Dr. Sullivan Joins Compassion That Compels, Part 2

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.

Kristianne 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, you know, 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. Scott 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 cancers 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 if it’s a lumpectomy, sometimes if you have pre-cancer stuff you could even watch it and do hormone therapy. For those who want to have implant reconstruction with mastectomy, there’s options. The implants they have now are very very good implants compared to what they were ten years ago. For your own tissue type of 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, 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.

Kristianne 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. And that is something that I penned as I was recovering from my DIEP 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 reach these women, and we touch 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. Scott Sullivan:
Yes! Lay it on me. Let’s see. Drum roll please.

Kristianne Stewart:
We changed our colors up a little bit. So it is very similar to the METAvivor ribbon. Because our bags are for women battling all types of cancer, we tried 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, [to Dr. Sullivan] 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. Scott Sullivan:
Well, thank you, for your trust.