Shari

It has been almost one year since my mammogram that I initially didn't think was necessary again at my young age. I had one at 37 and at my physical, my Dr. suggested that it was 5 years, I should do one. I did that week and knew during the mammogram that they possibly had seen something after a few different looks. Within a couple of days, I was called and referred for a biopsy although most seemed optimistic that it was really nothing, I was a realist and prepared myself. That seemed like a long wait but in reality, it was about 6 weeks. Within 10 days of the biopsy, I was told that there was "good news/bad news", I asked for the bad news first. I had DCIS in my left breast but it was curable. Thus, my journey began.
 
My children left for a long anticipated trip the next day. I had recently become a single parent and chose not to tell them and find out what I needed to and get prepared. After their return and breaking this news to them (harder than the divorce news) I had the lumpectomy mid April/09.
 
Shortly thereafter, I decided to get a 2nd opinion by Dr. McIntosh and I will be forever grateful for her candor and support regarding my situation as a single, young mother wanting to do all that I could for a long life with my two children. I found out all that I could about reconstruction and met with Dr. Buchel in May and was scheduled within 2 weeks for the reconstruction. I am a tinier person but only had the breast to do so he could make it work. I struggled with the surgery and scars and how much that would change my body and my psyche. My 14 year old daughter put it best, to stop waffling and do it because it was "just a boob", I was more than just. I was inspired by her outlook and body image and on June 5th had the long surgery of mastectomy/reconstruction.
 
I was home within a few days and although being without a partner was not how one should have to go through this, I learned to accept help which was always difficult for me. My friends brought us food, were there for my kids and took me to appts. I do not have family here but now know that I do, them. My kids were amazing with my daughter sleeping next to me as I stayed in my recliner and helped me with my drains, bandages and of course, keeping me pretty with those white tights, lol!
 
Shortly thereafter, I realized I was coping for others and needed to face some of what had happened instead of being on auto-pilot. I was confused because when I finally had my life in a good place, I was side swiped by this semi. But, I have learned that this journey just took a detour and I will pay attention to all the road signs that I didn't before.I am so very grateful for everything that I have in my life today.
 
I had my nipple done in September with another small touch up on my tummy then again this Jan/10. I have also done the recell which is newer and we are optimistically waiting to see results. This procedure changed my outlook even more and I am so pleased with that decision.
 
I am awed by the team of Dr. Buchel. Heather and Trevor have seen me cry and ask very personal things all the while being professional but showing their personal compassion. They are angels and I could not have endured this without their confidence & talent. Dr. Buchel - he is the best and I have taken his lead from day 1 knowing he will do what he can to get me to as close as I was pre mastectomy.
 
I come out of the shower now and I smile at the mirror and look straight at it! Although I ? if a new partner may be able to accept it, I am the one that has to and I am very accepting of who I am.
 
I hope my story of facing this adversity and knowing that there are options, regardless of the challenges, can be conquered. I will thrive in spite of the cancer diagnosis and lead a very long and happy life.
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Check out the video at winnipegwomen.net of Dr. Ed Buchel in the Operating Room demonstrating some of the surgical and patient monitoring equipment purchased by Keeping Abreast.

Thank you Glenn Tinley and Winnipeg Women Magazine!

River Park Flooring will be presenting their annual Breast Ever Flooring Sale on Saturday, September 28th, with proceeds going to Keeping Abreast!

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