From the diagnosis of stage two cancer in November 2003, to the self made decision of right mastectomy and prophylactic left, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, the discussion of breast reconstruction was not at the top of mind. I was unable to consider going forward until I felt I successfully dealt with the cancer at hand.

Consideration for immediate reconstruction was not an option as it was not available at that time. A year or so would pass, and I now felt emotionally, physically and mentally empowered to consider reconstruction. In an effort to resume and regain normalcy for myself, this next stage was imperative. I set out to research my options and was saddened by the fact neither of the two selections available were sensible. My main focus was rebuilding my strength and health. I was not prepared to compromise my physical being, as a result of the two alternatives, being saline breast implants or Tram flap. With saline implants I ran the risk of scar tissue and infection, and because of the radiation I received, that risk increases to 40 or 50%. With the Tram Flap the risks were far greater, in that I sacrifice my abdominal muscles, which suggest significant pain in recovery, and sometimes permanent weakness.

However, in my findings, I became aware that there was a procedure most commonly done in the States called the Diep Flap. I knew this would be an alternative I would be comfortable with, as it was a far less invasive procedure, however…it was not available in Winnipeg. I acknowledged the fact that this next important stage was not to be, and I accepted it as that. I knew I had to make peace with what was supposed to be my “new normal”.

A few months later, I heard about the procedure being available at the Health Sciences Centre by Dr. Ed Buchel…How ECSTATIC I was. Shortly after, the breast reconstruction was successfully performed. Could I have survived without my breasts?? Ya sure….but the choice to have reconstruction wasn’t about getting my beauty back, it was about regaining femininity, and a host of other personal reasons I am sure we all have. Frankly, who’s business is it anyway why we choose to have reconstruction?? 

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Check out the video at 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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