Ginger is a 24-year marketing veteran with a Fortune 50 company. On the eve of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ginger was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer. Even with the standard medical protocol of a lumpectomy and a 12-week course of radiation, followed by 10 years of Tamoxifen, there was a 40% chance that her cancer would come back. And it usually comes back invasive and more aggressive than before. Those numbers were just not acceptable to a woman with a husband and four year old daughter. So when Ginger recovered from the initial shock, she set out to become the CEO of her own healthcare.
Ginger’s diligence to have a semi-annual mammogram was a life-saving commitment. Ginger had lived through the nightmare of this kind of cancer with one of her best friends several years before. She was there to support her through 15 rounds of chemo, two stem cell bone marrow transplants, full body radiation, three brain surgeries, and uncountable biopsies and blood tests. This scenario was not an option. She knew the only option with a 99.99% cure was a double mastectomy, which required no radiation or chemotherapy whatsoever. She also opted for full reconstruction of her breasts at the same time, with implants by Inamed.
Ginger had no time to lose so she immediately set out to find a surgeon who would perform this bi-lateral procedure on her. After one surgeon refused to do the procedure, Ginger went to see Dr. Eisner armed with a 2-inch thick file of breast cancer research and a photo of her daughter. She broke down in tears when Dr. Eisner asked her how she was feeling. She laid out her arguments for the double mastectomy and he concurred. “When he asked me when I’d like to do the surgery, I felt like I had been touched by God at that moment.”
But that was just part one of the plan. The next day Ginger met Dr. Donald Altman, a plastics and reconstructive specialist. After the surgeon would take care of the extraction, Dr. Altman would insert her implants and take care of her aesthetic recovery.
Five days later she had my surgery. She had cancer for a total of 7 days.
Although she had confidence in her choice, she had the doctors run the pathology of the tissue in both breasts to see if there was any additional cancer. The cancer was everywhere — in both breasts. Ginger’s discovery of the cancer and the process of ridding her body of it held many miracles for her – Finding the right doctors, embracing the love of her friends and family, and learning the height and depth of her courage. She believes her decision to do reconstruction with implants facilitated her ability to heal. Her Inamed implants allowed her to replicate her former figure with no uncomfortable side effects.
Now Ginger lives each day to the fullest, with no fears of breast cancer overshadowing her life. She’s very vocal about encouraging women over 40 to have an annual mammogram. She knows she’s living proof that if you catch breast cancer early enough, you have choices. Choices that can actually lead to a cure.
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