became an advocate for breast reconstruction.  I am frequently reminded by these women that the education, resources and information is simply not being discussed at the first stages of a cancer diagnosis.  I was fortunate to have the information regarding my choices for breast reconstruction the day I was told I was going to have a double mastectomy due to a second recurrence of breast cancer.  I want every woman to be able to have that conversation with their physician.  The front line of education has to start in the health care community.  We can add outreach through support of this bill. A Call for Support I invite each of you to explore the information provided by Breast Reconstruction USA.  Write or call your local representative and ask them to reintroduce this bill Continue Reading →

How Has Breast Cancer Changed You?

How Has Breast Cancer Changed You? Cancer: Connections & Catalyst Many articles and questions are posed:   “How has breast cancer changed you?” Here is one example  from the About Health website, just one from a myriad of articles published after doing a quick search on the topic. I think it’s fair to ask that question to anyone in any phase of life. How has the news of the day changed you? How has having children changed you? How has visiting a foreign country changed you? How has being married changed you? How has being divorced changed you? How has changing your hair color changed you? How has losing weight changed you? How has becoming a vegan changed you? Blah, blah, blah and on and on…… Individuals and Change Individuals are affected by events in life in either very positive ways or extremely negative ways.  So OK!! We’re all individuals Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction Fears After Mastectomy

Breast Reconstruction Fears After Mastectomy Breast reconstruction fears after a mastectomy and not knowing all of the steps involved prevent many women from making the decision to move forward with reconstruction.  My breast reconstruction journey began when I had my annual mammogram on April 2, 2014.  My radiologist informed me that the mass she found in my right breast was highly suspicious of cancer.  I had to return to her office the next day to confirm that with a core needle biopsy (CNB). The results were ready five days later. My radiologist asked me the day she took the CNB if I knew of any breast surgeons since that is who would be reviewing the results of the biopsy with me. I had been to see one about five years previously to have a benign cyst removed close to my areola. I was very impressed with the surgeon so asked Continue Reading →

Diagnosis #2

Don’t Panic I was diligent about scheduling my yearly mammograms and equally as diligent about doing my breast self-exams. I had my yearly physical in late January and neither I nor my Primary Care physician felt anything suspicious in my breasts. Then as I was lying in bed one morning doing a self exam I left a bit of a thickness in my left breast. I decided not to panic or jump to any conclusions based on two rationale. The first one being that I frequented the gym and did weight training three times a week. That was the delusional/hopeful side of me. I feel great! It’s just all that strength training and new muscles. The second and more practical side of me was that I had my mammogram scheduled in three weeks and we’ll just (fingers crossed) get it checked then. April 2 arrived and off I went for Continue Reading →

Ta Ta for Now ~ The Double Mastectomy

Ta Ta for now ~ The days leading up to my mastectomy were a real mix of emotions. Our youngest son was still living with us at the time and finishing up a second degree. We welcomed him home after teaching English overseas for a year and we were quite happy he decided to be frugal and “room with the P’s” while paying for and completing his second degree. Our oldest son came down from Seattle to be here for Mother’s Day prior to my surgery “just because”. He arrived on May 6th, returned home to his lovely wife on the 13th only to return on the 19th to be here for my recovery after surgery. The 19th was his birthday. Who is lucky enough to have sons so great? Me!!   It was a fantastic week before the mastectomy sharing time with the family. Being surrounded by my husband and Continue Reading →