Dr. Marga is a board certified Plastic Surgeon with additional training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. She is the Founder of the National Institute of Lymphology and serves as a Medical Advisor to the Norton School. Dr. Marga promotes the the highest standard of lymphedema care for surgical patients nationwide.
Laura Martin - Dr. Marga's November 2011 Mermaid of the Month
On February 26, 2007 at 1:26pm is when I got the call I that I had lobular breast cancer-at age 33. A week or so prior, I was watching TV and brushed the side of my breast and felt a large hard spot. That weekend I happen to be at a spa with some girlfriends and told them about what I felt. They said they sometimes got the same thing during their monthly cycle so I let it go for a couple days. When it didn't go away, I called the doctor to make an appointment. I had a mammogram on a Thursday, a biopsy on a Friday and had to wait over the weekend for the results on Monday which was torturous!! Especially when the radiologist said goodbye to me and said "you are in our prayers". What the heck did she mean by that!!! Sure enough, that call came Monday and the first thing I thought was, how was I going to tell my mom? We had just lost my dad to cancer 5 years prior. I almost felt like it was a movie I was watching but it wasn't and I never thought this would happen to me.
I am an avid scrap-booker. I asked Jenny for all the mermaids photo's and their stories in 2010 so I could make an album for Dr. Massey for the holidays last year. I wanted to share with you the letter I wrote to her because it just sums up exactly how I feel about her:
Dear Dr. Marga:
I wanted to make this book for you so you had something you could look at from time to time and see how much you are appreciated. And this is only 12 of the many people you have helped and will help in the future!
Having breast cancer so young has certainly changed my life. There were times I was not sure how I could possibly look like the age I was supposed to be. With all the surgery, chemo, radiation and medication, I felt I aged so much in a matter of months. Looking back, I see how much I retreated from participating in life because I just did not look or feel like myself. I had so much support but no one could understand, I mean really understand all the things that go along with having breast cancer.
That was until I met you! The first time you called was a Sunday afternoon and I was shopping. Our conversation lasted almost an hour and half and after I hung up, I knew you were the person I could count on.
I now feel like you are bringing me back to life, one surgery at a time and I am finally starting to feel like the "before breast cancer" Laura, but better!!
I admire how involved you are in the Lymphedema society. The lack of education given to the medical professionals about the condition is so upsetting. And to do all that along with the artistic surgeries you do, make us feel like the battle we are trying to win is all worth it.
You are the most selfless person I have ever known and there is no way to say thank you enough for the work you do on a daily basis. This certainly has been a journey but a journey that somehow led me to meet you. You have golden hands but you have an even bigger heart and that is why we love you-because you love us just as much!
Everybody moves so fast these days and most do not take the time to listen to one another. Its just how the world has become... But to come across a doctor who treats you with respect, talks to you and not at you, puts hope in your heart, gives you a hug at just the right time, and eventually becomes your best girlfriend is something so rare - I and many others are so lucky to have her on this earth.
If you are looking to be transformed, both physically and emotionally, you will not find a better physician who is all rolled into one and somehow makes time for it all! I don't know how she does it!
Maybe it was my dad looking down from heaven who somehow guided her into my life because he knew I needed her-and I am so happy he did!!!
One of your many grateful patients,