Breast Cancer – Reconstruction Surgery Results

Two years and 7 days ago, my wife had breast cancer surgery that eventually became a double mastectomy. Today, she had reconstructive surgery and once again is looking very bodacious for a 50 year old woman.

This is her time line from start to finish:

Breast Cancer Pink RibbonLori’s self examination 8 months after her annual mammogram revealed something suspicious. Her doctor moved quickly and set her up for immediate imaging tests. Another mammogram looked the same as the last, but an ultrasound showed an unusual mass. A biopsy was scheduled along with worst case scenario appointments. If the biopsy turned out to be malignant, my wife and doctor agreed that immediate action was the plan of choice.

We got the bad news a few days later and in a few more days, the mastectomy was done and a port was installed in her chest to deliver the upcoming chemo therapy. She was give a month to heal from the surgery before eight rounds of chemo was scheduled for every other week. The chemo affected her to the point that the treatment was changed to every third week. She finished these treatments about 5 and a half months after the initial surgery.

Two weeks of rest was followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment. The treatment was very harsh on her chest skin and also affected her esophogus. Both of these areas had to heal before any reconstruction could be done.

Today is 2 years and a week after her original surgery, and a year and a half after her final radiation treatment.  It has been a long haul.

Women who get a mastectomy are entitled by law to receive reconstructive breast surgery. We found a nearby surgeon in Detroit, Michigan, to do the reconstruction.  Dr. Mariam Awada of the Michigan Cosmetic Surgery group in Southfield, is our doctor of choice. We cannot say enough good things about her professionalism, skill, client recommendations, and bedside manner.  She even let us sample the saline and the silicone versions–the silicone won hands down. Lori has been told by Dr. Awada to start wearing tight fitting tops to show off her new look.  After all, everyone is going to notice, people are going to be curious, and Lori is not shy about telling her story to anyone who wants to know.

We are not done yet.  The nipple has not yet been formed.  Dr. Awada told us that if she had formed the nipple today, it would not be permanent.  So, we have to wait some more. Another 6 months and Lori will be healed enough so an artificial nipple can be formed from existing skin. She will also do any reshaping of the breast, if necessary.   At some point, the doctor will also tattoo an areola to complete the visual appearance of the breast reconstruction.

It is only 12 hours after the surgery and my wife is happy–vicodin is keeping her pain free–but more important, she looks good.  She is happy to be this close to being back to normal. I am happy because I was able to accept her physical shortcomings for the past 2 years and now I can be seen with a woman who is  pretty hot for her age.  Guys like me are lucky to be with gals like her.

Our life is an open book.  So if you are visiting the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan, and have any questions about anything related to breast cancer or reconstructive surgery, we will talk to you.  No one should sit around and hope for their cancer to go away.  No one should think less of themselves because they are considering reconstructive surgery.  Taking action can very often prolong a life and give it quality.  We have no regrets.

Life is good in Jonesville.

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Published in: on February 14, 2009 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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