A national charity will host a breast reconstruction awareness meeting in Port Macquarie on Thursday March 23.
Reclaim Your Curves educates and supports women through the breast reconstructive phase through face to face support and phone contact.
For Kempsey’s Trudy Pierpoint that support proved vital.
“Two weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2013 I had a right mastectomy and the sentinel node and four other nodes were removed,” she said.
While the shock of the diagnosis was extreme, Mrs Pierpoint says chancing on the Reclaim Your Curves website provided a strong impetus for her recovery.
“Reclaim Your Curves founder Louise Turner was available to meet with me at short notice and helped me through some of the difficult times. She was very focused on women having choice in their post-mastectomy reconstruction options.
“And I think that is very much part of the recovery process where you can make an informed choice and not just have the procedure that a medical practitioner tells you.”
After being given the all-clear from cancer, Mrs Pierpoint said she concentrated on researching breast reconstruction techniques and options. She even wrote a list of questions to ask the surgeons, as part of the journey.
“I really missed my body symmetry. I felt lopsided and I wasn’t happy,” she said.
“But I looked at the pros on cons of the different kinds of reconstruction available and eventually opted for a DIEP breast reconstruction because I didn’t want any artificial inside my body and didn’t want ongoing surgeries to replace implants.”
Her surgery went ahead in June 2015 and seven months later a reconstructed nipple was created. A cosmetic tattooist tattooed the reconstructed nipple and surrounding skin to look like an areola in May 2016.
Trudy Pierpoint and friend Vicki Brenton will present their journey to Thursday’s event with feature presentations by Associate Professor Guy Hingston and Dr Pouria Moradi.
The breast reconstruction awareness event is on Thursday March 23 at Port City Bowling Club, from 5.30 until 9pm. The event is free and partners, supporters and local healthcare and support service professionals are welcome to attend, but registration is required.
To register go to: www.reclaimyourcurves.org.au or phone Alison on 0401 443 541 for more information.