But December 10, 2012 was anything but. Literally at this time of day five years ago, I was in the pre-op room at Hoag hospital waiting to be wheeled into surgery to have my right breast removed. Hideous.
Dr. Lisa Guerra breast surgeon performed the mastectomy. Dr. Tenley Lawton plastic surgeon put in a tissue expander to prepare for breast reconstruction at a later date. An experience I wish I never had to experience. But I did.
Today five years later, it’s sunday and I am doing nothing. Literally. Why? Because I can. Fortunately I am healthy and cancer free giving me the choice to do what I want to do. I’m choosing to stay in, relax, watch TV, turn my brain off and do nothing.
I’m a lucky girl and I know it.
Devastating words I heard from my breast surgeon five years ago today. Due to my particular diagnosis, she said she would do a lumpectomy, but I would not look good, as well as she may not get clear margins. I’d be much better served with a single mastectomy followed by reconstruction she said.
She referred me to a plastic surgeon. After meeting with the plastic surgeon, against every fiber in my being and wailing nightly I went ahead and scheduled my surgery for December 10, 2012.
Four words said to me at 3:15pm October 30, 2012 at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. DEVASTATING!
Today, five years later I am cancer free, healthy, and in Las Vegas celebrating. Why did I come to Vegas? Because I can. I’m so grateful that today is a good day and I have the health and liberty to do as I please. I hope I never have to repeat that fateful day five years ago. My heart goes out to all the women and men who have and will hear those same four awful words.
So with the intent of offering hope to others, I am a success story. I’m not grateful I had cancer, I wish it never happened. I wish I had my real breast back, I really liked it. But cancer did happen to me, and I did have a single mastectomy. I am living proof that five years after a breast cancer diagnosis, one can not only survive but can thrive as well. I feel fantastic and can rock a fitted tee in Vegas better than most. #breastreconstruction
July 17, 2013. I can’t say anything positive about drains except when they are removed. That is a happy moment!
I had one drain put in when my plastic surgeon put in an implant to replace the tissue expander. Six very looooong days of what I am hoping is my very last drain forever.
For me this was the end of my surgery journey. My reconstruction is still fabulous, and I am cancer free to this day.
Thank you to my skilled surgeons. I look amazing!
July 11, 2013 I had my tissue expander removed (hallelujah!), and replaced with an implant (yay!).
Happiest day ever! If you have had the experience of a tissue expander In your chest for seven months, coupled with going through radiation, you know what I am talking about!
Four years later, my reconstruction still continues to be fantastic. I have no problems. And I’m still rocking a slightly too tight, low cut shirt better than most.
Thanks Dr. Lawton!