Dear Sister in this Journey, My name is Shirley. I have just undergone a double mastectomy(opens in a new tab) and breast reconstructive surgery as a result of having breast cancer. I am one of the fortunate ones who did not have to endure chemotherapy, as well. My cancer was in my left breast, but I chose to have a double mastectomy to mitigate future risk of recurrence.  Based on the reputation and firsthand knowledge I had of Dr. Kline(opens in a new tab) and Dr. Craigie(opens in a new tab), I chose the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction (opens in a new tab)to take care of my small, but precious bosoms. Once the decision was made to move forward with bilateral DIEP reconstruction surgery(opens in a new tab), I was given a patient handbook that provided information about what to do pre and post surgery. No offense to the medical team that put together a technically comprehensive document, but boy did they leave out a lot of information that would have been helpful! The kinds of things that, really, only a patient would know. So, I thought I’d write about my personal experiences to share with others—maybe it will help those who are about to undergo a DIEP reconstruction procedure to be more prepared and know more about what to expect. If you would like a copy of my booklet, get in touch with the center at, they’ll be happy to give you one. It’s all from my perspective and I hope it helps in understanding what will happen. And I hope it helps keep others positive as they face the surgery. Good luck on your Journey! Most sincerely, Shirley Trainor-Thomas Breast Cancer SurvivorHodgkin’s Lymphoma SurvivorReconstruction Success Story

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