4 years since diagnosis
Age at interview: 48
Deann (48 years old) is married and has two teenage children. Deann works as a registered nurse.
Deann was diagnosed in 2011 and at the time of the interview was about to have another reconstruction surgery. Two years prior to the diagnosis she had noticed a lump in her right breast, although that year nothing showed up in the mammogram and spot compression, so she didn’t follow-up herself. When she returned in 2010, Deann’s left breast was screened with spot compression instead of her right breast. Even though Deann checked with the nurse as she felt a mistake was being made she didn’t follow up after hearing everything was fine. In 2011 the lump was noticed during the screening. Initially the surgeon suspected that she had a papilloma, which is normally benign, but wanted to do a lumpectomy to be sure. After finding out that it actually was cancer Deann had a mastectomy but didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation. She is currently receiving hormone therapy and has received reconstructive surgery using the DIEP flap procedure. Deann also spoke about telling the news to the children and her mother, how colleagues responded and the importance of having a positive attitude.
- Reconstruction surgery – Deann (2)Deann describes her experience with DIEP and the complications she had.
- Reconstruction surgery – DeannBeing a nurse helped Deann decide between doing nothing, implants, a DIEP or TRAM flap reconstruction.
- Messages to others – DeannDeann talks about the value of staying positive through her treatment.
- Testing and diagnosis – DeannDeann underwent testing for several years before the breast cancer was found.
- Talking to children about cancer – DeannDeann explains how she handled talking to her teenage children and why she felt it was important for them to hear about her cancer from her.