Breast Cancer Surgery: December 21, 2009; Subcutaneous mastectomy
Reconstructive Surgery: December 21, 2009
Reconstruction Procedure: One-stage reconstruction; Implant
When I was undergoing a cervical cancer screening, I also had the breast lump that I had noticed a little while ago checked with a sonogram. The diagnosis was mastopathy. However, six months later during a comprehensive medical examination, a mammography showed calcification, and after undergoing various extensive testing, it turned out to be breast cancer.
I was told that I had a choice between a total or a partial mastectomy, but the only thing I could think of was that I had just been told that I had cancer. Once I finally composed myself, I started to collect information, and I found out about reconstructive breast surgery. My doctor recommended undergoing the reconstructive procedure after the mastectomy, and I found out that
that particular hospital referred patients to a plastic surgeon several days after the mastectomy at the breast surgery department. My aesthetic sense made me want to have the reconstructive surgery right away, so I voiced this to my treating physician and I obtained a second opinion from two other hospitals. I spoke with many doctors, and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to undergo a reconstructive breast surgery that involved subcutaneous mastectomy and an implant. I arrived at this conclusion because I thought that it was the most suitable option considering my lifestyle, family and career. None of my family members were opposed to my decision, partially because I explained it to them logically and partially because they knew that I was stubborn once I had made up my mind.
I returned to work after about two weeks. Since I work in sales, I often carry around a heavy bag, but the pain caused by carrying it around was worst than I had expected. These were tough times for me. Two more weeks later, I had an adverse reaction to the implant. I had to write a work-related certification exam while battling a high fever. Fortunately, the antibiotics and intravenous drip alleviated my adverse reaction, and I also passed the exam. Since then, my physical health has been completely stable. However, although the doctors were able to keep the nipple and the areola, the nipple started to ooze after the surgery, which then formed what seemed to be a scab, making my nipple’s surface smooth. Because of this, I recently had the nipple area corrected.
I used to overspend myself in everything I did. Since the surgery, my mind gradually shifted to believing that I don’t always have to give it my all. I believe this has allowed me to improve my private life. I would like to loosen up and take a laid-back approach to life while taking good care of my body and my family.
Shiseido is proud to sponsor this collection of 19 stories from extraordinary women in Japan who have unabashedly chronicled their journey through reconstructive surgery after facing breast cancer. Click here to learn more about the STP Project – the designers, writers and publishers behind the book.