Thank you, Candy. As strange as this may sound...I was happy to have my mastectomies. When I first found out I had cancer (doc called me on the phone, with path report, per my request, after core biopsy), I went to my first appt, after the diagnosis, and told the surgeon I wanted bilateral mastectomies with diep recon. He asked me what the accronymn stood for. I knew he wasn't going to be doing my surgery. There weren't any docs in my area that were very experienced with diep, so I traveled 6 hours south and met with another doc in my private HMO. Of course they want to do the cheapest thing. Right off the bat, I told this doc I wanted bilateral mastectomies. He told me I didn't need a mastectomy, that I needed only lumpectomy and he wanted to save the breast. I let him talk me in to that lumpectomy, thinking he knew what was best. He did the surgery and did not get clean margins. I had multifocal points of tumor and extensive angiolymphatic invasion. He recommended mastectomy, which was what I asked for in the first place. He told me I needed to have chemo first, as I couldn't put off chemo to have mastectomy and take the time to heal. I needed the chemo as soon as possible. I came back home and started my chemo. This allowed me to do more research and I found Dr. DellaCroce. I sent an email to the office he was in, at that time, that said, "HELPPPPPPP!!!!", in the subject line. I just thought I would get a response from one of the office staff. I was really surprised that he answered the email personally. I had sent it because there were only two docs in my HMO who had done diep's. They had done only 10 over a three year period. They had a 10 percent failure rate and took 12-18 hours to do the surgery. I was not going to let these docs do my surgery um, um...no way. My HMO, which is a private hospital with all of its own docs, would not let me out of network and said that the care they were offering me was adequate. Having a medical background, myself, I knew that the care they were offering me was substandard, so I challenged them on it and we battled. Well, Dr. DellaCroce did everything he could to help me. Even wrote the board a two page letter. My HMO still would not let me out of network, so during the open enrollment period, at my job, I switched insurance companies. After my chemo, my onc sent me to rads, even though I was having mastectomy. Rad onc told me mastectomy was not necessary, if I had the rads. I said, "Nope...they've got to go" So rad onc did rads, anyway, even though I was having mastectomy to keep the cancer from coming back in the skin. I waited 7 months to heal and then flew to New Orleans to have Dr. DellaCroce do my diep. You see, I did not want to have to consistently worry about finding more tumors in my breasts. I was constantly feeling them...all day, everyday. It was too much. I didn't want that constant worry. Having bilateral mastectomies, for my mental sanity, was the best thing I could do, for me. I love my new breasts. They look better than the ones I had before. I think Dr. D. is a genius. So, Candy...I, too, was very blessed. Though it was not the only treatment available to me, it was my choice and I understand what you mean by being blessed. Take care of you.
I would like to know...Where is the cure???