I have DCIS & microinvasion and about to embark on a journey on Jan 7 DIEP flap & left side mastectomy at Juravinski, Hamilton, Ontario. To tell this story fully I need to go back 10 years. Ten yrs. ago I was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition requiring an ICD implant. Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator. Being the heart, it is on my left side. So, jump ahead 10 yrs., my first mammogram DCIS was found. Yeh! It was early. One lumpectomy, not enough. Two lumpectomies, still no clear margins. Options explained by my general surgeon introduced me to mastectomy. Though terrifying after leaving the office and talking with my daughter I made my decision in 10 minutes. So, I had to wait 7 weeks to see the doctor again to tell her this despite my phone call with my decision. Finally, see her and she sets me up with a plastic surgeon. Just graduated from residency, no office or phone number, they had to email her. I called the surgeon to say I wanted someone experienced but they gave me attitude. So, I gave her a chance, I figured they would be informed of the ICD and do some research. NOT! The plastic surgeon takes me through my options but she ends with you can’t have any reconstruction. No flap, no implant. She didn’t think my heart could handle an 8 hr. surgery but she would research. I had to force my cardiologist’s name on her and the maker of my implant/ID registration. 5 days later still NO! Radiation was my only option but I needed another lumpectomy and my ICD be moved to the other side. A risky surgery plus a 25% chance of cancer return. She conceded to getting me my second opinion at Juravinski. For crying out loud I cannot be the only one who has an ICD on the same breast as her cancer. Two weeks later at Juravinski with QUALIFIED surgeons I was quickly told that yes, I can do the DIEP flap and the artificial implants too. Though artificial required my ICD to be moved. Decision made! Avoiding 2 surgeries but I know DIEP is not going to be easy.
How cancer relates to me: