Breast Reconstruction Stories - Breast Reconstruction Awareness

Reconstruction Stories

Breast reconstruction: implants, DIEP flaps, TRAM flaps, fat grafting… There are so many! We want to move from the ever-growing list of possibilities to look at the real lives and experiences of women who’ve lived out your breast reconstruction options. We hope the brave experiences of these women will inspire and inform you as you sort through the pros and cons of your own options. Read these stories, share them, and tell us yours. If you (or someone you know) would like to share your own reconstruction story with us, contact us at the bottom of the website, because we’d love to hear from you! We believe breast reconstruction awareness springs from our willingness to share and communicate our experiences with each other.


Life After Breast Reconstruction: Janet Gerlach Shares Her Positive Story
06 May 2017

Life After Breast Reconstruction: Janet Gerlach Shares Her Positive Story

Today we welcome Janet Gerlach. She opted for a preventative mastectomy, and shares her positive experience with life after breast reconstruction.    I have no regrets about my decision to have a preventative double mastectomy with DIEP Flap breast reconstruction (using my belly fat and tissue to reconstruct my breasts). I now have peace of mind knowing that I took a pro-active approach to significantly lowering...

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After Mastectomy Surgery: Kelly Nemecek Shares the Second Half of Her Journey
12 Feb 2017

After Mastectomy Surgery: Kelly Nemecek Shares the Second Half of Her Journey

On the last day of January, our breast cancer screening month, Kelly Nemecek shared the beginning of her journey with breast cancer. Kelly now joins us to explain what choices she made after mastectomy surgery.   The thing I thought I would fear most (besides dying of course) was losing my hair. When it was coming out by the handful I had Tomas buzz it...

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Pop Goes the Expander: One Woman’s Experience with a Tissue Expander Leak
06 Aug 2016

Pop Goes the Expander: One Woman’s Experience with a Tissue Expander Leak

For any woman, a breast cancer diagnosis is always a blindside. Many articles, like this one from the American Cancer Society, point out that unhealthy habits increase the risk of breast cancer. Others suggest by living a healthy, active lifestyle the risk of cancer can be greatly reduced. However, there are so many differing factors. The reality is that even healthy women can find themselves...

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Author/advocate Pat Anstett. Photo by Alexis Murillo.
06 Jul 2016

New Book Features Breast Reconstruction Stories: Author Gives Women a Voice

The idea for Pat Anstett’s newly published book with breast reconstruction stories, Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You, came after road tripping with her friend to Baltimore for the nipple tattoos on her reconstructed breasts. Anstett retired three years ago. Soon after that, her “very dear friend” was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy, and then breast reconstruction. Her friend had...

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DIEP Flap Reconstruction: Jen’s Story
27 Jun 2016

DIEP Flap Reconstruction: Jen’s Story

A few days before Jen’s birthday in April of 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer in both of her breasts. Her husband picked her up, and they went home and cried, grappling with all the emotions a breast cancer diagnosis brings. At the time, their daughter was not quite 3 years old. As the shock lessened, Jen was determined to do whatever she needed to...

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Breast Cancer Stories: Free Your Soul and Help Another
30 May 2016

Breast Cancer Stories: Free Your Soul and Help Another

On Memorial Day, we remember those in the armed forces who have died in service to our country, protecting our freedom and our very lives. We share stories of loved ones, to honor their memories. Some of us pass down the stories of courage and heroism of our family members and friends who fought in wars. Today at I’m Taking Charge, in honor of Memorial Day,...

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Necrotic Breast to Work of Art: Frannie’s Story
25 Apr 2016

Necrotic Breast to Work of Art: Frannie’s Story

Women who come through the other side of a breast cancer diagnosis often feel a responsibility to share their story. An important part of recovery is to reveal the reality of what happens between the moment you’re told you have cancer and the moment your oncologist utters the words “cancer-free.” The same can be said regarding breast reconstruction, which can be, but isn’t always, a...

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11 Apr 2016

Tissue Expanders: Marci and Marie’s Different Stories

The shock of breast cancer doesn’t end at the diagnosis. Every woman knows there are many steps along the way that just keeps building and adding to the shock. It may be losing one’s hair from the chemotherapy or learning of a BRCA mutation. For women who undergo a mastectomy, losing one’s breasts is a particularly intense time emotionally. Both Marci Garrett and Marie Jobson...

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21 Mar 2016

Breast Reconstruction After a Lumpectomy: Patricia Velasques’s Story

So often, when we talk about breast reconstruction, we focus the conversation on the options available to women who’ve had a mastectomy. This makes sense, because without a doubt, these women face profound changes in their shape that can impact so much of their day-to-day life. However, breast reconstruction can also occur for women who’ve had a lumpectomy (sometimes referred to as a breast-conserving surgery)....

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Rachel Desantis’ Story – Thinking Through Breast Symmetry
15 Feb 2016

Rachel Desantis’ Story – Thinking Through Breast Symmetry

When facing a mastectomy, can you justify cutting off a perfectly healthy breast for the sake of breast symmetry? Breast cancer involves an overwhelming number of decisions, from which breast surgeon to entrust your treatment to which treatment will give you best potential lifelong outcome. For so many women, thoughts of breast reconstruction get shoved to the back burner. For Rachel, however, early advice regarding...

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