PaulineI was diagnosed with DCIS in 2008. That day seems like yesterday. I am trying to find some peace.  I have always been very health conscious — ate only organic, supplements, and exercise, etc. — never smoked or drank alcohol.

When I received that phone call to have another mammogram on my birthday of all days, I was overwhelmed with fear, later to be followed by a core needle biopsy and then to be told I had DCIS. The nurse said I had a pre-cancer and set me up to meet with a surgeon. This surgeon, after greeting my husband and I said, “Who in your family has breast cancer?”  I replied, “no one, why? I was told I have a pre-cancer.”  The surgeon replied, “she should have not used that word… have breast cancer.”  My husband and I were in shock.  She then told me that I had an aggressive DCIS — high grade cribiform, necrosis type in my left breast.  She said I had 3 choices: lumpectomy followed by radiation, single simple mastectomy, or bilateral mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction.  They would do a sentinel node biopsy to make certain it had not spread.  Never mentioned active surveillance.  She said not to wait very long for I had an aggressive form of breast cancer.  She gave me the name of the plastic surgeon she works with and said I would be in good hands.

I spoke with family after a good cry as well as a family member in the medical profession and never went for a 2nd opinion. I regret this today.

I met with the plastic surgeon and decided on a bilateral tram free flap reconstruction. A few days after coming home with hanging tubes etc., the left flap failed and I had to undergo emergency surgery for debridement, etc. plus all the other reconstruction and follow up appointments.

It was so devastating and disfiguring — maybe my vanity. I regret not going for a 2nd opinion and wish I would have known of Dr. Harms, the RODEO MRI, and Dr. Lagios, who is a renown pathologist.   I would have gone the holistic route.

Today, I count my blessings and thank God, for my husband family & friends. I am working on finding peace with this.

In hindsight… I wish that I had continued as a patient at “Women to Women,” a clinic for women founded by the renown Dr. Christiane Northrup. The Doctors there would have guided me when I received the terrifying diagnosis of DCIS and how to proceed, for as Dr. Christiane Northrup says in her article: “DCIS is not BREAST CANCER!”

Thank you for being there & trying to help others diagnosed with DCIS.


Pauline Demers

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