Dr. Meade Saved My Life.

Dr. Meade Saved My Life.
He probably doesn’t think he did, but he did. Here’s my story.

I am well acquainted with death. My mother died of cancer at 42, my dad of a heart attack at 47. I had a niece die from cancer at age 6, and her mother, my sister, was dead at 45 of breast cancer.

After that, the 2nd of my 4 sisters was diagnosed with breast cancer at 59. It was then that we were all tested for the BRCA gene mutation, and we all tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation.

We were told by our Oncologists that it was not IF we got breast cancer, but WHEN. A bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy were strongly suggested. (The same gene mutation increases your risk of ovarian cancer, which we think is what my mother had.)

It is a difficult decision to make to have your breasts cut off when you don’t even have cancer – yet. It was one I wasn’t ready to make at 49 when I found out my genetic testing results. But then when the daughter of my 3rd sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29, I was 52 and I was ready.

Also contributing to the decision were the endless mammograms and MRIs, where the doctors and technicians, knowing I had the gene mutation, always seemed worried they might miss something. They would often request sonograms or a biopsy. I was ready for all that to end.

I met Dr. Meade at a program about genetic testing at Gilda’s house. It was there I heard him speak about a kind of mastectomy and reconstruction that I had been unaware of. It was where you could “go to sleep with two and wake up with two.” I knew that was the kind of surgery for me. If I had not heard about this method, I really would not have had the bilateral mastectomy, and by now I might have breast cancer.

In making the decision to go forward with the surgery, I needed a doctor I could trust. DIEP Flap reconstruction was what I wanted. I needed a doctor that cared about doing what was best for me, even if it was a very long surgery (14 hours), and one which was not compensated well for by the insurance companies. That doctor was Dr. Meade.

Dr. Meade listened to my family history and my genetic test results, and said, “You need to have this done.”

Dr. Meade is a caring compassionate doctor who never hurries through your appointment. He stays until all your questions are answered, your options explained, your fears vanquished.

I know that Dr. Meade could choose to only perform the more lucrative cosmetic procedures, and not have to deal with insurance companies. For that reason and more, I am so grateful that he also performs breast reconstruction which I believe is much more difficult, time consuming, emotional for the patient, and which pays much less, since it is filed with insurance. I really want to cry when I see how little the insurance companies pay for such an important surgery.

So, thank you Dr. Meade for choosing to make a difference in so many lives, for being a kind and caring doctor. Thank you for saving my life! YOU’RE THE BEST!

Sincerely,

KS

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