The Second Mastectomy

February 3rd, 2012

I didn’t make big news ahead of time about getting a prophylactic mastectomy on the left side (unaffected side) – I kind of wanted this last big step to go under the radar until it was over. I checked into the hospital at 12:00p on Tuesday and checked out Thursday at 5:00p. They performed biopsies on the tissue that was removed and it was negative for any signs of breast cancer – that is a huge relief.

This surgery was easier than than the first because they didn’t remove lymph nodes and it didn’t require such an invasive removal of tissue because it was negative for breast cancer. And the surgery I had in April of 2011 did involve both sides – a simple radical mastectomy on the diseased side and a mastopexy on the unaffected side – so I had been cut on both sides. Having only been cut on one side this time made it much easier. The pain on the one side is almost as bad as last time however.

I have two drains on the left that will be in for a week. The drains are probably the biggest inconvenience, and the surgical bra you have to wear that is stuffed with all kinds of gauze and tape so it looks like you are bra stuffing like a sixth grader, only on one side. How odd!

Once again, I can’t stress how excellent my team of surgeons and nurses were. Dr. Gunn and Dr. Moore are both one of a kind and I love both of them. I feel completely safe under their care. And I was also blessed to have the same nurse on my case this time as last time – Sarah. I was too doped up to remember her last name but she went to Clemson and she made me laugh every time she came in the room.

Overall was a really positive experience, my husband was there to take care of me and he was so sweet and made sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed, brought me lattes on demand, and kissed me good night when he thought I was already asleep.

I should be back to full working order in about 10 days and ready to go back to work.


  1. Laura Bierema says:

    Stephanie, sending you healing

  2. ruth bettandorff says:

    You have been such an inspiration! You just let everyone wait on you!

  3. Mom says:

    Thanks for sharing this with me before and after. I know you do your best to not worry people, but it is inevitable. You are a special person to a lot of people, and especially me. Thanks Buck for your special care of my daughter. We love you all!