Story from W.L. Vic
Some time ago now I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy, followed by radiotherapy. Although I did not have any problems coping with life after cancer, it was still a trying time.
Life went on and I became a Cancer Connect Volunteer with the Anti Cancer Council (Vic) and lately with the same group in South Australia. Then I formed another Support Group, this one called CCAPS - Cancer Carers and Patient Support.
Whilst researching some information on Breast Cancer Reconstruction for a patient, I came across a new type of surgery and "voila" I now had a GOAL. And nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stop me from finding a surgeon in Australia who could perform this surgery. I then had to convince him he could do this as I was 10 years over the recommended age for this type of surgery. Well, it is a long story, but I did find him and it did happen. I had a TRAM FLAP RECONSTRUCTION in Adelaide and my life has changed forever. I am doing things I would never have attempted while wearing a prosthesis (yoga, tai chi). I feel normal again. Life is wonderful. A few weeks ago I had my 10th annual check up in Adelaide and came away with a clean sheet.
Following is a summary of my TRAM FLAP RECONSTRUCTION:
* Counselling is required by the Surgeon prior to surgery. It is not always successful. I was well prepared and did not need this. The surgery is major and extremely painful.
* A piece of skin is taken from the tummy area and used to form a breast. The fat or muscle is then tunnelled internally from the tummy area to the new breast (without leaving the body).
* Stainless steel mesh is then inserted between the tummy muscles to eliminate future hernias.
* Operating time - 5 hours
* Intensive care - 3 days
* Hospital recovery time - 2 weeks
* No work - 3 months
* I left hospital after 8 days and returned to Mildura on the 11th day.
* Required strong painkillers but I did not take any.
* Used my Peaceful Place and Meditation I had learnt after attending your seminar.
* Also, breathing exercised learnt at Tai Chi, and sessions of Reiki (I have since done a course in this).
* I returned 3 months later and had a small piece removed from my other breast to form the areole and nipple.
* And finally, 2 months ago, I had this last area tattooed to match the other side.
My Doctor was delighted with the result and the way I was able to handle the whole procedure. The job is now complete and I have never felt better!