WellnessOctoberpdf - page 14

14
Health & Wellness
Fall 2013
The Garden City Telegram
LaRissa Lawrie, GC3 Media photographer
Laura with her husband, Bruce, and children, Maris, 3, and Dawson, 5, in their back yard
where they enjoy spending time as a family. “Family is our first priority,” Guy said. “There’s
nothing more important to us than being together for a long, long time.”
mind, then I’ll have peace of mind,”
he said.
Four months after her hysterecto-
my, Guy met with her breast surgeon
once again to schedule a prophylac-
tic double mastectomy with immedi-
ate reconstruction.
“I normally teach summer classes,
but my husband urged me to take the
time off and spend it with our kids,”
she said. “I’m so glad I did and that I
had that option. I enjoyed the first part
of the summer with my family. Then
on June 25, I went in for surgery.”
The initial procedure went well
and biopsies of her tissue revealed
no malignancies. However, at her
post-op appointment with her plastic
surgeon, she learned she would need
yet another surgery.
“One of my incisions wasn’t heal-
ing,” she said. “So I had to go back
for an outpatient surgery to remove
the necrotic tissue.”
After a four-week healing period,
Guy returned to Wichita for her first
of an estimated 10 saline injections
to expand the muscle and skin tissue.
“When I went for what should
have been my second expansion in-
jection, they couldn’t find the port,”
she said. “So it was back to surgery
to reposition the expander.”
Longtime friend and faculty col-
league Leslie Wenzel has accompa-
nied Guy on trips to Wichita.
“I knew that she had lots of sup-
port from me and my family, and her
family, and that no matter what God
had put in front of her, she would
persevere,” Wenzel said.
While having the support of family
is important for healing, Guy said it
also is vital for diagnostic purposes.
“Because so many people in my
family have been affected, we as-
sumed there was a genetic link, now
because of medical developments we
know it is something in our DNA,”
she said. “By knowing this and being
able to share this information with
our relatives, both women and men,
we hope to give them an opportunity
to be on the offensive as well.”
Guy stressed the fact that the
mutations not only affect women,
but also men.
“My brother is at risk, too,” she
“Taking Control,” continued from page 5
said. “He hasn’t had his genetic test
done yet, but I know he will for his
and his family’s peace of mind.”
Guy said the test is simple and
most insurance companies now
cover it.
“I have learned a great deal about
patience and state of mind,” she said.
“I’m a scheduler, planner, doer and
all of these doctor appointments
and unanticipated complications
can really throw you for a loop, but
the reality is that I’m OK. Do I get
frustrated? Sure I do. But it’s short
lived. I chose this path. The healing
takes time. I have no regrets. I was
able to diffuse the bombs before they
got me.”
Through tears, Guy said,
“I get choked up because
of the outpouring of love
and concern.The support
of my family and friends,
that love and support,
is the best medicine. No
matter how strong you
are, you can’t get through
this alone. You shouldn’t
go through this alone.”
and Laura’s dad, Floyd, are proud of
their daughter.
“She’s a strong woman, and I’m glad
for her and her kids,” York said. “I hope
everybody who has a family issue like
this, that they go and have other family
members tested for the gene because
cancer isn’t fun to go through.”
More difficult decisions
With her hysterectomy complete,
Guy then faced a decision on wheth-
er to continue enhanced screenings,
which included mammograms,
sonograms and MRIs, to monitor her
breasts or elect to have the “at-risk”
tissue removed.
“The idea of living six months
between screenings worrying about
the results in addition to learning
that my mom had been diagnosed a
second time, I was just ready to go
on the offense rather than wait-and-
see,” she said. “I had a screening that
came back suspicious so I had to
undergo a stereotactic biopsy. Fortu-
nately, it was benign. However, that
was enough to convince me to do
something to remove the tissue that
might produce cancerous cells.”
She said she felt like she had
ticking time bombs attached to her
and she wanted them removed. The
decision was not easy. Her husband
wasn’t as eager to see his wife un-
dergo another major surgery.
“There was nothing wrong with
my wife so it was hard for me not to
say, ‘Why go and have surgery when
there’s nothing wrong with you?’ ”
he recalled.
Guy said that while it took lengthy,
sometimes heated discussions, she
understood her husband’s concerns.
“His concern was, ‘This is major
surgery,’ and I was thinking in terms
of, ‘I have to have major surgery to
save my life.’ He was looking at it as,
‘This is elective major surgery and
what if something happens and you
don’t come out?’ ”
She wanted to undergo the risk-re-
ducing surgery to remove as much of
the “at-risk” tissue as possible, which
would decrease her risk from nearly
90 percent to less than 2 percent.
Bruce Guy said for him, it came
down to how his wife felt.
“If she’s going to have peace of
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