Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts where I feature women who have undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement.
Tamara is my mom’s cousin. I grew up playing Cabbage Patch Dolls with her younger sister, Heather, out at their farmhouse. She is the first person I ever knew to be diagnosed with breast cancer. She is also one of the first people I called for wisdom after my diagnosis.
Name: Tamara Becker
Family: Collin – Age 22, Mallory – Age 20, Gavin – Age 17
Occupation: Legal Secretary/Legal Assistant
Hobbies/Interests: Boating and water-skiing, reading, sports – playing and watching, exercise/fitness
Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer with lymph node involvement – Bilateral Masectomy
Age at Time of Diagnosis: 30
Type of Reconstruction: Latissimus dorsi-fla
What was your initial response to your diagnosis?
How can I have breast cancer? – the only risk factor I had was being a woman and I need to live as I have a toddler and 3 month old baby to raise.
How much time passed from your mastectomy/bilateral mastectomy through completion of reconstruction?
I had a bilateral mastectomy in October of 1997. I started the Reconstruction process in August of 1998 and finished it in February of 1999. A total of 1 year and 4 months.
What was something you found surprising or unexpected about the reconstruction process?
My reconstruction surgery was worse than the mastectomy surgery as far as pain and recovery. Read More