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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Me and the Girls: Diane Morgan


But the chemotherapy was successful, and next, Morgan had surgery to remove her right breast. "Definitely, something had to be done," Morgan says, noting that her surgical treatment was clear cut. "They told me, this is what we've got to do. There was no agonizing over options."

Morgan worried most about lymphedema, which is fluid build-up that causes swelling. It can be a side effect of breast cancer surgery to remove lymph nodes.

Morgan had seen two of her cousins suffer from "terribly swollen arms" from lymphedema after breast cancer treatment in the 1990s.

"All I could think of is if I'm going to have surgery that leaves me like that, forget it," she says. But her doctor assured her that surgical techniques had improved since her cousins were treated. Lymphedema can still occur, but it didn't happen to Morgan.

After her mastectomy, Morgan got seven weeks of radiation therapy. And throughout her treatment, she talked often with her sister, who had had a different type of breast cancer in the mid-1990s.

"The one thing that I marvel at is that her treatment was so severe compared to mine, and it just shows you, within a 10-year period or so, the great progress they've made," Morgan says.

No reconstruction: Morgan chose not to undergo breast reconstruction.

"I was not really into that," she says. "They did ask me and I didn't want to have any more surgery... the lopsidedness didn't bother me much at this stage of my life, and it still doesn't, really."

"I do have what I call my fancy falsie silicone prostheses," she says. "Once or twice I've worn a sports bra with the falsie in it, but it just doesn't bother me that much, and I tend to wear T-shirts and clothing that kind of disguises the fact that I am lopsided. But fortunately, there's no pain involved, and once in a while I get kind of stiff on that side, but other than that, they did a wonderful job of not hampering me in any way. I was very pleased with the way that turned out."

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