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Doctor who beat breast cancer creates online support system for other survivors

Sept. 26, 2012 will forever be etched in the mind of Dr. Keri Chiappino. It was the day she found out that after years of heartache and disappointment, she was finally going to be a mom.

It was also the same day she learned she had breast cancer.

"I was on my way to actually pick up my adopted daughter. The birth mom had gone into labor and I had gotten the news. We’re driving on the LIE to JFK, and I get the call you have invasive breast cancer. Talk about the very high of my life and the very low of my life all in one day," said Dr. Chiappino.

That was five years ago. But after eight months of chemo, a bilateral mastectomy and additional surgeries because of the “BRCA” gene, she got the news every cancer patient waits to hear.

“You’re cancer free. I expected somehow magically to go back to who I was. I had gained a ton of weight I had very short hair and I had no eyelashes and eyebrows and I said I just heard the best news ever and I’m not happy. That’s really why I founded Healing Boobies," she said.

“Healing Boobies” is an online program, led by Dr. Chiappino, designed to help post-cancer women get their “happy” back.

"Many people will tell you their friends and family were just right along side them throughout all their treatment. And when the treatments over your friends and family feel like it’s behind you," she said.

Dr. Chiappino says the missing piece in the recovery process for cancer survivors is the emotional recovery.  So she created a program that works with women on the emotional basis of breast cancer: the mind-body connection.

"We know that if someone’s had a heart attack they’ve probably had a lot of stress. But with breast cancer we don’t really talk about that, the emotions behind it which are typically grief and resentments," said Chiappino.

She encourages her patients to do things like yoga, meditation and journaling to help them heal and move forward.

"I feel like the conversation that we need to have is that when you’re through with your treatments, you won’t be the same. And that’s ok.  Doesn’t mean that you’re worse, it just means that you’re different.," she said.

For more information on Healing Boobies visit http://healingboobies.com/