Warning: Some of the images below may be considered disturbing to some readers.
Breast Reconstruction Day! Those of you who know or follow me know that I'm pretty much all about breast cancer reconstruction. Take off the bras or wear them over your clothes. Have fun with them either way. There are many events in this country alone celebrating this day. Unfortunately for me this year, there are none in Orlando, FL. Perhaps next year there will be. Today, I wear a pink bra outside my dress. I will spare you the photos at this time.
BRA Day was launched in 2011 by Dr. Mitchell Brown, a plastic surgeon with a practice in Toronto. It has quickly grown to include numerous events throughout Canada and more than 30 countries participating worldwide.
It is a collaborative effort that includes plastic surgeons specializing in breast surgery, plastic surgery nurse specialists, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, corporate sponsors and breast cancer organizations.
On this day, I'd like to send a personal thank you to all plastic surgeons that make breast reconstruction an important part of their practice (especially Dr. Sergio Zamora, Daytona Beach). I would also ask that you take the time to read my book Build-A-Boob... after the cure! if you have not done so thus far. My story is a very unique case. I believe you can learn from it and help your current and future patients. It's an easy, but important read. My reconstruction goes beyond implants, flaps and fat injections. I am the woman who is sent home and told there is nothing more that can be done. The 25 photos in the book tell a different story. A story, I believe that can help more than just breast cancer reconstruction patients. You must read it to understand how the fat injections regenerated the skin on my chest wall. I've seen a lot of photos this month on this site and others from women not afraid to show the world "their world." This is what I looked like after my first infection alongside the tissue expander that worked.
This is what I look like now.
Quite a difference 15 surgeries make. Imagine the possibilities. How many burn victims might benefit from this process? How many other disfigurements do you think might be changed?
This really is important. Read my story. It was written to help others because the information that enabled this metamorphosis is not available. I challenge the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. I challenge all those who are developing new techniques not just aiding breast reconstruction, but also other reconstructive procedures I speak of. I challenge you to not only read my opinions and rantings here, but to read my story.
Breast reconstruction itself is not looked at by most as an extremely important part of treatment for breast cancer because it is not a life-threatening decision. Millions of us out there wish that were not the case. Reconstruction should be viewed as part of the whole treatment because it affects the whole person.
It's great to be alive, but, we are often left at the mercy of our insurance company, if we have one and/or our ability to pay the deductible that goes along with it destroying us psychologically. The rest are left behind with only scars and disfigurement. We too often hear "Pay up or go home." Harsh.. but true!
We are also left to the mercy of a limited number of plastic surgeons who devote their time, patience, diligence and work to advance the treatment. Again, I challenge the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to increase the numbers to make it at least a part of their practice.
BRA Day is also a day to give thanks to those companies like TeVido BioDevices who are working on 3D printing for breast reconstruction, and the Miami Breast Center; also working on fat injections and to those doctors who are specifically doing stem cell research for reconstructive procedures.
These people need our help... now! They need funding; both private and governmental. I believe also that we all need to work in conjunction with breast cancer awareness foundations as opposed to working against them. We are in this together for a common purpose. One does not separate itself from the other. I believe that it's about:
1. Breast Cancer Awareness
2. Breast Cancer Treatment
3. The Cure
4. Breast Cancer Reconstruction
5. Psychological treatment post recovery
6. Living with Metastatic Cancer
All of them are important. All of them need funding and we must all work together. I see it no other way and I will support it no other way.
Happy BRA Day! I'd also like to send a special "Thank you!" to Jewel for being the BRA Day spokeswoman for the 2nd year in a row.
And, thank you for listening to my ranting.
For more information on Lisa Masters visit: www.Build-A-Boob.com
FB Buildaboob.... after the cure!
This is not an endorsement of either TeVido BioDevices or The Miami Breast Center.
Follow Lisa Masters on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BuildaBoob