Lexi is 33 and lives in Logan Square with her husband, two stepsons, and their pup Fred. She's an avid runner and SoulCycler, reader, world traveller, and Taco Bell lover.
While on vacation last July (2018), I felt some hard breast tissue while adjusting my breasts into a swimsuit. It didn't feel like the traditional 'lump' everyone tells you about, and I thought it might have been connected to my cycle, so I let it be and enjoyed the rest of my vacation. But when the tissue didn't change, I made an appointment with my Primary Care Physician. About a month after discovering the tissue, I was diagnosed with DCIS, T2 N1 M0, Grade 3, Triple Positive Breast Cancer.
The next six months passed with fertility treatments, 20 weeks of chemo, and 17 rounds of Herceptin & Perjeta, which will continue until October 2019. I enrolled in a clinical trial where I was selected to not receive radiation. As a fundraiser for the University of Chicago Medicine, receiving care at their Comprehensive Cancer Center was a no-brainer.
When deciding about the type of mastectomy (double vs. uni) and reconstruction, I felt that there were two forces pulling on me - one where I needed to do a double mastectomy with cute and perky implants (the seemingly popular choice), and one that was the voice of my surgeon, who specializes in DIEP flap reconstruction, and thought that it was the best choice for her. After contemplating the pros and cons of both types of mastectomy and both types of reconstruction, I chose to have a unilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP Flap reconstruction and a reduction on the opposite breast.
I am eager to share my story with the community because while contemplating my decision, it was difficult to find women who 1) had cancer at a young age 2) chose to keep the unaffected breast and 3) chose DIEP flap reconstruction. Often, I felt alone and that I was making the wrong choice. Now three months out from surgery, I know I made the best choice for me. I want others that are contemplating their treatment and reconstruction options to know they're not alone, and that the right choice for you might not be the most popular choice.