My name is Lori. My surgeon is Dr. Veera.
Every year I went for my mammo and when I went for my mammo in October of 2018, the radiologist called me in the room and said, “You know, it looks very different from the mammo before.” When I walked out of the hospital that day, I said, “I just have a funny feeling.” So then when my GYN called me, I wasn’t shocked but, yes, I was. I was in the parking lot of where I worked at the time, getting ready to go back into work.
I don’t think it hit me at first until I then went upstairs to my supervisor and told her, and then, yeah, crying and went home, told my husband and then, yeah, kind of hit me, I think, that night more.
They were young at the time, my daughter was 12 and my son was 17.
Especially for them, I really never wanted them to see me sick or down, so I worked through the whole chemo and took off for the surgery for myself, but more for them. More for them.
I mean, I’m a very positive person. I always try to push through any kind of negative situation because I always look at people which I then met, having the chemo and who were in definitely worse situations.
I had gone to the surgeon, Dr. Deitch and she had explained to me that it was called HER2-positive. HER2-positive, that gene produces more cancer genes when it’s positive than negative, which, like I said, the mammo before, there was nothing there at all. So within the year, it had grown four centimeters, which is pretty big, from what they had explained to me. So it was a stage two and a half.
They did explain to me that the HER2-positive grows faster than the other cancers, but it is easier to treat. So because it was so big, they decided to do the chemo first to shrink it.
So, that was in October, so we started the chemo quickly, two weeks later. So the chemo went from November of ’18 until February of 2019. It was four months, it was every three weeks I would go and have a treatment.
For the last treatment of the chemo, the sixth one, it was already gone. It was already gone. Which at that point I was like, “Oh, so am I done?” But they said, “No, no, you still have to take all precautions and have the surgery and then the radiation.”
So about a month or so later, then Dr. Deitch and Dr. Veera did the surgery, which was the end of March of 2019. Dr. Veera put the tissue expanders in at the first surgery and then I went back to her a few weeks later and she expanded the tissue expanders a little more. And then about out two months later, in May, we started the radiation. And then we had to wait six months and then she did the silicone implants.
Dr. Veera was unbelievable. Very, very confident, very soothing to me, telling me how everything would come at out, gave me options. She always asked do I want to do anything different, but I just trusted in her and Dr. Deitch, what they felt was the best route to go for me.
She did explain the other surgery where you can have your own tissue. Two years ago, I was much thinner, much thinner and she was like, “We don’t have much fat to take, so we’re better off with the implants.” But yeah, no, there was not a single problem or issue with her throughout the entire surgery, all the surgeries.
I’ll see her again in the fall and it’s just for checkups and, yeah, so everything dwindled down to all the doctors to once or twice a year.
In the beginning, it’s very difficult and you’re going to have very difficult days, but you can look and feel back to yourself. There definitely is a light at the end of the tunnel, especially with Dr. Veera.