Dear Patient of Dr. Vasile,
I found the lump while in the shower. That was January 2009 when I was 56 years old. Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma was the diagnosis and 3.2 cm was the size of the tumor. I wanted it out of me right away. However, the course of treatment my breast surgeon and oncologist planned didn't allow for that. Instead, I began chemo-one session a week for the next 20 weeks. That would be followed by the mastectomy and 12 more chemo sessions.
When the mastectomy was performed, they also removed over a dozen lymph nodes for testing, half were positive. The oncologist suggested I have radiation treatment as well. If I did this, I would be in the 80 plus percentile survival rate. I didn't have to have the radiation treatment right away. I could have my reconstruction first, wait a bit and then begin the radiation shortly afterwards.
During the treatment, my breast surgeon and I discussed the options available for reconstruction. After reviewing, I decided on the TRAM flap. A tummy tuck and to be made whole again! What more can a girl want? I had the TRAM flap 2 weeks after my last chemo session.
I'm not going to say that the TRAM flap was a walk in the park, because it was not. It just didn't work for me. The donor site did not heal. The TRAM flap did not work and encapsulated, and my chest was left concaved. I had more surgeries to repair the damage. So many surgeries I have actually lost count. It got to the point that I began stuffing my bra with old pantyhose and wearing much higher necklines.
Just when I was at the point of giving up, I learned of Dr. Julie Vasile. I called her the same day and she spent quite some time talking to me. Asking questions and listening. Actually listening to me, inquiring about what I expected and how I felt emotionally. I needed to call back the next day to make my appointment as her office staff had already left for the day. But before I had the chance to call them, they called me. And they took care of everything for me including insurance approvals. The office team is really amazing.
That night, I googled her and was very impressed with what I read. I couldn't wait to meet her and was not disappointed when I did. During the exam, we discussed the procedures available. She explained the success rate vs. failure rate, explained what to expect after the surgery, and the things that I needed to do before and after to make the healing process go easier. But more importantly, she didn't "sign me up" right then and there. We met several more times before we committed to a plan: double (stacked) lateral thigh perforator flaps.
My surgery was July 2015. Three days later I was allowed to shower. When the nurse took me back to my room, I asked to look in the mirror. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. I have shape, I have form, I have a breast, and I have tears rolling down my cheeks, but these were tears of happiness.
I am so lucky to have found Dr. Vasile, it's like hitting the lotto.
Dr. Vasile has a talent, a gift and she truly cares for her patents. These qualities cannot be taught in medical school. You're either born with it, or not.