So I am supposed to chop off my breasts?

When I was offered the option of having a preventive bilateral mastectomy, it was so overwhelming. I couldn’t think about. I couldn’t talk about it with anyone. I didn’t research the procedure. I just put off thinking about it entirely. I couldn’t handle it emotionally, and the thought of what it would do to me physically was very scary for me.

I was very content with my breasts. They were a perky “C” cup and had served me well, but I had to accept they would never be the same. My breasts would never look this good again, no matter how great my surgeons were. I would have scars. What about the implants? What would they look like? How would they feel? What about my nipples? Would they survive the mastectomy? Should I take them off voluntarily? The physical changes were my main surgery concerns. What about the emotional side of this procedure? How would I feel about them? Will they look normal? How was my sex life going to change?

The scars really bothered me. Some women don’t care at all about scarring, I wish I didn’t. This sounds silly and vain, but it is the truth. I am a woman, and I’m kind of attached to my breasts. I am divorced and still dating, so I’m sure some of it is my insecurities that are tied to new relationships. I assumed that all the girls out there who had gone through this like me, but were married, would not have these issues, but it can be an adjustment no matter your relationship status. Breast surgeries can change relationships, sexually and emotionally. Knowing this may help you talk to your partner before surgery, so that you can try to prepare for any changes or adjustments in your relationship.

I had a type of procedure that had the best chance for an outcome that looked as much like “myself” as possible. When I see myself in the mirror now, I see my breasts, and they look like mine, but they are different. Some days I notice the scars, but other days I don’t even think about it. When I do see them, and I get a little tug of sadness, I remember how lucky I feel to have been given this opportunity. I potentially avoided developing cancer! I avoided cancer treatments, so I get to keep my hair (no chemotherapy) , and I had the best reconstruction possible. Most importantly, I get to live a longer life and be there for my kids and grandkids someday. My decision to have preventive surgery seemed like the easier road to me. It wasn’t an easy experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

 



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