… her friends picked her up and brought her home.
Once she finally got home from the salon, she explains, “I was hurt, I was mad; I wanted to break something. I like my house, so I didn’t want to destroy it,” she can now laugh, “but I was so angry I wanted to shatter everything, like in the movies. I pounded on my floors instead.
“What snapped me out of it was my sister,” Calloway says. “She looked me in the eye and said, ‘Vanessa, it’s a bad breast. Let it go.’ And my husband, who doesn’t’ cry, had tears in his eyes and said, ‘I love you. We have our daughters’ graduations and future weddings to attend, I need you here, I don’t care about that breast!’”
So Calloway pulled herself together. “The voice inside of me said, ‘Get it together woman, are you crazy?!’ And then I didn’t cry about it another moment. We had a family meeting and broke the news.”
Calloway was interested in getting reconstructive surgery. Her husband, Dr. Anthony Calloway, an anesthesiologist, helped her find a plastic surgeon to perform lap flap breast reconstruction, in which skin from the soft tissue of one’s waistline is used to make a breast.
“I took lemons and made lemonade!” Calloway said, whose sense of humor is surely one of the factors that got her through this ordeal. “The surgeon took fat from the ‘muffin top’ I got from having my two kids, and used that to re-build my breast. And while he was there, did some contouring around my waist! A new boob and lipo!” she laughed.
Calloway’s surgery was successful. For the past four years she feels blessed to have remained cancer free.
During her ordeal, Calloway found out just how strong she really is. “I really found the upside. I felt blessed to be here and continue to do what I love.”