Jonie Cline - Dr. Marga's April 2012 Mermaid of the Month
When I received my breast cancer diagnosis in April 2009, nothing could have prepared me for the events about to take place in my life. I had no idea that a 7 mm tumor was going to affect every inch of my body over the next few years.
I was already scheduled for a hysterectomy at the time of my breast cancer diagnosis. Two weeks after that surgery I had a unilateral mastectomy and axillary node dissection. Though I love my Breast Surgeon, she never talked reconstruction options with me...just gave me a very informative book showing all the different procedures. So, I had a non-skin sparing mastectomy and prepared for the next 8 months of chemotherapy and radiation.
I am obsessive about details and knowing all I can about anything that involves me...so, I read every possible thing I could find about reconstruction. I knew I wanted DIEP flap reconstruction and continued my quest to make it happen. After running across Dr. Marga's name on many occasions, I went to her website. I fell in love with her "virtual personality" and set up a phone consultation with her. An hour later I knew I had found the person who would gently & skillfully put me back together again. I don't say this lightly, as I truly felt torn apart by what cancer had done to my body. Not only did I no longer have a uterus & ovaries...but only 1 breast, little to no hair, no estrogen. As far as I was concerned there was nothing feminine left of me.
In September 2010, my husband and I traveled to Charleston and I had a prophylactic mastectomy and bilateral DIEP flap surgery. I have never had so much care and attention given to me by a Dr. as I received from Dr. Marga. While recovery is hard, the results are so worth it. I knew she was a phone call away if I needed anything! I had a Stage 2 surgery in December 2010 and another Stage 2 in October 2011 to fine tune everything and construct nipples. I am looking forward to getting tattoos this summer.
I now think of Dr. Marga every day. When I see all those faded scars in the mirror, I'm reminded of a Dr. who so lovingly cared for me, talked with me, laughed with me and restored me.
Dr. Marga, my doctor, my friend...I thank God for the gifts He has given you. And I thank you for using those gifts so compassionately. I am blessed to be on the receiving end. It is so obvious you love what you do. Becoming a mermaid was icing on the cake!
With a grateful heart.....Joni Cline