Karla Anderson - Dr. Marga's August 2011 Mermaid of the Month

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Karla Anderson

I knew I wanted to have reconstruction after having a mastectomy, going through chemo, and radiation, but what kind of reconstruction? Where do I start, what are my choices? I had a lot of questions. I visited with a couple of local plastic surgeons. They mostly did cosmetic plastic surgery and couldn't do anything for me. I visited with a couple of other surgeons in a nearby, larger city. I didn't feel comfortable with them personally or the procedures they felt were best for me. Something this major I needed to feel totally confident in both the doctor and the procedure.

I had heard of Dr. Massey, so I looked her up on the internet, read everything on the website, thought about it for a while, and then made the phone call that has blessed, and changed my life. I spoke with Ashley and told her my history. She said she thought Dr. Massey could help. So, we set up a phone consultation and I e-mailed pictures of myself. Dr. Massey called me at home on a Saturday morning and we visited for over an hour. From the conversation, my history, and pictures, Dr. Massey felt that I was a good candidate for the D.I.E.P., and thought that she could help me. Because of the time frame of my wanting the surgery done, my family's schedule, and her surgery schedule I had not yet met Dr. Massey in person. I felt so good about her - she was friendly, compassionate, and most importantly, listened to me and what I felt I wanted. So, I scheduled my surgery in Louisiana, without having ever met Dr. Massey.

I was busy over the next couple of weeks making reservations, getting the pre-surgery testing done at home and then faxing the test results to Dr. Massey. The next thing I knew I was on a plane heading to Louisiana. (I don't like to fly!) After bad weather and missed connections my husband and I finally arrived. That night at the Hope Lodge I fell apart. I thought, "What in the world am I doing here? This is insane!" I wanted to go right back to the airport and go home. My husband sweetly said, "We have come all this way, let's just go to the appointments tomorrow and if you still don't want to go through with it you don't have to."

The next day, when Dr. Massey walked through the exam room door and greeted me with a big, warm hug and said, "You made it, it's good to finally meet you!" I knew instantly that I had made the right choice. After visiting with her, having the surgical markings put on and talking about all of my concerns I felt confident with her as a doctor and with the choice of the reconstruction I was having. The next day I had surgery - it went great! The outcome is amazing and beautiful. Dr. Massey is an amazing and beautiful person.

I was told before I had my mastectomy, probably due to the cancer and the extent of the treatment, not to worry about reconstruction that "no one could make a breast like God did." No one can, it's true. But God gave Dr. Massey a special gift, her personality, compassion, skills and abilities as a surgeon, to help women in their journey to recovery from cancer, and to help restore all that is possible that was taken. I am glad I put my fears behind me and went forward - all the way to Louisiana - to have the best doctor for the right reconstruction possible for me.

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