Patient Stories

The Image of Perfection

October 4, 2010
CHI Health

Author:

The Image of Perfection

On May 5, 2010 I got the call from my doctor with the diagnosis of breast cancer. Although the call itself was devastating, it seems to be quite possibly the most peaceful moment I would have for many months to follow. After meeting with my surgeon and discussing my options, I decided that I would have a bilateral mastectomy, and opted to have reconstructive surgery. I quickly made appointments with a plastic surgeon and an oncologist. My oncologist advised me that I would definitely have to go through chemotherapy, but an exact course of action would be determined after the mastectomy and pathology results.

When the nurse woke me after my surgery, I learned that they removed my lymph nodes on my right side and that the plastic surgeon was not able to begin my reconstruction. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed once again.

At age 35 and a single mother of two boys, I remember thinking that I would have to work throughout my treatments and now I would not only need a wig due to hair loss from chemotherapy, but mastectomy products as well. I had no idea where to start. My insurance company directed me to the CHI Health Renewed Hope Boutique and I immediately made an appointment for a consultation. 

I knew the moment that I walked in the door I was in good hands. I immediately bonded with Beki. I was amazed at how knowledgeable, resourceful and compassionate she was. She thoroughly explained what side effects I might experience from chemotherapy and radiation, and all of the ways she could help me through such a difficult time. I vividly remember telling her that day that she just gave me the best day that I had had in nearly two months! I left that day with cami’s, a mastectomy swim suit, and more importantly a new-found confidence that I was going to get through this and that everything I would need from a wig, to breast prosthesis, to the best selection of intimate apparel was all right here!

Although I’m not married I do have a very special man in my life. I was fortunate enough to have him join me for my next appointment when I tried many new wigs. When we left that day, he told me how impressed he was with the Renewed Hope Boutique and that it was very clear how much Beki cared about my well being.

The Renewed Hope Boutique has given me many opportunities and, more so, greatly improved the quality of my life while I endure all of my treatments and surgeries.

-Lena

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