"My breast cancer journey"

About: Pilgrim Hospital / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

My breast cancer was diagnosed in January 2012. I was recalled to the breast unit following a Screening Mammogram in December 2011, It was then arranged for me to have a biopsy.

I was then told that I had Intermediate Grade Ductal Carcinoma, when I asked what the treatment was, the doctor then said in a matter of fact way that I would have to have a Skin Sparing Mastectomy that is when the shock set in and I became very upset. I was consoled by husband and the breast care nurse Linda, after coming to terms with this it was then explained to me why I had to have this surgery, as it would in fact save my life.

An appointment was arranged for me to see Mrs Anand who discussed the surgery with me, and also about reconstruction. I felt quite at ease and very comfortable with Mrs Anand.

Everything from the pre op assessment and preparing for surgery was dealt with efficiently and in a caring and friendly manner by the Breast Care Nurse Christine.

On the day of my surgery I was feeling quite nervous, but I was put at ease by all the staff involved from the Theater Porters, the Anesthetist to the Operating Staff, Surgeon and Nurses.

After surgery it felt quite strange having no right breast I felt like I had lost something.

When I was told by Mrs Anand that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes and would not need any further treatment, I then realised how lucky I was that I had only lost my right breast and not my life.

I chose not to have reconstruction at this time, but I was told by Mrs Anand to take my time and when I was ready this could be done at a later date, this reassured me that this could be done when I felt the time was right.

Overall from first being diagnosed with cancer to my mastectomy everything was dealt with very efficiently and all the staff involved were very caring.

In November 2013, 19 months after my mastectomy I decided to have delayed reconstruction.

I contacted Christine the Breast Care Nurse who arranged an appointment within 2 weeks.

At the appointment with Dr Husain we discussed the different types of reconstruction, but I chose to have the Expander Implant with Strattice. Surgery, which was then arranged for after Christmas 2013 in mid January 2014.

Before my operation I was seen by Dr Abdel-Rahman and Miss Husain who measured me for my implant, I felt quite comfortable and very at ease with both doctors.

Once again before and after my reconstruction surgery I was put at ease by all staff involved from the Theater Porters, Anesthetist, Operating Staff, Nurses and Surgeon Mr Abdel-Rahman.

Having now had my reconstruction operation I am very pleased with the results.

Dr Husain had now left the Pilgrim Hospital, but I would like to thank her for her care and help in my reconstruction.

I am still under the of the care of Mr Abdel-Rahman who did my reconstruction surgery, and would like to say he is a very caring doctor, who has dealt with me with care and in a very friendly manner. He also makes me laugh while I am having my treatment.

I would just like to say well done to Mr Abdel-Rahman on winning his award this year for Compassion & Respect Towards Others it was well deserved.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your kind words about Boston Breast Unit. Your story about your Breast cancer journey and these lovely words about trust, compassion and reassurance, they are our aim when we treat all our patients.

I was involved in your treatment but I am just a member of a team who I am sure consider these words as “stars on our chest” and encourage us to work harder to keep this level of trust. Of course, there will be more room for improvement because we have not reached our target yet.

Thank you again on behalf of the whole Breast Team in Boston.

Best Regards

Mr Alaa Abdel-Rahman

Breast Surgeon

Pilgrim Hospital -Breast Unit

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