I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog, and that’s a good thing! I’ve been out living life post-cancer! Now, as most of you know, October is my favorite month of the year! Before the breast cancer diagnosis, it was my favorite part of the year because of my birthday, Halloween, and the beautiful leaves changing from green to beautiful reds and golds. After my diagnosis, it’s STILL my favorite month of the year, but now October has a new meaning for me on top of all that. A lot of breast cancer survivors/thrivers/previvors have strong feelings about it being “pinktober,” and I completely agree that there should be cancer awareness year long! Not just whatever month a specific cancer is having awareness brought to it. I didn’t only have breast cancer in the month of October, and I didn’t only have ovarian cancer in September. However, I do think that it’s a great opportunity to bring attention to topics that aren’t easy to talk about.
October 17th is”BRA Day” AKA Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. This is a tough topic for me to talk about. I haven’t spoken much about my reconstruction because I haven’t felt comfortable talking about it openly; but with BRA day approaching, I have recently found out about some new options for Reconstruction that I feel like fellow breast cancer survivors/thrivers/previvors should know about.
Okay, so here is a little bit of information that will be hard for people to digest if you haven’t gone through all of this. With double mastectomies, all of the breast tissue is removed so that chances of reoccurrence are significantly lower. Since all of the breast tissue is basically scraped out, we no longer have feeling of our breasts. The nerves have basically been severed in the surgery.
Some people go directly from the double mastectomy to implant, or Free Flap. I had expanders placed at my mastectomy. I had them in for almost exactly a year and then had my reconstruction with Silicone implants. Even with the reconstruction, I still have no feeling.
Recently, I came across another option for reconstruction, ReSensationTM. ReSensation is an advancement in breast reconstruction designed to restore sensation after a mastectomy. It’s performed at the same time as a free flap breast reconstruction. (This type of reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue, with the goal of providing size, shape, symmetry, and softness to the newly restored breast.) With ReSensation, there is a possibility for the breast to feel as natural as it looks. There is the possibility of having feeling back! So basically, with ReSensation, surgeons have the ability to reconnect the nerves that were cut to nerves in the newly restored breast, allowing the nerves to potentially regenerate over time.
ReSensation cannot be performed during breast implant reconstruction, since implants do not contain the nerves needed to potentially restore sensation. In some cases, patients with implants have had them removed and had flap reconstruction, in which case the ReSensation technique can be performed to potentially restore feeling. While having my implants removed isn’t something I’m considering right now, I think women should hear every possible option, so they can choose what is best for them.
Learn more about ReSensation at http://bit.ly/ReSensationBianca
Thank you always for your love and support
Here is a link to the new video I just released, featuring 45 fellow survivors, thrivers, and pre-vivers including myself.
My goal for this video was to share each person’s story the way they wanted it to be told. There are some powerful images in here of scars, tears, tough moments, and also beautiful moments of happiness, love, and self-acceptance. I am also sharing some photos of myself that I never felt comfortable with sharing. I feel like this is my next step of healing.
Feel free to share <3