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“It’s not going to be easy, but you’re going to get through this.”
Christa Huffenberger kept these words close to her heart as she began her breast cancer journey in May 2021. After noticing some changes in her armpit, Christa knew something wasn’t right. When Dr. Margaret Dunn confirmed Christa had breast cancer, the first thing Christa asked was whether she was going to die. Dr. Dunn’s words carried her through the rest of her cancer journey.
Connected through care
Christa underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy. Her treatment required a lot of adjustment: she wasn’t used to allowing others to help her, and she felt insecure about losing her hair. But the team at Soin Medical Center kept her spirits up.
“They are all so sweet; it’s just amazing to be treated so wonderfully. I felt ugly, but they would always tell you how beautiful you looked and how wonderful you were,” Christa said.
Under the care of Dr. Manisha Nanda, Christa’s tumors began to shrink.
By November, Christa had completed her chemotherapy. She was thrilled, but a part of her heart stayed with her care team.
“It was awesome, but it was like, ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to miss these people,'” Christa said.
Feeling like herself again
When it was time to think about breast reconstruction, Christa met Dr. Justin Fox and Dr. Nickolay Markov, who introduced her to triple flap reconstruction. Flap reconstructive surgery takes healthy tissue from one part of the body and moves it to another to compensate for the loss of skin, fat, or muscle.
“That was crazy because you’re cut from hip to hip, and they’re moving pieces from you to reconstruct,” Christa said. “When they took the tumors out from my armpit, there would not be enough tissue to close my armpit. They actually took skin out from my left thigh and closed my armpit with it.”
Christa has made it through her recovery thus far with no pain medication.
“I feel fantastic,” Christa said.
Coming out on the other side of a long journey, Christa stays faithful to God.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew deep down in my heart that God had it, and he was going to get me through.”
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