4 responses to “Breasts: More than meets the eye”

  1. Kayleigh

    I agree with your point about choices.

    I have only been offered “delayed” reconstruction — no one suggested non-reconstruction as an option. Granted, I knew what I wanted right up front and that is immediate reconstruction using my own body tissue. But more than that I wanted my new breast to match my other one…in short I wanted a PS to make me a saggy old 45yo woman’s boob. Four PS’s flat out said it couldn’t be done and most wanted me to have a lift of the cancer-free breast and implants in both. Thankfully I’ve found one PS (a woman) who will do her best to make me a reconstructed breast that requires nothing be done to the unaffected one.

    I knew it could be done and that all the other PS’s who said it couldn’t really meant they wouldn’t — a big difference. They just couldn’t wrap their head around why on earth I wouldn’t be leaping at the chance to get a free boob-job with my mastectomy.

    It’s crazy out there.

    I understood what you were saying with your first post and wasn’t offended by your outrage at not having your choice validated as much as mine. It should have been and I commend you for making it.

    Oh, and I hate pink too 😉

  2. Clare C.

    Thanks for elaborating further. I “get” what you’re saying and it’s given me a lot of food for thought. I find myself thinking about what my own choice might be now that I know more about some of the long-term consequences.

    For the record, I didn’t find anything in your first post “offensive.” After years in the parenting gig, though, I get a little nervous when I hear women questioning (or worse, judging) other women’s choices. I do it myself. You weren’t doing that, though–you were, I think, pointing out that some choices weren’t being presented at all or were given very little play time. Incidentally, I felt this way when I was choosing a mortgage. Our broker encouraged us to choose–and had a vested interest in our doing so–a riskier mortgage than we wanted. I had to absolutely insist that such a mortgage was not for us. I realize this is hardly the same thing as deciding on post-cancer treatment, but my experience made me very concerned for people who were not as knowledgeable about how mortgages work: Did they realize what the long-term consequences might be?

    I probably wouldn’t attribute this phenomenon as much to our patriarchal society (perhaps I’m naive) as to the many things in the American medical establishment (including a doctor’s adjusted gross income) that encourage more procedures, more surgery, more treatment rather than less.

    Anyway, I always love reading what you have to say. Thank you.

  3. Martha

    Thanks for posting this. As a woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and who has only heard two options: lumpectomy and radical mastectomy with reconstruction, it was good to hear someone say that just leaving my chest flat was something else to consider. I find the idea of saving or rebuilding my breasts and reattaching nipples is very creepy. I do think a lot of this has to do with societal preconceptions about how women feel about their bodies. Frankly, in our breast obsessed culture, I’ve always felt flat-chested, even with my B cups, so what difference does it make if I loose them entirely?

    1. pinkisnotmycolor

      Thanks so much for your comment. Another thing that helped me was knowing that I could always reconstruct later if I decided being flat chested wasn’t my style. For someone as indecisive as myself, knowing I wasn’t losing an option was a great comfort! When you are first diagnosed, so many decisions are presented to you as do-or-die, and of course some are, but you can always put the boob decision on the back burner and revisit it later, once you’re past the high-drama. Just a thought…

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