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.
I don’t know Valerie personally, but was introduced to her online through my dear friend, Rachel. When you have your breasts removed, it’s like joining a club you didn’t ask to be in. But you get connected with some pretty amazing people because of it. I am so thankful for Valerie’s willingness to share her story, and for her openness about her experience.
Name: Valerie McClure
Family: Mike (husband), Ryan (son) – 16, Katelyn (daughter) – 14, Buddy (cat), Jovie (cat)
Occupation: Family Ministry staff at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Hobbies/Interests: family time, enjoying my kids’ activities (marching band, soccer, alpine ski, choir, jazz band, baseball), photography (especially creating our annual Shutterfly family photo albums)
Diagnosis: Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma & DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) in right breast/Stage 1
Age at Time of Diagnosis: 39
What was your initial response to your diagnosis?
Generally speaking, the days, weeks, and months surrounding my cancer diagnosis are a bit of a blur. I received my diagnosis and underwent a bilateral mastectomy within eleven days in November, 2008.
You chose not to undergo breast reconstruction. Was it a difficult decision for you? What things came into play in the decision making process?
Was it a difficult decision for me? No. Here are a few reasons why: Read More