Plastic surgery is one option, another is breast prosthesis. Most breast cancer survivors are all too familiar with people looking at their chest. But, today there are more options for women.
Diana Schwint, Dickinson: "I had breast cancer in March '85, and my mom had it in October of '85." Generations of women have been battling breast cancer, with chemo, and radiation. But after surviving the "c" word they might also battle body insecurity.
Diana Schwint, Dickinson: "When I tell people I've had breast cancer, they'll be like, what, and then of course thing is to look at my chest to see what I look like I guess." What she looks like is a regular woman.
Diana Schwint is a survivor who uses breast prosthesis to blend in.
Diana Schwint, Dickinson: "I was at the pool, and a lady asked where I got my swimsuit, and said it's beautiful, and I said, at Great Plains Rehab, and she said, why'd you get it there, and she had no idea." Great Plains Rehab is just one place that offers bras and breast forms for women who have had mastectomies.
Joyce LaChappelle, GPRS, St. Alexius: "I've got that all in black, all in white. When I first started fitting, I probably saw on average four to six women a month, I think we average over 30 now." Joyce LaChappelle has been fitting and measuring women of all ages for two decades.
Along with that, she listens.
Joyce LaChappelle, GPRS, St. Alexius: "I've had had women just cry, they'll look in the mirror and they'll bawl, like I feel whole again, I think that's the whole thing, they feel complete."
Diana Schwint, Dickinson: "Even though she hasn't had breast cancer, or had it, she seems to know exactly what to say, and what to do, and when I got fitted I felt like a whole person." Schwint is now picking out swimsuits designed for her to celebrate. She and her husband will soon be in Florida for a 40 year wedding anniversary and 25 years cancer-free.
Diana Schwint, Dickinson: "Oh my, I might cry, he was very supportive, he was by my side constantly... when I'd come home with drainage tubes, he was there to help me with that, never thought it was not a good sight..." Support that can help... someone as tough as a cancer survivor
Schwint was with the Reach to Recovery program for 16 years and says her mentor, the late Helen Peterson taught her there is life after cancer.
Great Plains Rehab offers a support group every third Thursday of the month for breast cancer survivors.
You can call them at 701.530.4000 or visit the website.
Watch the Video