PRMA Patients Share Their Experiences

In December 2013, at the age of 37, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (specifically Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)).  As with any cancer diagnosis I was immediately thrown into a whirlwind of doctor appointments with medical and surgical oncologists.  I was given pamphlets, books, and various other forms of information on paper. I asked my surgical oncologist if I would need a mastectomy or lumpectomy, and given the extensive nature of my DCIS, he said likely a mastectomy. Within a month I found out I was positive for a BRCA2 mutation.

My journey began in February 2015 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was such a shock, being that I have never been had more than a sore throat or stomach ache in 58 years.  That being said, I did not have a primary doctor or know of any doctor (especially any surgeons) that I could trust enough to put my life in their hands. 

PRMA patient Genny Small was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in July 2014 at the age of 39. Pregnant with her 8th child a son, she had a skin/nipple sparing BMX in December with tissue expander placement. She planned on getting implants at the stage 2 surgery but acquired an infection and required several surgeries & months of antibiotics to clear.  This left the DIEP flap as the best option. 

It was May 15th a year ago, that I discovered a lump in my right breast that turned out to be stage 2 breast cancer. What a journey it has been. In the beginning I was scared. Scared for my family and scared of the unknown. You hear cancer and you automatically think death is knocking at your door. Everyone I had know who had cancer is now deceased, so your mind automatically thinks the worse. I decided I wasn't going to cry and feel sorry for myself, but fight with everything in my arsenal to win this battle.

Watch Rhonda's Video Testimonial Here

Diagnosed: May 6, 2014

Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Cancer…..It’s amazing what one word can do to your life. One six letter word, and your world begins to spin and your life takes a 180 degree turn. I describe it as if “I actually felt time moving. I was in slow motion and the world was moving around me.”  Those of us who have received this diagnosis -- we understand the feeling.

My mother was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 44. She died in 2011, after an 18 year battle with breast cancer that slowly but surely metasticized to her brain, liver, and other organs. Though my mother tried her best to make the most of her 18 years of survival, much of her post-diagnosis time and energy were spent getting used to one medication or another, visiting doctors, undergoing surgeries, recuperating from surgeries, applying for medical trials, and anxiously anticipating various test results. 


Watch Tammy's Video

My name is Tammy and I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) in June 2009.   I carefully and thoughtfully made the decision to have bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction after spending a great amount of time researching all my possible options. I am very happy that I made this decision. 

Watch Debbie's Video Testimonial

I was 38 years old when I had my first mammogram, a good baseline to start with.

In June 2011 my family relocated to San Antonio. Not knowing a single person and trying to get the family settled, I skipped my mammogram that year.  But, in October 2011, my mom delivered the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, DCIS, and would undergo a lumpectomy and radiation.

Watch Melanie's Video

My name is Melanie and I am writing this two weeks after surgery with Dr. Chrysopoulo at PRMA.  Like so many others, I feel so grateful to Dr. Chrysopoulo.  I’m so glad I came to San Antonio to do this surgery.  I feel great, and once my incisions heal, I’ll have no visible scars.  I love how I look, like myself, only better/”perkier."

Watch Kathy's video.

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Gary Arishita, Heather Waggoner and the PRMA staff. What a pleasure to be associated with them as a breast reconstruction patient.

After diagnosis, I went through chemotherapy, a single mastectomy then radiation. At every turn I was overwhelmed and so blessed by the level of care and compassion my various medical teams bestowed upon me.

Watch Lisa's Video

After just spending 3 hours in a (non-cancer/surgery related) doctor's office, of which there was 8 minutes to see the assistant and 4 minutes to see the doctor, AND nothing came of the appointment, now I know why I flew 1500 miles to find the best. You look for the best doctors and you go there - simple as that. Find the best and go to the best! Go Dr C!! Go PRMA!!

Watch Amanda's Video

I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with stage I invasive ductal carcinoma on February 14, 2013. I didn't have a lump, but had nipple discharge which alerted me to go to the doctor. After deciding to have a double mastectomy I began to research my reconstruction options. I went to PRMA because many of my doctors and a family friend referred me there.