DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction: Did I make the right choice?

DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction: Did I make the right choice? YES! I did make the right choice having DIEP flap breast reconstruction! Each December marks another year and anniversary of my DIEP flap surgery. I remember so much about the dark, cool, morning we left for the hospital. I was calm, prepared, and ready December 1, 2014. The time between my double mastectomy in mid-May of 2014 and my breast reconstruction were some of the most trying days of my life. In 2002, after my first breast cancer diagnosis, I had been through 2 surgeries, eighteen weeks of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of daily radiation. This was physically demanding because I was so sick and felt so weak. Fast forward twelve years to 2014. Waiting for my breast reconstruction was psychologically trying. Each month that passed after my double mastectomy only decreased my self-image as a woman due to Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day BreastReconstruction Awareness Day has gone global and that’s great news for breast cancer patients!  The focus of these events is to educate and raise awareness about options for breast reconstruction after mastectomy.  Many of these events are held in the month of October in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The choice to have breast reconstruction is a very personal one.  It involves a great deal of planning and requires a lot of information to make the best possible decision for each individual patient, both female and male.  It is not for everyone but the key take away and message of the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day campaign is that everyone has the right to be given the information and to be educated about this topic. Breast Reconstruction after mastectomy is rarely a one-step surgical procedure.  Most reconstruction options require more than one stage.  What are those Continue Reading →

Parallels between Fly Fishing and Breast Reconstruction

Parallels between Fly Fishing and Breast Reconstruction Do fly fishing and breast reconstruction have anything in common you might ask? Let’s explore some facts and then I’ll tell you about my own personal experience at the Casting for Recovery event I attended. First of all a bit of history about the program directly from their website: Casting for Recovery was founded in 1996 in Manchester, Vermont, by a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. Casting for Recovery’s innovative program focuses on breast cancer survivor-ship and improving quality of life, and has garnered endorsements from medical and psychosocial experts. Awarded 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1998, Casting for Recovery has inspired international efforts in Canada, UK/Ireland and New Zealand.  To date, Casting for Recovery has conducted more than 500 retreats, serving nearly 7,000 women nationwide.  In 2014, we held 42 retreats in 36 states, serving 600 women. I am going to take the Continue Reading →