KERI’S WAR

Keri Whitehead is a 31 years old active duty U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and a single mother that upon returning home from a deployment in Iraq was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2010. Keri found a significant sized lump in her right breast and from there she went from shock, to surgery, and for the past 10 months it’s been treatment…lots of treatment. The first surgery was a lumpectomy and then shortly thereafter a single-side mastectomy. The surgeries were the opening ceremonies that paved the way for chemotherapy, which equaled 8 treatments over the course of 6 months and radiation therapy, which would be a series of 33 treatments over a 6 week period. Keri says, “The cancer to me is just a bad year. It’s not my focus. I do what I need to in order to take care of my health and make sure it doesn’t impact my daughter and day to day life too much.” After her battle with breast cancer, her final phase of this process is undergoing three reconstructive surgeries. In the first surgery the doctors removed all of the breast tissue from Keri’s left breast and then placed tissue expanders into both breast to allow stretching of the skin for future placement of breast implants. The goal of the expanders is to increase the breast to accommodate a c-cup breast implant.