Dr. Sullivan Joins Compassion That Compels, Part 2
Stewart: What if someone doesn’t have that support system? Let’s say they come to you, and obviously, there is a sense of peace. We kind of jokingly call the Breast Center “The Spa” because it is so luxurious and just has this very peaceful feeling that kind of exudes from everybody that’s there. So, someone’s newly diagnosed. What would you say to her?
Dr. Sullivan: So, obviously, it’s overwhelming for them to hear that. However, I would offer for them just to take a pause. Don’t focus on your mortality or “What’s going to happen to my kids?” For breast cancer and all other cancers, there are different stages. There are different tissue types, cell types that have different prognoses, and for each one, there are options for treatment.
For breast cancer, it’s lumpectomy. Sometimes if you have precancerous stuff, you could even watch it and do hormone therapy. For those who want to have implant reconstruction with mastectomy, those options, the implants they have now are very, very good implants compared to what they were 10 years ago. For your own tissue type reconstruction, the innovations there have been pretty profound over the last decade, where we can surgically take some fat if you’re storing some fat from one location and transplant it to the breast to reconstruct the breast.
So, there are a lot of options. It’s important for patients to understand it. There are great support groups that they have, where patients and other survivors or previvors can also help with support and guidance. Their experiences are very important. There are other forums on the Internet that provide good information as well.
Stewart: At Compassion That Compels, we always refer to our beautiful women as “overcomers.” We say you’re an overcomer the second that you’re diagnosed so that it doesn’t have anything so much to do with — it’s not what you survive in this life. It’s what you overcome.
Dr. Sullivan: Sure.
Stewart: And that is something that I penned as I was recovering from my deep flap surgery and writing a discussion guide for one of our devotionals that’s in our bag and something else that I wanted to show you today. So, our Compassion bags are always our signature piece. They will always be a part of Compassion That Compels. They are the point of contact that we’ve reached these women, and we touched them with a hope and a love that nothing can ever take away from them. The bags will always be here, but we changed them just a little bit. Are you ready?
Dr. Sullivan: Yes, lay it on me. Let’s see. Drum roll, please.
Stewart: Dadadada! We changed our colors up a little bit, so it is very similar to the METAvivor ribbon, but because our bags are for women battling all types of cancer, we try to incorporate all of the colors that we possibly could, and our ovarian cancer overcomers, we love you. All of our sisters, we just want you to know that Compassion That Compels is here for you. The Breast Center is here for you, and I want to say thank you so much for coming today. I was so broken, and I did not know how to even reach for that life preserver, and I thank you for being tenacious, for being kind, for being understanding, and knowing that I know that cancer hijacks everybody’s life, and what you do for women in the fight of their lives, I can’t ever thank you enough, Dr. Sullivan.
Dr. Sullivan: Oh, thank you for your trust.
Dr. Scott Sullivan continues his conversation with Kristianne Stewart, founder and CEO of Compassion That Compels, to talk about support systems for women facing breast reconstruction.