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    Radiation

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    Decision Point

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    Procedure or Surgery (Breast Reconstruction (Flap)): I was 40 when I was diagnosed. My breast surgeon recommended the plastic surgeon that I had. My plastic surgeon was very good at explaining what would happen to me. I followed her instructions on what I was to do to recover. I was able to move around very well after 5 days. It took 6 weeks. I have no impact to my daily life, even when I do crunches at the gym.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Axillary Lymph Node Dissection): The initial pain from this surgery was tough. I feel that I am very lucky that I only have some numbness in my shoulder blade and under my arm.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Mastectomy): I had the mastectomy and a tram flap at the same time. The recovery from the tram flap was harder and took longer. The second surgery I had was an ancillary node dissection because the cancer has matasticized in my lymph nodes.

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    Side Effects (Hair loss (alopecia)): At first, I was upset about my hair loss. However, it did not last long. The great thing about losing your hair is that you don't need wash or dry your hair or shave your legs. You never have a bad hair day. Plus, you can wear cool hats.

    I tried to wear wigs but they were hot and itchy. I was sitting in a meeting with the team (all great and supportive men) I worked with the first day I wore a wig. I ended up pushing it back like a hat. They were looking at me and finally asked me what I was doing. I said that I was hot and it was bothering me. They told me to take it off. I did.

    From then on, we had a lot of fun with my inability to wear a wig, including the day a client walked into the office I was in when I did not have my wig on. I think I scared the poor man.