Walking Together in a Sorority We Never Wanted to Join

“I was honored to speak at the American Cancer Society kickoff breakfast. What touched me was knowing that my surgeon was by my side throughout my surgeries and to have him by my side once again outside of the hospital for that support was so meaningful to me,” Lexy said.

Lexy had bilateral mastectomies with DIEP flap breast reconstruction with Dr. David Light in 2021. A vocal advocate for screening and early detection, she shared her story as part of this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer kickoff breakfast. However, the road to that moment was far from straight. In fact, it began with hesitation.

In 2017, Lexy had a breast reduction. She was pleased with the results and keen to facilitate a smooth recovery. That intention gave her second thoughts when it came time for her annual screening mammograms in 2018.

“I was like, ‘there’s no way I’m putting my new boobs in that mammogram machine.’ I was worried about opening an incision.”

A year passed, and in 2019 she felt comfortable completing her screening. The mammograms showed some changes, but her doctors let her know that some differences were typical of breast reduction patients. They discussed follow up testing, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed any additional diagnostic workup. In 2021, her primary care physician urged her to have additional imaging, which revealed Stage Ia HER2 positive breast cancer that March.

Lexy decided to remove both of her breasts for peace of mind and symmetry. She underwent chemotherapy in the summer of 2021. Despite the physical and emotional upheaval in her life, she said she was determined to brighten her own days in every possible way. To that end, she chose to dress up for her chemotherapy treatments and selected brightly colored outfits.

“It made me feel good going through it, knowing that every time I went, I got positive reactions.”

Lexy moved through treatment and reconstruction with thoughtful confidence, just as ready to help others as she was to receive input. She started posting a reminder for women to check their breasts on the 22nd of every month. She sought guidance from the Sisterhood of Support (SOS) when she could not decide whether to have nipple reconstruction of three-dimensional nipple tattoos without any underlying nipple areola reconstruction.

“I decided to get the extra skin nipples, because they said there’s a possibility that you may get a little sensation. I said to myself, if I can get a little more of my womanhood back, if I could get just one more touch, just one more little added touch, it would make me feel like these are nice. I’m so happy with the outcome, through the process you don’t really know what to expect, and I’m really happy with the outcome,” she said.

Lexy has become an increasingly outspoken source of support for individuals facing breast cancer. Just as she received support from the SOS when it came to nipple reconstruction, she said she was grateful to find opportunities to help other patients through NYBRA. Lexy has already met with another local NYBRA patient, and in addition to joining Dr. Light at the Making Strides Breakfast, she was invited to speak about her experience on WBAB and WBLI radio.

Lexy said that chatting with and helping other patients has become one of the most rewarding elements of her life.

“It’s amazing to be able to start talking to someone and feel like you’ve known them forever, because you’re going on a similar journey. We’re in a sorority that we never thought we’d be in, but we’re in it, and we’re in it together, and we’re here to support each other and help each other through it.”

Although 2022’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk has passed, we are continuing our efforts to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer alongside Lexy. It’s not too late to do your part. Access NYBRA’s Making Strides fundraising page here!

Be Informed Lecture Series with Dr. Jonathan Herman Rescheduled for 11/18 at 9:30AM EST

Join Us For “Understanding the Hereditary Connection”: Rescheduled for Friday, November 18th

October 21, 2022

Join us on for our next lecture as part of our Be Informed Lecture Series. Our guest speaker is: Jonathan Herman, MD Please join us…