My experience with TRAM flap mastectomy & biopsies

after DCIS diagnosis

by Cheryl Franks, June 2006, edited & published by Healing Cancer Naturally with special permission of the author, copyright © June 2006

“I'm always ready to offer what I can from my own experience in the hope that it might help someone else out there who may be struggling with similar questions. ... If I had known then what I know now, I would never, never, NEVER let anyone touch me with a needle or a knife!!!!”
Cheryl Franks

My original diagnosis 7 years ago was DCIS [ductal carcinoma in situ] in my right breast. The lab typed it as positive for Estrogen receptors, but the really weird thing was that every single one of my cancer markers has always been in the normal range. The highest, on a normal scale of 0—39, was only 25.

My doctors never mentioned the word normal when discussing these results with me, however. If they had, I would have run screaming from their offices in a flash! Instead, I thought I needed their surgery to "cure" me — what a sick joke that has turned out to be.

I had only ONE test in the past 8 years that was abnormally high — and that one done 2 years ago was for Nanobacteria. That result was 44 where anything over 0 is deemed bad.

The lab said that my score was higher than anything they had seen previously. The test also showed I had no antibodies to the bacteria. An MD specialist in Pittsburgh wanted $25,000 and 30 days to cure me of that — but that wasn't in my budget either.

The tumor could be caused by them however, and according to research info I've read, surgery really stirs them up. I guess I've felt so conflicted over this for the past 6 years because one team of doctors said one thing and another team said something different. Actually, now I think that they're probably both WRONG.

If either of them had been right, then why would I now be feeling so good just from eating the Budwig diet?!

In retrospect, I realize now that 7 years ago when I opted for extreme surgery (TRAM flap mastectomy) that I was one of those who succumbed to the fear tactics.

I was a young widow with young sons (then 11 and 20) and I wanted to be here for them. So I did the surgery, followed by Tamoxifen for 18 months — that's all I could take before the drug began wreaking havoc with my uterus.

Of course, my OB/GYN's solution for that was a hysterectomy. Thank goodness, I had the sense to walk out on her too after that idiotic pronouncement. As soon as I stopped taking the drug, everything went back to normal.

However now, almost 8 years into this ordeal, I am still dealing with the "fallout" from my original choice for surgery. I find it extremely interesting, that all of the "lumps" I now see* are in the exact locations where the knife was used to either biopsy or "cut away my cancer."

Originally, they gave me great odds — they said they "got it early" so I had a 90+% chance of no recurrence. But a lump showed up exactly 2 years later at the site of the biopsy I let them do on my other breast. Before, I had had no lumps whatsoever — only microcalcifications in the breast they removed.

I've been following the Budwig protocol now into my 4th month. I feel stronger physically now than I ever have — and also have more clarity about a lot of things. While my energy level is good and I really do feel fantastic most days, I currently have a huge, ugly, ulcerated sore with a rock-hard tumor beneath it — actually, I have no breast left.

The sore covers an area about 8 inches by 8 inches and extends from my breastbone to just past my underarm — there is another large, hard knot in my armpit. It keeps oozing this slimy substance, so I must keep it covered with ointment, gauze and change the dressing daily in order to wear any clothing. This whole mess in my breast began at the exact site of my stereotactic breast biopsy, coincidentally.

I do want to keep on with the Budwig protocol — so far, it is the only thing (among over 100 different things I've tried in the past 8 years) that overall, seems to be working. It's not only relieving the horrible heat and pain symptoms I was having up until March — it had actually felt as though I had burning glass shards under my skin on my breast and some nights I couldn't even sleep! — but giving me more energy and overall a more positive outlook...

If I had known then what I know now, I would never, never, NEVER let anyone touch me with a needle or a knife!!!! You CAN recover from that — I am living proof. But why burden one's immune system further? Mine had already been compromised enough with the disease. I've got some distance to go now but I AM healing — I can FEEL it!

My healing will come through my kitchen and the good organic veggies I grow in my backyard garden — I even have dreams that confirm this for me.

Ultimately though, I realize that each of us, being the unique individuals that we are, finds his or her own way to what is most healing for oneself — and all in good time. There is no rush — life is a wondrously, unfolding adventure and we never get it all done — that's the best part!

I would never underestimate the power of the human mind to overcome anything — in my own case, when I refused further allopathic treatment, my doctor gave me 3 months to live. That was 2 years ago.

Love and blessings,


*Just since I've begun the diet, several "bumps" have appeared at the site of a surgical scar that I have where a drain was inserted when I had my TRAM flap mastectomy surgery over 7 years ago.

Addendum: On the link between DCIS & mammograms

www.AlternativeMedicine.com writes: "As Alternative Medicine has maintained for years, mammograms do far more harm than good. Their ionizing radiation mutates cells, and the mechanical pressure can spread cells that are already malignant (as can biopsies).

In 1995 the British medical journal The Lancet reported that, since mammographic screening was introduced in 1983, the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which represents 12% of all breast cancer cases, has increased by 328%, and 200% of this increase is due to the use of mammography.

This increase is for all women: Since the inception of widespread mammographic screening, the increase for women under the age of 40 has gone up over 3000%."

Compare Radiation as Cancer Cause, Ionizing Radiation (Fluoroscopy/ Mammography/Medical X-Rays) Proven Causes of Breast Cancer and On Mammograms.

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