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Topic: Trip to see Vinnie

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Jul 27, 2012 04:10PM

chrissilini wrote:

Hi all. So, I scheduled my appointment with Vinnie Myers for 3D nipple tatts. I'll be going in October. That was the first available which I'm not surprised.

I've never been to Baltimore and was wondering, for those of you that have gone or live in the area, where's the best place to stay without being right in the city? Now that I have the appointment I have to put the rest of the pieces together. Any suggestions would be soooo helpful.

Thanks a bunch!

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/15/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 27, 2012 04:24PM Moderators wrote:

Vinnie does great work; you must be very excited! Good luck in October!

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jul 27, 2012 06:57PM janhart wrote:

Hi Chriss just wondering how long you waited before scheduling this appt. My exchange to implants was in January and still getting used to the implants, but would like to do the 3D tattoo at some point. Good luck with this...sorry, never been to Baltimore.

Jan Dx 3/10/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 5/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/7/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 27, 2012 07:01PM chrissilini wrote:

jan...my exchange was in March. So, by the time i get them, it will have been 7 months. I had an appointment with my PS a few weeks ago and he said all was well and I was ready for the next step. Not doing nip recon but want tattoos. I don't think I'll ever be completely used to the implants but I want to get the process finished.

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/15/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 27, 2012 10:55PM fitzdc wrote:

Hi - I live near Baltimore and can give you some suggestions for places to stay.  You mention you don't want to stay right in the city.  Will you have a car or will you being relying ont he public transport?  Do you like big hotels, funky botique hotels, or B & Bs?    Is there a reason you don't wan't to stay in the city - or it is just the center of the city you don't want?

Teresa Original diagnosis on 9/27 of DCIS - Stage 0 grade 3; UMX on 12/1 Surgery 12/1/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 12/11/2011, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2012 Surgery 6/13/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/13/2012 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 28, 2012 01:06AM Tatina123 wrote:

I am seeing Vinnie too in October for 3-D tattoos! But I'll be seeing him at NOLA. Booking my flight in the next two weeks....hear the prices are dropping after the Olympics.

Wishing you the best!

T

3/29/2012 TE exchange to implants and fat grafting; 12/2011 right TE replaced;10/2011 right TE removal because of infection; 9/2011 BMX with immediate TE recon Dx 9/2011, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes
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Jul 28, 2012 10:30AM chrissilini wrote:

fitzdc...I'm really at a loss of where to stay. I said not in the middle of the city because I don't know anything about it. I will have a car. Vinnie's shop is in Finksburg so originally I thought somewhere in the middle of the airport and the shop.

I'm planning on flying in on Saturday morning and out on Tuesday afternoon so I'll have a few days to explore. Any and all suggestions are welcome. As far as hotels, your average will do just fine.

Is it difficult to get into DC on the weekends? I think I saw there is public tranport that goes. We thought we'd check it out while in the area. Just not sure what driving ourselves would be like even though I'll have a car.

Thanks for your help!

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/15/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 28, 2012 01:30PM She wrote:

I stayed right on the waterfront at the Pier 5 Hotel.  It really wasn't too difficult to get there from Vinnie's (roughly a half hour drive) and there is plenty to do/see all around the waterfront (water taxis are inexpensive).  But it was August, not October so I'm not sure how inviting the waterfront would be then.

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Jul 29, 2012 01:19AM fitzdc wrote:

If you have a couple of days to explore - the inner harbor is nice, as She says.  But August is HOT and HUMID.  That said, the inner harbor is where most of the nice places to eat are.  I find even when I stay downtown, I end up heading to the harbor.

For a funky cool hotel, try the Monaco.   I also like the Admiral Fell (a bit pricy, though) and the Inn at Henderson's Wharf.  If you want luxury, I have heard/read good things about the Inn at the Black Olive, which bills itself as 'an organic hotel'.  There are the Best Westerns, the Holiday Inns, the Marriotts -- I've stayed in most of them.   (I live in DC but like to go to Baltimore for the weekend.)  And yes, you can get between the two cities on public transport.  It is a very short trip in a car, but having a car in DC  on a summer tourist weekend will be a challenge.  Parking is very expensive and there are few parking spaces.  Let me know if you need more info on hotels  or anything as I am just a hop, skip, and message away!

Teresa

Teresa Original diagnosis on 9/27 of DCIS - Stage 0 grade 3; UMX on 12/1 Surgery 12/1/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 12/11/2011, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2012 Surgery 6/13/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/13/2012 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 29, 2012 01:57AM mspradley wrote:

I have mine scheduled with Vinnie in late September! I am really looking forward to getting this behind me!

Diagnosis: 11/23/2009, IDC + Pagets, 4.5cm, Stage III, Grade 3, 3/21 nodes, ER+/PR+/HER2+, BETH trial 1/2010-1/2011,6-TCH + Avastin 12-Herceptin + Avastin, 33 rounds of rads, 3/21/2011 DIEP flap bilateral reconstruction, 5 years tamoxifen
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Jul 29, 2012 02:53AM fitzdc wrote:

Sorry -- I made a mistake and thought you were coming to Baltimore in Aug.  Rereading I see it is October --- not so hot or humid then.  Rather nice, actually.

Teresa Original diagnosis on 9/27 of DCIS - Stage 0 grade 3; UMX on 12/1 Surgery 12/1/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 12/11/2011, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2012 Surgery 6/13/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/13/2012 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 29, 2012 08:05AM chrissilini wrote:

Thanks for the info Teresa. I'm going to do a little researching today and see what I come up with. I know there are tons of places to stay. That's the problem! Too much to choose from. But, I'll figure it out. And it's so helpful having you to run things by!

Good luck mspradley. You'll have to let me know how they turn out. Of course I don't expect anything less than fabulous!

Christine

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/15/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 29, 2012 08:09PM Blessings2011 wrote:

chrissilini - I am sooooo envious that you're going to see Vinnie!!! I'm ready NOW!!!

(Except my exchange isn't til August 22nd Undecided so it will be a while.)

My PS does medical tattooing in his office and I keep sending him links to Vinnie's gallery, hinting, ever so subtly, that perhaps he could hone his 3D skills by the time I'm ready for tatts, but I don't think that's going to happen...Laughing

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/4/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 12, 2012 05:53PM IamPam wrote:

I have booked my appointment with Vinnie for December in New Orleans!  I am a little nervous but excited after seeing the photos online.  I planned a weekend before the tattoos to enjoy New Orleans.

I have only heard positive comments about the 3D tattoos.  Anyone out there regret doing 3D tatoos instead of nipple reconstruction?  

Dx 7/29/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/18 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 9/28/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2012 Hormonal Therapy 9/8/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 12, 2012 06:39PM New-girl wrote:

I am scheduled for Vinnie in New Orleans in November.  Any suggestions for breaking the news to my beloved PS?  He has done a great job and I truly appreciate him but want Vinnie for my tatoos.  Do I have to tell him at all?  Just wondering how sensitive PS's are.

Dx 1/19/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, ILC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 7/26/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction Dx 1/19/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 13, 2012 03:20PM Sassa wrote:

Chrisilini,

I am a former 26 year resident of the Baltimore-Washington area (Columbia, MD).

 Finksburg is just over the Baltimore County- Carroll County line in Carroll County.  If you stayed in Baltimore City, you will need to travel out from the city, into and through Baltimore County to Carroll County.  Depending on the time of your appointment, it would take 45 minutes - an hour from the Inner Harbor without any traffic problems. It would be a complete nightmare in rush hour.

Check out Owings Mills for a motel.  The town is between the Baltimore Washington Airport and Finksburg.  It would be all expressway to Ownings Mill once you leave the airport road and take either the Baltimore Washington Parkway or I-95 to I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) to I-795.  Ownings Mill is right on I-795.  

To get to Finksburg, you get back on I-795 and continue to the end where it hits Route 140 (Reistertown Rd).  Rte 140 goes through Finksburg.

 Ownings Mills has a  nice mall and lots of restaurants.  If you wish to go into Baltimore and not drive, there is a light rail (subway) stop in Ownings Mills to downtown Baltimore.

If you drive, there is plenty to do in the Baltimore area.  Ft. McHenry is there.  The Inner Harbor has the National Aqarium which, IMO, is the best in the country.

If you want to go into DC, you will need to drive one hour (without traffic, again a rush hour nightmare) down I-95 and make your way to one of the metro stops (subway).  The New Carrolton terminus would be your best bet from I-95.  

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 13, 2012 04:59PM Blessings2011 wrote:

KiangaDayo - Now I'm envious of you, too!!! I can't imagine not being pleased by Vinnie's work...I just don't want any more surgeries.

grt42btexan - Have you shown your PS examples of Vinnie's work? Have you asked him if he can duplicate his work exactly? You know the answer would be no.....If he's as great a PS as you say he is, he would want the best for you!!!

I'm still confirmed for August 22nd....permanent squishies in 9 days - wooHOO! Laughing

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/4/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 13, 2012 06:38PM Hoya03mom wrote:

So have heard great things about Vinnie. Just finished having muscle sparing tram. Healing gret but not sure want more surgeries to replace nipples so tattoo seems like good option. Is it covered by insurance? Cash only? How expensive?? Christmas is right around the corner! Anyway would love to hear more from folks who have done this
Thanks!

Life isn’t about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain.   Surgery 4/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 4/6/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/24/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Dx 5/25/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/24/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Dx 7/25/2012, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Aug 13, 2012 07:01PM TAPPY wrote:

Does he still do this in NOLA ?

What is the approx cost ?

And how long does it take ?

Many things about tomorrow I dont seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. Dx 9/9/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 13, 2012 09:01PM jacee wrote:

Vinnie is in NOLA approx. one week per month. The center asks for payment ($400) up front. They will bill your insurance, but $400 is the most you will pay out of pocket. This is for bilateral. The procedure takes around 2 hours in the clinic, with some of this being paperwork and before and after pics. Vinnie is amazing, as is his work. I had reconstructed nipples, but he did some slight shading to give a 3D effect on slightly flattened areas of the nipple.

My body has cancer, my spirit does not! Dx 4/27/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/5/2009 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/6/2009 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/6/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2010 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/12/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 10/9/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Aug 13, 2012 09:24PM - edited Aug 13, 2012 09:25PM by TSB1

I'm assuming you have to be a patient of the NOLA docs in order to have vinnie do the tattoos there? I tried to schedule mine in September at vinnies place but he's out of town when I'm there. I'm going to shoot for next spring. Unless they allow "outsiders" at the NOLA place. Does anyone know? Sorry for hijacking this thread. I bet you're excited!

Finished Chemo on January 19, 2012!! A/C X4 (started 08-11-2011) Then Taxol X12. BMx and DIEP 06-2011. BRCA- OncoType Dx Score 31 Dx 4/18/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/33 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 13, 2012 09:51PM IamPam wrote:

I just scheduled my 3Ds with Vinnie in NO. When I called the clinic they took my insurance information and called to check on coverage. Three days later I got a call back saying that they have confirmed that my insurance will cover the 3Ds!! So happy! Now just to book a hotel and plan the adventure!!

Dx 7/29/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/18 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 9/28/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2012 Hormonal Therapy 9/8/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 13, 2012 11:30PM rayofsun wrote:

Chrisilini I live 20 mins from vinnie so I can definetly suggest hotels. The mall at Owings mills has gone downhill they are going to gut most of it shortly. There are good priced chain hotels their, Hampton inn etc and yes is an expressway ride to vinnies. The cities of Baltimore and DC are fairly easy to navigate. What time is your appt with vinnie?

Ray

brca neg.SNB 10/09, bilateral mastectomy 4/10. DIEP , ooph and tubes removed 1/5.11.. started breast cancer vaccine study for her2 positive at hopkins on feb 2011. Dx 9/30/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 14, 2012 03:09AM chrissilini wrote:

rayofsun and sassa.....thanks so much for the info. I actually will be staying in Owings Mills. Seemed the most logical place and I really didn't want to stay right in the city. I'm more of a country girl. I do plan on checking both Baltimore and DC out while I'm there. I'm flying in on Saturday, figured I'd check out Baltimore that day and then head to the hotel. Sunday I'd like to do DC. My appointment is Monday morning at 11. Not sure what I'll do the rest of the day but I'll figure it out. Flying home on Tuesday morning. Oh, I'll be going in October.

For those with questions, I spoke with the Vman himself when making the appointment. He works out of his shop and NOLA. You don't have to be a NOLA patient. $400 total for both. Insurance should cover but if they make an issue your ps can write a script for nip/areola pigmentation and submit it with the paperwork you'll get from Vinnie. I was told it takes about 2 hours and some of that time is spent having a consult. I can't wait!

grt42btexan....I was wondering the same thing. I love my ps and almost felt guilty about going to someone else to finish the job. But, I remember something he said in the beginning. We talked briefly about the entire process and nips/tatts. He said he was not a tattoo artist but does the tattooing. And that if I had someone I liked, by all means go with that person. So, I sucked it up and called the office today to cancel the appointment I had with my ps for tatts in a month. He was completely understanding. I explained who Vinnie was and what he does and my ps has no problem at all with it. I was relieved and, even though I won't have the tatts done until October, I'm excited to show my ps in December when I have a followup.

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/15/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 14, 2012 11:15AM TAPPY wrote:

I live 2 hours from NOLA so this would be so doable for me.  And really $400 is not bad.

I still have some more recon/fills/exchange - but this is good news.  His work really looks awesome.

Is it painful to have them done ?

Many things about tomorrow I dont seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. Dx 9/9/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 14, 2012 11:42AM Sassa wrote:

Rayofsun,

WOW!  What a shame about the mall in Ownings Mill.  If that one is a goner and Security Square is now the pits, it looks like the Columbia Mall is the only left on that side of Baltimore.

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 14, 2012 11:44AM Sassa wrote:

Chrissilini,

While Maryland is famous for crabcakes, try Pit Beef or a Pollack Johnny while in Baltimore.  They are strictly Baltimore specialities.

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 14, 2012 06:48PM TSB1 wrote:

Chrissilini, thanks for the info. I'm in Texas so NO is a short flight and very doable. I'll call Vinnie and see when he will be there and get going on this. When I showed my beloved PS pics of Vinnie's work he said, "go see this guy and have him do the tattoos. These are great and I can't beat this. Then come back and show me". It was really funny because he kept zooming in and out on my phone to look at the pictures : )

Finished Chemo on January 19, 2012!! A/C X4 (started 08-11-2011) Then Taxol X12. BMx and DIEP 06-2011. BRCA- OncoType Dx Score 31 Dx 4/18/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/33 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 14, 2012 07:07PM geewhiz wrote:

I swear, if I ever get to that man's office, I am probably going to be choking back tears of relief, exhaustion, frustration and JOY!!! For me getting to the Vinnie stage is the brass ring. The final stage in a very LONG journey.

Congrats on a great choice! Post over in TimTam's forum so we can see your results!!

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Aug 14, 2012 10:40PM New-girl wrote:

TSB1- I am in the DFW area of Texas. My appt with Vinnie is at 10:30. I'm thinking of flying in that morning and back home that evening. I will put on my big girl pants and tell my PS next week. Don't know why I am so nervous. Probably my constant need for approval that I am doing the right thing. I just want to look pretty and I feel Vinnie will do the best that can be done.

Dx 1/19/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, ILC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 7/26/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction Dx 1/19/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 15, 2012 03:00PM dee7493 wrote:

I had nipple recon done by my Plastic Surgeon in Feb and Vinnie did arerola tatts in April - my nips look so real

Made a pre tatto weekend getaway to DC and it was a complete pleasure and honor to have met Vinnie.

dee Dx 8/25/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 10/6/2010 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Tissue expander placement

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