Eva’s Journey

Eva’s Journey

In November of 2017, at the age of 39, I felt a small hard spot in my right breast.

My primary care doctor sent me for a mammogram and an ultrasound, which were read immediately. The radiologist said he saw suspicious areas and would need to do a biopsy. Well, that biopsy came back as Stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The tumors were ER and PR-positive Her2+ amplified. Life has a tendency to stop when you hear the words “it’s cancer.” The next month felt like an absolute whirlwind! Tests, blood work, heart scans, appointments with a breast surgeon and oncologist, along with a port placement for chemotherapy, soon became a reality.

I underwent 16 rounds of chemo, four of which were a drug called Adriamycin. In the chemo world, they call it “the red devil.” I would go on to have a double mastectomy, 33 rounds of radiation, and immunotherapy every three weeks for a year. All of this was in the first twelve months of treatment.

For women, losing their hair from chemo is not an easy thing to endure. The breast cancer diagnosis impacts our sense of identity and the very essence of who we are as women. My youngest two daughters would pray at night that my boobies would grow back! I had to explain to them that they don’t work like hair!

In August of 2019, I had a DIEP Flap operation done near my home state of Oklahoma. The operation went well, but due to my weight and more radical mastectomy, the volume I needed to fill the chest wall cavity was not there. I went back to my surgeon, and we decided to do a lift alongside fat grafting. This second procedure helped a little but still left the upper pull area quite hollow. For three years, I continued to look at myself in the mirror and be disappointed. I was conscious of keeping the area covered and bought clothing and swimsuits with higher necks. I wanted to look better but did not know how.

In October of 2023, after a friend had a good experience with the CRBS, I decided to set up a consultation in person with Dr. Cabiling. He was in surgery that afternoon that lasted longer than expected. Because I had driven so far, he and a nurse stayed late to meet with me. He took time to address my issues and explain that, yes, he could help me meet my goals by doing a Hybrid TDAP procedure with a light fat grafting from my thighs. I left that appointment with a smile because I was confident he could help me!

In February of 2024, Dr. Cabiling did my surgery. It lasted just over seven hours. I am so glad I decided to trust him with this procedure. I am so excited to wear fun dresses and beautiful swimsuits! I feel much more confident in how I look and happy when I see myself in the mirror. I am excited to finish the reconstruction process by having 3D nipple tattoos soon. I am so blessed to have found a group of doctors at CRBS who are phenomenal in their attention to detail and helping me and many women who have been affected by breast cancer feel and look their best!