After my mammogram in December of 2017, the hospital called and said something did not look right and asked if I would come back for another scan. The nurse assured me that 80% come back normal, but I was in the 20% that didn’t.
I was sent to a breast cancer surgeon who told me I needed a wire biopsy first. I had the wire biopsy performed in the hospital by the breast surgeon. I waited impatiently for the results. Then I got that phone call that everyone dreads hearing. The surgeon told me I had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) stage 0. I was dumbfounded. I did not want to believe what she was saying. I understood that carcinoma was cancer, but I was quiet on the phone and the doctor said, “You are very lucky.” I said, “LUCKY!! How can I be lucky? I have cancer.” She explained that when most people are diagnosed they are already at stage one, two, three or four, not many are diagnosed with stage zero. But thanks to mammograms, they are now able to detect stage zero. She explained the next steps would be a lumpectomy followed by radiation and hormone blockers. I didn’t know what hormone blockers were, but I knew somewhat of what radiation was. I did a lot of research and reading about both and DCIS stage 0. I was really afraid, and I did not want radiation or hormone blockers because of the many side effects. As I was researching, I read that with a lumpectomy I would have the same percentage of the cancer recurrence as I would with a double bilateral mastectomy. So, I started researching double bilateral mastectomy and I talked to my friend Mimi, who is a breast cancer survivor. She told me that she went to Dr. Sullivan in 2008 someplace on St. Charles Avenue. I prayed and prayed after speaking to Mimi. I knew that this was the place God was telling me to go. I googled them on the Internet, got the number, and called that Monday. I made an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Christopher Trahan and Dr. Karl Ordoyne. During my consultation with Dr. Trahan, I can remember his words that made me choose him. He said as he looked me in the eye with deep compassion, “We don’t just want women to look beautiful under their blouses, shirts, bathing suits, or sweaters. We want women to look beautiful the moment they step out of the shower and look in the mirror.” I don’t know, but those words and the way he looked at me went right through my heart and my decision was made. I told him “ok, set my surgery date.” My surgery date was May 10, 2018. I was set to have a double bilateral mastectomy/DIEP flap reconstruction. I believe my surgery was eight hours long with 3 1/2 hours in recovery. When I woke up and the nurses changed the dressings on my wounds, I thought “Oh no!! What did I do? My breasts look frightening.” The nurses assured me that this was just the first phase, and that I needed to give my body a chance to heal and let the blood vessels mend. Needless to say, the care that I received from the hospital staff was unbelievable. The hospital is absolutely beautiful and has the most caring staff I have ever encountered.
Phase 2 tells the story of my surgeon’s amazing hands. I can’t really recall the date, but it was completed sometime in September 2018. The only thing I remember is Dr. Trahan saying “you’re probably going to be a little upset with me when you wake up from surgery because of the liposuction.” Phase 2 went extremely well and I am very pleased with the results.
I’ve had a few minor revisions and I am so happy—my breasts and my body look amazing and I owe it to my plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Trahan. I can honestly say I have only met one other doctor in my life like Dr. Trahan. He is so compassionate and merciful towards others. He truly cares and he “gets it.” I love him and I’m so grateful for what he has done for me.
If a woman has breast cancer and is facing a double or single bilateral mastectomy this is my advice—choosing the right plastic surgeon and doctors will make all the difference in your outcome. I can say without a doubt that I am happy with the decision I made choosing my plastic surgeon/breast specialist to do my double bilateral and breast reconstruction.
Once again, I want to tell other women going through this—before you make your final decision on a plastic surgeon, please consider The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery. Make an appointment for a consultation with one of the absolutely incredible, God-sent plastic surgeons at the Center. I am very pleased with my results. I feel so perfect and whole again. Thank you so much again, Dr. Christopher Trahan and the amazing staff at the Center.