EUGENE, Ore. - Stacie Sisk was 36 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2006.
"It was very scary, very very scary," she said. "I really felt like I was way too young for anything like that to be happening to me."
She had no family history of the disease yet found herself facing an advanced form of the disease.
"At the time I was stage two," she said, "and if I hadn't have found it when I did, I wouldn't have lived three more years, so I wouldn't have made my 40th birthday."
Doctors removed parts of her breasts. Naked, she "pretty much looked mutilated," Sisk said.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR OR SET YOUR DVR: KVAL News takes an in-depth look at the emotional toll breast cancer and masectomies can take on a woman - and varying opinions about the role a plastic surgeon. Watch KVAL 13 TV News at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 28 and 29, 2010, for more on the story.
"Being a newly wed at the time and still young, you don't realize exactly how much stock you put into the way you look and your appearance," she said. "Hiding to get into the shower, trying not to look in the mirror, very self-conscious."
Before breast cancer, Sisk didn't think she would ever consider plastic surgery.
"I never ever thought that I would have any augmentation in my life," she said.
She felt guilty at first. In retrospect, she is glad she did it.
"When you are diagnosed with breast cancer it's very scary and very overwhelming. There's not really a book or someone to hold your hand and walk you through each step and what to do," she said. "But I definitely recommend seeing your plastic surgeon before you have anything done so they can walk step by step with the surgeon that's going to save your life and prepare your body for what's going to be the best in the end."
Now 41 and in remission for 4 years, she calls her new breasts a masterpiece.
"They will be the best looking thing on my body when I'm 80, I'm sure," she said. Breast implants "gave me the confidence to know that I am still a woman and I can still look and feel the way that I want to, and so it was awesome to be able to have that option."
"I actually could cry sometimes when I think about what he's done for me because of it being such a gift," she said of her surgeon. "It was the best thing that I could have done afterwards. It was like a gift that I got to give myself after that fight."
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