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    Decision Point: Deciding on what type of reconstruction is a huge decision. I decided on a DIEP reconstruction. This is a huge surgery and I have not had it done yet. But I think using my own tissue is the best for me. Luckily we have found a plastic surgeon in St. Cloud that specializes in this procedure. That is only a 3 1/2 hour drive from our home.

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    Decision Point: With 3 positive nodes, and a large tumor. We felt that radiation would give me the best chance at not having a reoccurance. The guidelines for radiation following mastectomy are changing rapidly, but it was only recommended for 4 positive nodes. Going ahead with the radiation was a huge decision as I have very sensitive skin.

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    Clinical Trial: Currently in a Metformin/placebo trial for breast cancer. No real side effects to report, so maybe not even on the drug.

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    Radiation (External radiation ): 28 rounds of radiation later....the tumor was much larger than expected and there was node involvement. After the final pathology was completed, it was realized that the cancer had been within 1mm of my skin. With all of these risk factors combined, we decided that radiation was necessary. Because of my previous Mastectomy, I really couldn't feel a large portion of the radiated fields. But I did burn and blister a lot, this was because they were radiated my skin also. Usually they try to avoid burning the skin, but in my case, the skin was a huge risk factor. 6 months later, I only have a slight discoloration on my skin. I was surprised at how quickly the area healed up.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Mastectomy): I had a bilataral skin sparing, nipple sparing mastectomy, followed by a return to the OR for hemorrhaging post op. This was followed by another surgery for some skin loss. But, I was glad that I kept my skin and nipples. Everything else felt so foreign that at least I could look down and it seemed a little familiar.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): I worked through 8 rounds of AC-T. Taking off only the day of chemo and sometimes the following Monday. It was hard to do, but it was better than staying home and thinking about the what if's every day.