I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer at age 44 in 1994. My treatment included mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I am telling you my story to let women know not to just accept everything that the specialists advise but to follow a course of action that feels instinctively right. After one mastectomy, the conserved breast eventually developed three new cancers, one at the original site of the lumpectomy and two other cancers. I wanted bilateral mastectomy at the time of my original diagnosis but my surgeon was very much against this option, telling me that I was cured. Further to this when I was diagnosed in 2001 with a recurrence, I again requested mastectomy and reconstruction and again I was beaten down due to the diagnosis and the surgeon’s opinion.
Finally, last year I underwent reconstruction of both breasts by a surgeon who was compassionate and caring. This surgery cost me a great deal of money, I am privately insured, but the science has not been accepted by Medicare yet! I would like to share my story so other women can use their own knowledge and ask for a second opinion. Additionally, I was a registered nurse and thought I would be capable of standing up for myself but with the diagnoses, I was just another woman with breast cancer!
I joined register4 to join the community to support cancer research. With every person that joins we can really make a contribution to helping our researchers fast-track cancer research.