Diane is a devoted wife, mother and busy Texas cattle rancher who didn’t have time for cancer.
an unexpected phone call
A few days after a routine doctor’s appointment, which included a mammogram, Diane received the call. She was shopping with her daughters when she answered the phone and received news that would change her life forever. Her doctor let her know that they had found a lump, and she had been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ.
A week or so later, she had a lumpectomy. Her doctor said that the cancer was “a tiny little blip” and that her planned lumpectomy procedures would help her to be cancer free. However, at her second lumpectomy appointment a few weeks later, a second doctor urged Diane to get a double mastectomy.
“Positively, absolutely be informed. Don’t be afraid to ask 20 questions, then ask 20 more.”
Faced with a tough choice, Diane made sure she knew as much as she could to make an informed decision. “Positively, absolutely be informed. Don’t be afraid to ask 20 questions, then ask 20 more,” Diane said. “Take control of your treatment plan. Never be afraid to get a second or third opinion. If you don’t understand, make them explain until you do,” said Diane.
“You and your family will be way more confident about it.”
the cancer returns
Diane opted to undergo a double mastectomy procedure to rid her body of its cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer remained and Diane soon learned that she would need radiation treatments on the right side of her chest.
“The word cancer will stop you in your tracks and make you question if you are going to have a future. You not only take it one day at a time, but some days it’s one hour or minute at a time. Like when you are going in for a bilateral mastectomy, or laying on a table alone uncovered receiving radiation treatments while shaking from the inside out.”
Before Diane could receive breast reconstruction, she had to heal from the burns left behind after 28 rounds of radiation.
“I felt as though I had lost more than just my breast. I also lost my womanhood, my sensuality and [sense] of who I am.”
a ray of hope
“In the beginning all I could focus on was my losses,” said Diane, when looking back on her experience. But then, she says, she found something that would change it all: an ad for Resensation. “In one moment I was given hope, a ray of sunshine that I could be given feeling back.”
Diane already knew that she didn’t want implants. She had decided she would instead undergo DIEP flap reconstruction—a technique that uses existing body fat to restore breasts. When she learned that the Resensation procedure could take place at the same time, she was all in.
“Of course I said yes. [It seemed like] answered prayers to just look and feel normal again.”
“I wanted to be the person that I was before the surgeries. I was determined to get that back.”
It took several months for Diane to feel any sensation returning. Her left side—the side that wasn’t radiated—was the first to show signs that the treatment had worked. Though she may never regain total sensation on her right side, Diane remains positive. “I can look in the mirror and feel like I am the person I was before all this.”