Louise Adams’ Story
My journey began in December when I was called in to retake a yearly mammogram due to an increase in calcification from the previous year. After the second mammogram, I received a biopsy on the day after Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, Kevin Cregan, MD, called to tell me the results were positive for carcinoma in situ of my right breast.
It was in the earliest stage and noninvasive. He thoroughly explained to me what to expect and answered all my questions with patience and confidence. His calm, positive demeanor set the pace for my journey. I thank God he delivered my diagnosis because he really put me at ease.
After I hung up the phone, I made a personal motto for the new year: “No fear, just faith.” The situation was too big for me, so I turned it over completely to God.
Dealing With the Unexpected
The next week, I met with an oncologist, Samer Kasbari, MD. He told me I could choose lumpectomy, followed by radiation, or mastectomy. I would also have to take a pill (Tamoxifen) for five years to help prevent breast cancer from returning. I chose lumpectomy without hesitation.
In late January, Gilbert Garcia, MD, performed the surgery without complications. Unfortunately, the lumpectomy didn’t remove enough tissue for me to start radiation therapy. Dr. Garcia gave me two options for further treatment:
- Undergo additional surgery to remove more tissue, and then have radiation treatment, which would cause many side effects
- Have a mastectomy and no radiation therapy
After prayer and meditation, I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. I couldn’t stand the thought of worrying every year about developing cancer in my left breast as well.
Dr. Garcia performed the mastectomy in April. During the procedure, Benjamin Eskra, MD, put in tissue expanders in preparation for breast reconstructive surgery. They were a fantastic team! I was amazed how smoothly everything went, and I had almost no pain, just a little soreness.
The tissue expanders stayed in place for six weeks. I went to Dr. Eskra five times for saline to fill the expanders to my desired size. When I was satisfied with the results, I had surgery to replace the expanders with permanent implants in June. I could not believe how great I felt afterwards, and once again, I was amazed I had no pain.
I continued to have follow-up appointments with Dr. Eskra for the next few months. I told him he made my journey so easy. From my initial visit, his warm personality, bedside manner, and sense of concern made me feel very comfortable. I am 100% satisfied with the results of reconstructive surgery.
Before treatment, I had talked to other surgeons at the advice of family and friends. But I was very discouraged by the lack of concern and compassion at other hospitals. I thank God for bringing me back to Goldsboro and the awesome team here. My body was taken apart, in a sense, but I was blessed to have it put back together by the best plastic surgeon in the land, Dr. Eskra. I am forever grateful for every professional who played a part in my journey.
Sharing My Story
After my last appointment, I wondered, what now? I have always been a big supporter of cancer-related events, but now I have the pleasure of being able to add my voice of experience. My prayer is that my testimony can help someone feel the same comfort, confidence, and support I received. I will gladly make myself available to promote mammograms and early detection.
By the grace of God, I am cancer-free today and confident that with proper diet and exercise, I have a long, healthy life ahead of me.
In Louise's Own Words