Joan N.

When you live your life, you seem to always find time to sit down and picture the perfect little things that combine together to make you, you. If you are anything like me, you live your life until the inevitable happens… death. Once I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September 2016, my second journey of battling cancer, life as I once knew it suddenly changed. I felt as if I was defeated, however, despite my odds, I chose to fight.

Within two weeks after my diagnosis, a collaborative effort from my surgeons devised my plan for the best possible outcome of beating this cancer, and I had taken off of work from September 2016 to December 2016.  A Bilateral Mastectomy with tissue expanders being placed simultaneously for reconstruction surgery was scheduled. After surgery, I started my six rounds of chemotherapy and 32 treatments of radiation was scheduled to follow that. I finished my last radiation treatment in March 2017. I had a year to wait to begin reconstruction due to radiation.

During that next year, my body went through the unthinkable. I experienced two failed tissue expanders, which was treated with two major surgeries. I dealt with infection after infection. The chemo damaged my body to where I was so weak it would hurt to walk. My entire body had edema and swelling.

After my one year waiting period was over, I was then eligible for reconstruction surgery. Reconstruction surgery was scheduled for March 2018. The surgery was successful.

Ten days post-op from my reconstruction surgery, I had developed a nasty infection. My surgeon scheduled yet another surgery (surgery #6) to remove the breast implants on the right side.

Since this surgery, the only way I can receive reconstructive surgery is to do a flap procedure, which is the removal of skin from one area of my body (belly or back) and form a breast out of the flap. I chose not to do this because I am done and do not want any more surgeries.

Now, I am back at work. I am doing well, and my life has resumed like it had before my diagnosis. Thank God I am now cancer free.

-Joan N.