The biopsy is positive! You're frightened. The questions flood your mind. How long will I live? What's going to happen to me? What are my options? You finally make the decision -full mastectomy with reconstruction. More questions! How will I look? IS the plastic surgeon really able to make me look "normal"?

My breast surgeon, Dr. Elisa Santora, believed I would not require chemotherapy or radiation. I began to feel more confident - and yes, a little lucky, too.

Dr. Allan Rosen, my plastic surgeon, gave me my next glimmer of hope. He showed me photographs of reconstructed breasts. I was amazed. I decided to have a tram-flap.

The days in the hospital following the surgery were difficult. I felt I would never be able to stand erect or raise my arm again. But there was one feeling I never experienced - I never felt that I had lost a breast or been disfigured.

Diligently performing my exercises, I found myself becoming stronger each week. After six weeks just as my doctor had predicted, I was fine! Emotionally, as well as physically healed.

Thanks to the breast reconstruction I can look into a mirror and be proud of the image I see. My breast doesn't appear to be much different than before the surgery, and that's a very good thing!

I thank God each day for my good fortune, and pray that other women might be saved by early detection and gifted surgeons.


Carol from New Jersey