SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Fighting breast cancer

October 16, 2012

'I knew what I had to do and that was that'

(Continued)

PEABODY —

She made the right decision — after the mastectomy, tests showed Temkin had the beginning stages of cancer in her left breast, too.

But reconstruction didn’t go as smoothly as she had hoped. Her surgeon used the TRAM flap method, in which a piece of the abdomen is cut and used the reconstruct the breast. But Temkin says her surgeon didn’t explain the surgery’s side effects, including abdominal weakness, or that she should refrain from lifting anything overhead. To make matters worse, Temkin said, the surgeon also told her the cosmetic effects couldn’t be fixed.

“It looked like I had a tire around my stomach,” she said. “So on top of the breast cancer and the surgery, it’s very depressing.”

At the urging of a friend, she scheduled a consultation with Dr. Beverly Shafer, a plastic surgeon in Beverly.

“She’s very, very compassionate,” said Temkin of Shafer. “She guaranteed me she could fix it.”

Temkin said Shafer fixed the stomach surgery, and everything fell into place from there.

Her father, daughter and close friends were extremely supportive throughout her recovery. Having people to talk to made a big difference for Temkin.

“I think the best thing, after a diagnosis, the best thing anybody can do is talk to people,” she said. “You can go online and there’s women online discussing it all the time.”

Today, Temkin is cancer free but still goes for blood work every six months. And the emotional reminders of the experience remain.

“It’s a tough process,” she said, especially since she was single at the time of her diagnosis. “I think it’s really hard for single women. You don’t want to get to that point where you get intimate. You’re self-conscious about things. It’s a tough choice.”

But those pieces have since fallen into place, too.

“I have a boyfriend who doesn’t care about what happened,” she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Fighting breast cancer
Local News

Local News
  • 140801_SN_DLE_BEVDEPOT10 PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Beverly MBTA garage opens Current and former state and city officials gathered Friday, Aug. 1, to celebrate the opening of Beverly's brand-new MBTA parking garage.

    August 2, 2014

  • Hunt underway after reported kidnapping at knife point in Wenham

    Police in Wenham and surrounding towns as well as state police units are searching for a man who reportedly kidnapped a 21-year-old Wenham woman at knife point Friday night.

    August 1, 2014

  • Police in helicopters spot marijuana plants in Salem, Peabody PEABODY -- The state police buzzed over Peabody by helicopter this week and spotted marijuana plants growing outside a home on St. Ann's Avenue. A ground unit was alerted and cut down the plants. The operation was part of regular "marijuana eradicati

    August 1, 2014

  • 140801_SN_DLE_BEVDEPOT3.jpg Beverly MBTA garage opens

    Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Mike Cahill opened the new MBTA parking garage Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the roof.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sex offender found in New Hampshire

    The Level 3 sex offender who allegedly cut off his GPS bracelet and absconded after he was spotted with a 16-year-old boy, in violation of his probation in a child rape case, has been arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire.

    August 1, 2014