I had finished treatment, my hair was growing back, I felt like I was moving forward. I returned to my art, which involves cutting glass. I would notice that my arm would feel heavy and look swollen by the end of a long work day.
I ended up seeing a lymphedema therapist who taught me how to maintain my edema. I wore a compression sleeve and glove so that I could work long days and not feel as heavy and swollen. The sleeve was very inconvenient and small bits of glass would get caught within the sleeve and irritate my skin.
I was encouraged by my oncologist and my lymphedema therapist to “just go and talk to a plastic surgeon” to discuss my reconstructive possibilities. It was then that I met Dr. Granzow. He was very caring and compassionate discussing my individual treatment plan.
He made me feel at ease and to my surprise gave me hope that I might be able to get out of that sleeve and glove after surgery. We agreed that I would have a DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) breast reconstruction along with a VLNT (vascularized lymph node transfer) to address the swelling in my arm.
It has now been two years since my surgery and I am so happy that I met Dr. Granzow and decided to have the surgery. I am now able to work as many hours as I need without a sleeve and with no more heaviness, swelling or skin irritation. And what’s more, I did not appreciate how much I missed a part of me after the mastectomy. Now I feel complete.
Thank you Dr. Granzow for your compassion, attention to detail and amazing skill!”