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Topic: Most women will get breast cancer, It's not a big deal anymore

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts —

Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Apr 4, 2011 08:33PM

Thatgirl wrote:

Do I have this all wrong? I told a coworker and that was her reply. Is this no big deal and a walk in the park for most? Am I wrong for crying and being depressed at times? Has anyone else encountered this before?

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Apr 4, 2011 08:41PM jo1955 wrote:

Thatgirl - Getting breast cancer is a big deal and by no means a walk in the park.  It is the hardest thing I have had to do in my life and I would not wish this on anyone.  When I was first told I had cancer, I was in such a state of shock I did not come out of it for 2 weeks and that is when I first cried.  You are not wrong for crying or being depressed.  I was diagnosed 8/20/10 and I still cry and get depressed at times.  This is such a major life changer.  Your coworker just does not get it and never will unless she has to go through this and again this is something I would not wish on anyone.

The feelings are yours and you have every right to express those.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Jo - Lump, no chemo, 25 rads + 5 boosts, Tamox X5 years . cancerr free since Aug 30th, 2010. April 2014 - Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction. July 13, 2013 - Hysterectomy due to multiple uterine issues while on Tamoxifen.
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Apr 4, 2011 08:42PM Kymn wrote:

its a big deal and no you are not wrong for crying and being depressed,its normal to feel that way. and no most women will not get bc thank god. I would choose to ignore this co worker for the duration of your treatment what an inconsiderate person. Yes treatment is better than in the past but its no walk in the park thats for damn sure just ask anyone of us. Chin up thatgirl we will all get through it together you might want to check out OMG they found a cure for stupid and have some laughs and share this nonsense with the ladies there.

hugs Kymn

Kymn,Started chemo FECx3-Dx3 March 17th 2011 ( no dress rehersal, this is our lives ) Dx 1/4/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2011 08:44PM - edited Apr 4, 2011 08:50PM by lrr4993

Is it more common now than ever?  Yes.

Is the treatment more manageable than ever?  Yes.

Is it no big deal?  Hell no.

Your co-worker is an idiot.  Or maybe she just said that in a twisted, failed effort to reassure you that it will be okay. 

eta:  Crying and depressed is very normal.  Do not feel guilty or silly for being upset.   

Lisa Dx 8/6/2010, IDC, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2011 08:47PM scuttlers wrote:

OMG! That is one of the most stupid things ever said! And I doubt this co-worker would ever listen to the reality of what this does to our lives (until, and I sure she/he doesn't, it impacts their own life or loved ones)! Throw that one "under the bus and out of your life".

My favorite side effect of treatments is BEING ALIVE! Dx 2/4/2009, IBC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 11/17 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 4, 2011 08:50PM sheila888 wrote:

"Oh Don't worry most women are getting it. No big deal."

This was the reaction of someone I knew.

Hugs to you Thatgirl.

They are insensitive idiots!

Sheila♥ Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 8/21/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/13/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 11/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2011 08:51PM voraciousreader wrote:

That girl... Come on over to jo's bonfire of goddesses thread and we will all help you throw that coworker into the fire. You will feel soooo much better afterwards. Don't bother bringing marshmallows. We have them waiting for you!

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Apr 4, 2011 08:52PM Makratz wrote:

It is a big deal.  I wonder what your coworker would say of she were the one with breast cancer!


Linda...♥♥♥ Never, never, never give up ~ Winston Churchill
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Apr 4, 2011 08:58PM Letlet wrote:

I still cry every now and then, our world as we knew it will never be the same -not necessarily a bad thing but it will never be the same. Wish i could smack people like your co worker. She'll never understand unless she gets it herself.

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 4, 2011 09:07PM bevin wrote:

Wow- - amazing. Hopefully she did think she was saying something to help alleviate your stress. While more and more women get it, and there are more and more treatments, its still only 1 in 8 women who get BC, so the majority of women do not get BC. I am hopeful she felt ackward and just didnt know how to respond....BTW - My life has not been the same as many of us are not the same. It changes your life.

 Good luck and just let her comment flow off your shoulders if you can. Dont give her comments any thought or allow her to make you question yourself. You are entitled to your feelings and fear.

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 5/1/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/9/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/9/2010 Breast
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Apr 4, 2011 09:37PM lrr4993 wrote:

I would just like to add that, even if 7 out of 8 women got cancer, it is still a big deal.  Anytime you are told you have a disease that might kill you -- any disease -- it is a big deal.

Lisa Dx 8/6/2010, IDC, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2011 09:42PM SAMayoFL wrote:

OMG, that has become my biggest pet peeve.  Not long after my diagnosis I swore the next time someone told me that breast cancer was no big deal I was going to end up in the county jail.  I have one breast, I have endured five months of chemo and I am now losing my hair for the second time.  It is a pretty damned big deal for me!!!

I wish I could explain the facts to your coworker.  I am angry just sitting here thinking about it!


Susan BRCA2+. AC+T finished on 03/23/2011. No rads. Bi-lateral DIEP 08/03/11 (one side immediate one side delayed). 11/05/12 mets to ovaries, uterus and peritoneum. Dx 9/15/2010, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/27/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/3/2010 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2011 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/3/2011 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Dx 11/5/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/21/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel)
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Apr 5, 2011 08:00AM BarbaraA wrote:

Good thing I wasn't there because I would be in jail for at least assault or maybe homicide.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 5, 2011 08:14AM tweetybird wrote:

Pretty amazing on what people say.

Looks like there's going to be a waiting list for a cell at the jail. I'm the next person in line!

I still have my bad days now and again. I'm having one of them right now, just lost a friend to ovarian cancer on Sunday, and thinking how much I hate this cancer crap. With our emotions being all over the place, guess this is a part of our "new normal".

Janet :) Dx 7/24/2006, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 5, 2011 12:00PM amontro wrote:

Tell her "There may be treatment for breast cancer, but there's no treatment for stupid."

Dx 9/2008, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, HER2+
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Apr 7, 2011 09:53AM 3katz wrote:

Yep - heard that one before. I can't believe how insensitive people can be. I believe they are trying to give us a pep talk and failing miserably. Wow.

Amy D - orig dx 2005, stage III / recur-mets Stage IV dx 2008, multiple bone lesions / er/pr+, her2neu+++ / Dx 5-2010 brain met
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Apr 7, 2011 09:58AM Jaimieh wrote:

Your Co-worker is a JACKASS!  That is all that there is too it. 

I think I would pretend she didn't exsist because she isn't a big deal.

Dx 12/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 3/25/2014, IDC, Stage I, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 7, 2011 09:58AM Enjoyful wrote:

My sister said the same thing to me.  She has since apologized.  This is what happens when cancer is prettified with pink ribbons and warrior women.  Sheesh.

BENGHAZI! Dx 9/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/28/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 7, 2011 10:11AM - edited Apr 7, 2011 10:12AM by gutsy

What an awkward comment to make. I do agree with enjoyful, all the pink hoopla and related ra-ra images of groups of smiling women give the impression that breast cancer is no big deal and it is curable.

 I saw this billboard a little while ago . "You think money can buy everything, untill you find a lump in your breast" It certainly hit home for me, perhaps other people driving buy would not give it much of a thought

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Apr 7, 2011 11:40AM - edited Apr 7, 2011 11:42AM by Lena

THANK YOU, amontro, Jamieh, enjoyful and gutsy for your posts. On the subject of "pink warrior women," last night I wrote (offline) a major rant about that. "Funny" thing is this: while I've been wanting to vent and rant about that in a big way on here since I was on chemo, the full "inspiration" to actually write it came while answering a PM from a friend on another forum (non-BC related) who I made the mistake of mentioning my illness to! In fact I actually wrote it to her in a total flaming raw emotional-not-rational response to her (IMO) deluded pink ribbon warrior type reply to my Stage IV situation but I ended up deleting it from the PM (and saying to her instead 'sorry I mentioned this and please let's not discuss it ever again') and saving it offline in a .txt document thinking "THIS is what I wanted to post at BCO someday so I'll keep it!"

However, given that the vast majority of BCO'ers, including the founder (at least IMO from reading what she's written) ARE in the "pink warrior women who can beat this disease" mode, I have to wait until I feel ready to live with the possible consequence of being kicked out of BCO on my ass before I actually post it. Because however nasty, offensive and insulting that post is (and it is, I assure you), it is really and truly the way I honestly feel. Give me a couple of weeks, OK? (There's still a small group of non-Pollyanna ladies I'll miss if I get banned and I have to emotionally prepare myself for the risk losing them even though I'm already messed up.) 

Why buy shampoo when you can get real poo for free? Dx 2/9/2009, IBC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 7, 2011 11:50AM EnglishMajor wrote:

Thatgirl--sounds like you have a moron on your hands... 

That being said, we should all be concerned. 

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer  found that the sharp decline in breast cancer incidence rates seen in the United States in 2003 has leveled off. Incidence rates are no longer decreasing, and in fact might be increasing in some groups. 

NCI's Q&A:  

What is happening with incidence trends for breast cancer?
Breast cancer incidence rates, which increased 1.1 percent per year from 1992 through 1999, declined an average of 1.8 percent per year from 1999 through 2007.  When examining incidence data for each year, the authors note that the decline in incidence does not continue after 2003. The factors that influence breast cancer incidence are complex, including changes in reproductive risk, obesity, the prevalence of mammography screening, and others. Recent reports suggest that the decrease in breast cancer incidence may be related to the rapid discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy, a known risk factor for breast cancer, as well as to a decline in mammography screening prevalence. A paper published Feb. 28, 2011, in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (CEBP), examined trends in breast cancer incidence from 2000 through 2007. The research showed a decrease in breast cancer incidence rates from 2002 through 2003, but that this decline abated after 2003. 

Dx 7/6/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 7, 2011 12:10PM Lowrider54 wrote:

thatgirl...your co-worker is an idiot.  If she believes what she said then she should be one of the 'most women who get cancer' and lets see how 'no big deal' it is for her.  Not that I would wish this crap on anybody - and I am not by any means implying that she should experience it. 

But, should she, as the statistics are now seeming to indicate, be one of the '1 in 6' women that will get breast cancer - I just might have to tell her 'its no big deal' and see how she feels.  Of course, then I would have to turn around and offer her any support I could to help her through her 'no big deal' ordeal. 

As far as encountering this - yes, in a way...I am stage iv - my neighbor and once very good friend kept telling me at every appointment that I was going to be OK.  Finally, on my way to the 'big reveal' on 09/16/09 - we stood out in the middle of the street and I just let it go - "I do not have the flu, a cold, or an infection that antibiotics can treat and I will all better in a few weeks - I have terminal cancer in my spine and it is going to kill me.  I will be treating in some form or another for the rest of my now shortened life - but never, ever again am I going to be OK."  She just stood there and cried and I told it wasn't going to happen tomorrow and new drugs could help me stay alive longer and if it stays in my bones, there are things on the medical horizon that could possible make bone mets a chronic condition rather than a death sentence.  Our relationship has never been the same - for months, she couldn't even talk to me - afraid of losing a friend.  Then we talked about that and things were ok for a bit - I don't know if its seeing me unable to walk without the cane or what but she hasn't made any effort to talk to me other than a Hi when we each get home from work - she is friendly when I call but she doesn't visit or call anymore and we live directly across the street from each other.  Some people hide themselves away so you won't see their fear of losing you or say stupid things like your co-worker.  I said she was an idiot - perhaps just totally uneducated in the ways of breast cancer would be better.

And you have every reason to be depressed and crying - I did it the initial dx and then again for 3 straight months after the mets dx - it took meds to pull me out of the nose dive after finding I had mets - I am treating and finally stable - working really hard to get to meet Reggie (meaning the cancer is regressing) but I can live with stable (NO progression) for a long time too!

Hugs to you....LowRider

PS...Lena...I love a good rant...I am very anti pink - I am a Teal Wheels Warrior for Stage IV BC - that will all make sense by the end of the month - I am walking (actually 'scootering') in the Komen 3 day dressed in Teal for Stage IV - long story. will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva. Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 7, 2011 12:16PM AStorm wrote:

Insenstive, ignorant, and can't do math. One in eight is still not "most women". Sheesh.

Gail “Friends are like bras: close to your heart and there for support.” Unknown
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Apr 7, 2011 12:20PM karen333 wrote:

Kick her to the curb, if she truly thinks it is no big deal and could say that to you, she is not a friend who you want to spend any quality time with.  It's remarkable how some "friends" are everything you could ask for and others just kind of drift away

Dx 8/8/2009, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Apr 7, 2011 01:11PM Suzybelle wrote:

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon."

 Along with an increase of incidences of breast cancer, there seems to also be an increase of wiener heads.

I am not happy about having breast cancer.  I would be more unhappy about being an idiot. 

Dx 1/27/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 7, 2011 01:30PM FireKracker wrote:

Dumb bitch.perhaps everyone who says bc is no big deal should just try to walk in our shoes when we first hear that word.thats only five min.let them see what kinda emotion we feel.

Damn if anyone is gonna throw the first slap its gonna be me.get on line girls.we are goin to jail.

Im angry today....i sure hope no one else pisses me off.

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Apr 7, 2011 02:13PM She wrote:

Lena PINK STINKS! (Sorry for shouting.)  When I started this journey 15 years ago the pink ribbon was brand new.  I've watched the whole culture/cult grow.  I know far more about pink delusions or the deluded pink than I ever wanted to.  Sadly I have become jaded by it all.  I believe I have the seniority in this battle to speak my mind. I've earned it. 

I respect that some folks need to become pink warriors to get through the nightmare.  We all find our own paths.  I can live with the pink as long as it doesn't cross my path too closely.  I am not afraid to empty a store by loudly telling the clerk who is insisting I donate to the cure "I already donated both my breasts to breast cancer.  Isn't that enough?"

I contribute, I give in ways that are quantifiable, rather than belonging to club pink.

Lowrider, I'm looking forward to hearing about Teal-Wheels.

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Apr 7, 2011 02:17PM voraciousreader wrote:

Grannydukes... Calm down! We don't want any of the sisters arrested. Thatgirl already tossed her into Jo's Bonfire of the Goddesses! It made her feel so much better! That fire is really getting crowded!

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Apr 7, 2011 02:43PM NatureGrrl wrote:

I have nothing to add that hasn't been said but I'm going to say anyway:

Your co-worker is insensitive at best and perhaps a total jerk or worse.  Let's see how "no big a deal" it is if/when SHE gets it.  On the other hand, to be kind, it's entirely possible she didn't mean any harm.  But those kinds of comments are, to me, a chance to educate people, and I do, usually just a sentence or two to make them think.

The most current stats I've seen say 6 out of 7 women will NOT get breast cancer.  That's hardly "most" women. 

It was not a walk in the park for me and I am surprised anyone would think that if they have the faintest clue about treatment.  It was physically, emotionally, soulfully hard for me and took some good time to get through and past.

Cry, yell, get angry, get depressed, whatever you feel is normal and OK.

Those kinds of comments really catch you off guard.  I came up with a list of facts so I could counter what I heard with a fact that would make people realize how serious a disease it is.  Just one is that there is no cure for breast cancer. NED, yes; cure, no.   Most people think there is.  If you feel like it, go to (or other resources), click on resources, and arm yourself with some information, then in a polite way you can bring one or more out comments when you're confronted with an idiot.  Don't get into arguments and don't defend your statements (most people will be so surprised they'll accept your statements and revise their thinking at least a little bit).  

I'm in the Pink Stinks club and have never considered myself a warrior -- I'm just  a woman dealing with what I was given the best I can.  

If you must interact with this person again and she asks how you're doing and you don't want to deal with her, just tell her you're focusing on healing and let it go at that.

My best to you.

Carol, living out loud! Dx 4/2009, IDC, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 7, 2011 02:53PM radiant wrote:

Hi Thatgirl:

I'm almost 50. It took me decades to learn the truth of people's heartlessness. IMO - when people say things like that, what they are really saying is "Don't bother me. This is not my problem".

So - I stay away from folks like that. Granted, these same narcissistic people will ALWAYS come to you expecting you to take care of them. When I give them a taste of their own medicine, they don't like it. Guess what? That's THEIR problem.

- Kim

Kim, Stage IV, triple +. First dx 2005, stage 3C, mets 2010
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Apr 7, 2011 02:55PM Sherryc wrote:

that girl you your coworker is defiantly insensitive.  My brother had to watch his wife battle BC for 3 1/2 long years to finally loose her battle.  Then 8 months later his only sister (me) gets BC.  Your co worker should ask him if BC is no big deal!!!

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/11/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/29/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/2/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/6/2011 Surgery 11/2/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/25/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/20/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/26/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)

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