Breast Cancer Survivor Prepares for Wedding

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Friday afternoon in 2009 Nicole Bills received the phone call that changed her life.

"His like I'm sorry I wish I had better news and that was it, I don't really remember much after that," said Nicole.

Healthy, having no family history and only 31 years old at the time, Nicole was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I went home I cried a lot I tried to settle myself down."

Months later Nicole decided lumpectomy was the way to go.

"I wanted to treat it as aggressively as I could to do everything to prevent it from coming back we decided to do chemo."

Nicole had four rounds of chemotherapy, almost seven weeks of radiation.  Shortly after she lost her hair in the process, but she also met her now fiancé.

As she prepares for a future as a bride, Nicole now wants to get rid of any reminder of her past.

"Looking in the mirror and seeing my scar I was incredibly self conscious of it and not only that it was a daily reminder of something terrible that I wanted to move on from," said Nicole.

"Up to 30 to 40 percent of women that opt for breast conservation therapy, she had some sort of cosmetic displeasing result," said Dr. J. Garrett Harper, M.D. with Charlotte Plastic Surgery.

That's when she sought Dr. Harper's help. The plastic surgeon specializes in breast reconstruction.

"It's been a series of steps to try and get her damaged tissues to soften up and improve to try and restore the volume that was lost with the partial mastectomy," said Dr. Harper.

"I'm very excited about being at that point where I feel sexy again because I'm getting married in October," said Nicole.

She will undergo her fifth and final reconstructive surgery before her wedding. This future bride is grateful.

"Every day cancer free is a blessing and I'm really happy."

Dr. Harper says getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing, before you even think of reconstructive surgery.

As for Nicole she's been cancer free for almost three years. Because her cancer was hormone based she is working with doctors on a plan to have children in the future.

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