Mastectomy or No?

This can be a hard choice to make when the time comes or it can be very easy. I read an article once where a doctor had stated we as a society, need to find a better way to deal with cancer than chopping off a body part. The statement really pissed me off. Until you are in the situation where you have to make the decision you cannot understand the impact of those words. I’m thankful for people like Angelina Jolie who is a beautiful and famous person who shared her decision with the world. To me, she is more beautiful for doing this.

There are so many women out there who have lumpectomies and mastectomies and no one knows. Sometime you can tell but most of the time you cannot. I also think women do not understand their rights about reconstruction after a mastectomy. Please know that if you decide to have a mastectomy or double mastectomy that you DO have the right to have reconstruction done to your liking. Some women choose to have lumpectomies instead, it honestly is just a personal choice, there is no right or wrong answer, there is only what is right for you.

I chose a double mastectomy with reconstruction. When I was first diagnosed I was given a lot of information about my choices: no surgery, lumpectomy, mastectomy or double mastectomy. There were pros and cons listed with each as well as statistics about each. Needless to say my husband found me sitting in the bed crying my eyes out. I was so confused and mad about the information given to me which seemed to be very contradictory to itself with every turn of the page. He promptly took it all and threw it away, which I was thankful for.

I never looked at that information again. When I was first diagnosed I did exactly what I was told not to and looked on the Internet at reconstructions. A lot of them looked pretty scary, but trust me, they don’t all turn out that way. Ultimately I decided that the double with reconstruction was right for me. I had heard stories about women having lumpectomies to only have the cancer return and have to go through the whole process of chemo, surgery and radiation all over again. One woman after the third time, opted for the double mastectomy. But I’ve also heard stories of women having lumpectomies and staying cancer free for many many years and still remain cancer free.

So bottom line it’s up to you to find out what’s right for your. I recommend prayer and lots of it. I also recommend meditation and contemplation for a clear decision and peace about the decision. Once I choose the double it was freeing because the decision was made and I never looked back. The process isn’t easy but I love my body now. My reconstruction is so beautiful and I get compliments all the time from my doctors who see them as is and also from people who know what I went through and say they look amazing and I agree.

So while the choice may seem hard or it may not, please please please know you can and do deserve to have reconstruction done if that is something you want. So talk to your surgeon and ask questions, your surgeon can refer you to a plastic surgeon to discuss options and choices, there all a lot of choices. Also check out this website for facts and info www.breastreconstructionusa.org that could be beneficial to you. Remember the choice is totally yours and there is no right or wrong. If you want more info about my personal reconstruction story you can find here.

Please comment with any other resources or websites that you found to be helpful so women on this journey can know it will be ok. Love and blessings!

whitneyladd

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