A diagnosis of breast cancer can change a woman’s life, and the path back to normalcy is not always a smooth one. Even after treatment has been completed, there can still be months or even years of rehabilitation and recovery before a patient feels as though they have really gotten their life back. This is particularly true in the case of Katie, one of Dr. Philip Beegle’s Breast Reconstruction Spotlight Patients. As we know from our regular Katie’s Journal blog posts, her journey through treatment, reconstruction, and recovery has been long and difficult, with many detours along the way. However, she has finally started to feel normal again and describes her thoughts and experiences over the past few months.
Just over a year ago, in December of 2016, I underwent a Bilateral Mastectomy with Free Tram Breast Reconstruction procedure with Dr. Philip Beegle, after having been diagnosed with breast cancer back in April of that same year. Four months ago (back in September 2017) I underwent the second stage of my Staged Breast Reconstruction with Dr. Beegle. It has been a long journey, full of many ups and downs, but one which I am happy to say is finally coming to a conclusion. I definitely look forward to starting a new chapter in my life.
Looking back over these past twelve months brings a lot of emotion to mind. Despite the initial shock of being diagnosed with cancer, I will say that initially it took a couple of months to bounce back from the initial reconstruction. Recovering after breast reconstruction is never easy, and a Free Tram procedure is very extensive. I have found that it has been a big adjustment to adapt to my ‘new body’ and honestly I have had difficulty accepting it. I mean, what is the image of a woman who has had reconstruction after breast cancer? While there is less fat on my body, my reconstructed breasts are smaller and I still worry about how the scars will look. It has also affected my confidence regarding my sex appeal. (Yes, even at 65 there is concern about sex appeal!)
So even though it has been a roller coaster ride, emotionally-speaking, now, a year later, I am feeling so much better! My breasts both look and feel pretty good and everything has healed very well. I do still experience some occasional discomfort, but now I can even roll over in bed without holding onto the headboard, which is a great improvement! I am back to work and regularly engage in social activities. Basically, I am living my life and really enjoying it!
It is truly amazing what Dr. Beegle’s team has been able to create. We are fortunate as women today to have the options that are available when diagnosed with breast cancer. While my body does not look or feel exactly the same, I am confident that with time I will see even more improvement. I am so very grateful for Dr. Philip Beegle, his PA Maura, and the rest of his team, along with all the other doctors, assistants, and nurses that were there for me and who helped me throughout this past year. One thing is for sure: it certainly takes a team!
Every breast reconstruction patient is unique, but Katie’s Journal helps shed light on some of the things that every patient experiences. If you are undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy for the treatment of breast cancer and would like to find out more about your own breast reconstruction options, please contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle to schedule a consultation at our Summit Aesthetic Surgery location in Newnan, GA. Please follow me on social media and get the latest news here at Blogging for Breast Care.