July 19, 2010

Rebuilding

Changing the discussion a little, I've had people ask in roundabout ways why I'm not having reconstruction, so I thought I'd dive into that a little more. It makes sense to me because I've been at all the appts and had the discussions, but I also realize that there's probably the sense that I'm young, I'm in the prime of my life, wouldn't I want to have the physical difference be minimal? Well, there a couple of thoughts in play for me. For one, I wasn't given great reassurances by the plastic surgeon that reconstruction would go very well for me, especially depending on if I have radiation. Any reconstruction they could offer me would involve implants since I don't have enough tissue to make boobs out of that (i.e. the "tummy tuck" reconstruction). Implants come with their own potential complications, esp again with radiation. And then there's the aesthetic piece both for me and Ben--don't know if the foreign objects would ever start to feel more integrated or if I really need that to be added back to me. Plus, the surgery and recovery would be more involved and multiple follow-ups for stages of reconstruction.

So, that's the gist of it. In all honesty, I was going into the plastics appt hoping that I'd have better options, but they can't b.s. me about what doesn't look like a good option. As my oncology surgeon said, as long as women go into it confident of their own decisions, it works out well no matter which direction they go. I'm confident that the double mastectomy is the right choice for me in my particular situation while wishing that it was a different situation and a different risk profile.

I am also trying to anticipate how weird it will be to wake up after surgery and have nothing there anymore. I don't know how that will compute. Opting for reconstruction is always an option down the road if I just can't acclimate to the flatness. And yes, I'll have prostheses to wear to make clothing look right, etc.

This all brought up an interesting question for me today--Does this mean I can legitimately go topless now?

Ben also proposed a series of temporary tattoos to replace nipples...

TMI? Sorry, but I get to be as honest as I want here.

1 comment:

viktorcello said...

This post reminds me of women I have seen at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Women who have had one or both breasts removed, but still walk around the festival topless (which is actually accepted there, boobs or no; we're all women!), proudly bearing their scars, NO implants. It is always a lovely sight to see, quite honestly. Kristin S.