Discover what Carol did when doctors told her that reconstruction wasn’t possible without extra surgery. Each day, we speak with women who have battled cancer and are continuing to thrive. This survivor spotlight has a unique story not only because she had a rare form of breast cancer, but because she refused to settle. Discover Carol Lee’s story of survival and learn why she chose not to receive a breast reconstruction after her mastectomy. … [Read more...]
A year after Ellen Eddings discovered she had breast cancer in her right breast, after 33 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation at the University of Chicago Medical Center, an irregularity was discovered in her left breast.
“I had a bilateral mastectomy in February of 2003,” Ellen said. “I thought, why me?” Her bilateral reconstruction failed on the right side, and after three surgeries she was at a low point. But a special nurse helped her through the worst of her ordeal, and her four sisters, all from Arkansas, traveled to Chicago to welcome her home from the hospital.
For the next nine years, Ellen made do with off-the-shelf breast forms. She hid behind loose tops, heavy jackets and scarves. “I had to apply the nipples separately and there was often a problem with slippage,” she said. “My breasts looked uneven, and I thought people were noticing.”
The chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Division of the School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff learned about ContourMed customized breast forms in early 2012. “I called and immediately set up an appointment for a scan at the ContourMed office,” Ellen said. “They were very customer-service focused and set up the scan around my schedule. Within a few weeks of my appointment, I had my ContourMed breast forms. I am totally in love with them – I just put them on and go.”
Ellen’s thousand-watt smile beams when she talks about her life today. She plays racquetball and shoots hoops with her younger son when he’s home from college. She even wore her ContourMed breast forms during a bath at a Hot Springs spa.
“I feel like myself again. I feel attractive,” Ellen said. “One of my students told me, ‘Something about you is different…you look brighter.’”