Linda Gale Owen - Dr. Marga's July 2011 Mermaid of the Month

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Linda Gale Owen

It was summer of 2008 and time for my annual mammogram. You know it's always bad news when the x-ray tech tells you the radiologist would like to speak with you. The radiologist gently, but honestly, said she was concerned with a spot seen on the film. She made arrangements to get me back in the next day for a biopsy and confirmed the suspicious spot was cancer...early stage, but cancer. Previously, in 2004, a cancerous lump was removed from the same breast by my general surgeon. With this most recent finding, the general surgeon met with my husband and me for close to an hour, informing us of all the options ranging from another lumpectomy to a double mastectomy. I had a long list of questions he patiently answered. He suggested I think about it before making a decision. After more research, prayer and speaking with other cancer patients, I chose a double mastectomy. My husband was totally supportive knowing it would give us peace of mind. I just wasn't willing to gamble any more by hoping the next one would also be caught early. My general surgeon discussed the different reconstruction procedures and gave me names of several plastic surgeons. One was Dr. Marga Massey. I called her office right away.

Dr. Massey made arrangements to meet with me immediately. The initial conference lasted an hour and a half. Dr. Massey discussed the pros and cons of the various types of breast reconstruction. Without having to be asked, she addressed every question I had on my list. I immediately fell in love with her and knew I wanted her to walk with me through this difficult time. What other surgeon gives you their personal cell phone number and tells you to call anytime? We decided on a flap because of prior abdominal surgery. A surgery date was set. Dr. Massey flew into Charleston on Sunday, the day before surgery, and met with me that afternoon for marking. The next day was a long day in surgery.

The nurses at Roper were wonderful for the next 5 days. Each had been trained by Dr. Massey on the standard of care she required for her patients. It was obvious the nursing staff had great respect for Dr. Massey and strived to meet or exceed her expectations.

I have seen Dr. Marga many times since the original surgery and she has come to mean a great deal to me. She is like family. There is no doubt she genuinely cares deeply about each of her patients and will go above and beyond to provide the best care possible.

- Linda Gale Owens

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