My wife Keri Haberstroh was 25 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. My name is Doug, and I am here to tell Keri's story from start to finish. It was what Keri would have wanted.
At this point, Keri had recently finished her second round of chemotherapy. The next step was to complete her breast reconstruction. The end was finally in sight, and we were both looking forward to the future.
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:04 AM
I thought I would start with letting you all in on my New Year's resolution... I want to remember all the important lessons that I have learned throughout the past year and continue to make them a part of my life. There are so many of them that I can't even list them and there are probably still some that I haven't even realized that I've learned yet, but I think it's important that I keep them with me from now on.
Since things are coming to a close now I have had some time to reflect back on what I have gone through and I can see the changes that have been made in myself. These changes (granted they stem from a bad situation) all seem to be good changes...including the weight that I have gained recently.
To fill you in on where we are now, my treatments were completed about a month ago. It is so nice not to be poisoned anymore. I have had tests done to check on many things since then. I had some blood work done, a chest x-ray, a mammogram (for you ladies this was a "fun" event), and multiple ultrasounds. Everything has come back clear.
The doctors seem to be taking extra care with me now and double-checking everything. I have had some check-ups with doctors recently and have been told that I am doing great. My oncologist says I don't need to see him again until April. I see that as a good sign. My surgeon says he only needs to check on me before I have my last surgery.
Speaking of last surgery, I have been going to see my plastic surgeon more often lately. To remind you what I have in right now is called a "tissue expander" which is not normally used as a permanent implant. It is a temporary implant that is used to stretch the skin slowly to make both sides equal in size. The doctor just adds some saline through a syringe and it expands thus stretching the skin. This is the stage that I am at right now.
It is a little uncomfortable for a few days afterwards and the last time it caused a little back pain as well. I do keep in mind though that what I go through now will make things easier for me after the surgery and it's nothing compared to what I've already been through. Telling myself all that and keeping in mind that we are almost at the end of all this helps me get through the small pain. I have been told that we will be adding more saline at least one more time, which is actually this afternoon, and then we will be able to talk about surgery.