“I am a 14-year Stage Jackie before3 breast cancer survivor. I am grateful my life was saved. Yet, in 2013 I was in my doctor’s office depressed and frustrated. I had begun a healthy lifestyle change earlier that year in an effort to lessen the effects of chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia and liver & kidney issues. But my lighter eating and exercise classes four days each week weren’t making the difference I hoped for.

Dr. Ben understood my frustration and asked if I had ever considered weight loss surgery. I hadn’t. It seemed scary. But while we talked about it I remembered that Dr. Ben and my team at Kaiser are the same people who saved my life thirteen years ago. I trusted them. I decided to enroll in Kaiser’s 12-Week Weight Loss Surgery Program.

After I completed the 12-week program I met with Dr. John Yadegar. He explained everything and answered all my questions. I was confident this surgery would be life changing. By making this decision I would become healthier and keep myself alive. My parents both died before they were 65, from diabetes complications. I didn’t want that for myself. My surgery fears sjackie after nov partyubsided.

I had Gastric Bypass surgery in August, 2014. At this point I’m six weeks into my journey. I’m very happy and have no complications. My only complaints are gas and bloating. I can eat real food and have made a switch in my choices and portion sizes. Really the only thing I miss is chocolate. But I’ll take an extra thirty years of life over a piece of chocolate.

I never dreamed I could feel this healthy and confident so soon after surgery. It’s time for a new chapter in my life and I’m ready! In thirteen years I’ve never been healthy enough for breast reconstruction. The mastectomy has made me feel less than whole each time I look in the mirror.   God willing, in two years I will be ready for breast reconstruction surgery.

jackie after outsideI’m grateful that Kaiser offers weight loss surgery to its members and for the doctors who never gave up on me. I’m grateful to Dr. Yadegar and his team, some who are living examples of the weight loss surgery experience, for taking such good care of me. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity and know this was the right decision for me, the most important person in my life. I pray each day for strength and guidance. I see a very bright future for myself.

To those getting ready for surgery or thinking about it, weight loss surgery is a big change and takes daily commitment. But it can also be the start of a new, healthier life.”