Your Health Our Mission Stories
Barb Fabian’s Story
Patient of Dr. Howard Weldon
Barb is an active swimmer and biker. The outdoors is her entertainment. She’s on the go, on the saddle, on the trails, anything to keep herself on the move.
In the summer of 2009, Barb discovered a lump in her breast. Thinking it was probably a cyst, she waited until winter to have a mammogram. The “suspicious” mammogram results led to a biopsy a few weeks later. The biopsy results, however, were clear: Barb had stage II breast cancer.
Barb’s tumor had been growing for several years so removal by a less-invasive lumpectomy wasn’t an option. After meeting with her surgeon, Dr. Howard Weldon, and plastic surgeon, Dr. Vincent Naman, Barb was faced with a wrenching choice: surgical removal of her affected breast or both of them. That decision would lead to another decision that she would have to live with the rest of her life: reconstruct or not?
After consulting with her physicians, Barb decided to remove her affected breast and undergo immediate reconstruction. Over five hours, her team of physicians performed the delicate surgeries at Doctors Hospital. It was a tough surgery with a long recovery, but Barb was determined to be back on the bike sooner rather than later. Within days of surgery – even though she couldn’t stand up straight – Barb walked up and down the halls towing her IV pole.
Six weeks into her recovery and feeling on the mend, Barb got another shock. An oncology diagnostic test had uncovered the likely source of her breast cancer: elevated estrogen. Rather than take medication to regulate her body’s estrogen production and risk another cancer diagnosis, Barb opted for minimally-invasive surgery by Dr. James Dorchak to remove her uterus, ovaries and cervix. But first she had a date to keep.
She competed in Aflac’s Iron Girl Triathlon then underwent surgery the next day.
Thanks to Columbus Regional Doctors Hospital, Barb’s back on the bike and better than ever. So good, in fact, she’s preparing for her next triathlon.