CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- She came all the way from Arkansas for breast reconstruction surgery, and for the first time in two years, Joni Cline says she feels whole again.
"I just woke up feeling great," said Cline. This, even after 11 hours of surgery at Roper Saint Francis Hospital.
Cline was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and immediately had a mastectomy. She underwent radiation, chemotherapy and other life saving treatments.
"At first it's just a fight for your life."
But the fight to survive, later turned to a fight to feel like her old self again.
"Many women feel like they can't put the cancer behind them," said Dr. Marge Massey who performed the surgery. "They can't close that last chapter on the book until their reconstruction is completed."
You might say Dr. Massey builds breasts from scratch. No silicone or implants-- she uses tissues from the patients tummy to build natural feeling breasts. It's a kind of two for one tummy tuck and lift.
And Jonie Cline is pleased.
"To go to sleep looking one way and waking up feeling warm soft tissue again, there's nothing like it. It brings tears to your eyes."