My story is simple. I was diagnosed with DCIS in the right breast. When I saw the surgeon he said I could do a lumpectomy because it was localized; however, he was concerned about a spot the radiaologist missed at the 5:30 position and the other two spots were at 2:00. Our radiaologists leave something to be desired in this town I live in. They have a reputation of being lax and not following through and rushing through the mammograms. I was sent for an ultra sound and the technician could not find the cancer and had an attitude of "your wasting my time" which did not help my morale. My surgeon ordered an MRI on both breasts because of the spot that was missed. The MRI picked up a whole bunch of spots in my left breast. I had dense breasts and was never told. So I went two years without getting a mammogram. Next time I saw the surgeon he told me they wanted to do and MRI biopsy on the left breast. I told him to forget it just take them both. I didn't want to end up with another type of cancer that was going to require radiation and chemo. Because the cancer was localized I didn't have to go through that treatment. However; the surgeon who did the reconstruction was not available for my reconstruction after the mastectomy so I ended up getting three more operations to get the reconstruction done. The first one was a DIEP used with fat from my stomach. It didn't take. I was losing weight so consequently I lost volume so I opted for implants. Had that surgery then had to go back because he left me lopsided in the stomach and the belly button disappeared. So that had to be fixed. I had the nipple reconstruction on June 1st this year and am waiting to hear if the insurance company is going to cover the cost of the nipple tattooing. It took me two years to decided whether or not I wanted nipples made so when he contacted my insurance company they refused to pay on the grounds it was cosmetic. He was on the phone with the Group Health doctor for some time and they finally approved the nipple reconstruction.
It has been a nightmare for me and I am still suffering the shock of it all. Right now I do not feel like the reconstructed breasts are part of my body. I feel detached from them. Maybe after the tattooing is done I might feel better about myself. Anyway, that is my story.
Chris has e-mailed me an update that she did get her tattoo done. She's still getting used to it though!