‘Good morning Sunshine, what a glorious Monday, they’re gone!’ I wanted to shout out to everyone but quickly remembered I am on the recovery ward and must be quiet! I am still in the hospital until I am released by my doctors today or tomorrow! Why am I here, you ask?
Ladies and gentlemen, I have just undergone the final procedures of my recovery – a double mastectomy with prophylactic reconstruction. And for added security and measure, I approved an Oopherectomy – the removal of my ovaries – to make sure cancer did not have a fighting chance of returning! Most doctors will agree that Breast and Ovarian Cancers often travel as a pair.
This sounds a bit drastic, but please know, I was adamant from the date of my initial diagnosis, to remove these parts of my body for my own peace of mind and safety. Although I had the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 screening for breast cancer, it still did not tell me whether other cancers were in my family tree. I am adopted and have absolutely no account of medical history from my biological family. People, I don’t even know about heart conditions, can you imagine throwing that in the mix now?! Oy Vey!
Through my cancer treatments the majority of people, mostly women and medical staff in particular have expressed concern over my decision and not so much in a positive light. One woman, although I have reported her and I will not mention her name, even suggested it was a mutilation. Can you imagine even saying that to a breast cancer survivor? What about all of the countless women undergoing cosmetic surgery (i.e. breast enhancement or reduction) just to feel better about themselves? Are those considered mutilations above mine?
I have heard mixed feelings across the board, to find most as off-putting as the decision to me keeping them. Please understand, it is one of the most difficult decisions a woman can make. To many, especially in this new era of medical technology, I have physically defaced my body of being a woman. To others, especially other survivors, I have done what I can to improve my odds of never having to undergo treatments again.
They have served their purpose (and rather well) and now I more concerned of being here for my 80th birthday than I am about boobies! I have had them replaced but they are not the bane of my existence!
I will be reminded daily and for the rest of my life of my fight against breast cancer with 9 scars already showing all over my chest. I am not writing this to throw it into the faces of the nay-sayers and non-approvers. I am writing this to other survivors and the newly diagnosed – go with your gut and follow your heart!