Tuesday, March 10, 2009

rethinking reconstruction (a year too late)

Well, it seems as I’m not yet finished, as I pronounced the end of this blog in the previous post.

It seems that I still have a lot of things related to breast cancer to find my way through. Maybe there is no end? Maybe I have only just begun?

Today, I wish that I had never had breast reconstruction surgery. I wish that at the time of my breast diagnosis, I had been given more choices as to how to treat the cancer. In particular, I wish that there had been some support for having the breast removed without having to have a fake breast to replace it. I wish that there were more women walking around with one breast, and that they supported other women who did not opt for reconstruction.

How did we all get sucked into the reconstruction business, anyway?

Before my mastectomy, I asked again and again why 2 lumpectomies couldn’t be done on my one breast. Because you wouldn’t have much breast left, I was told. It would be better to take the whole breast off and reconstruct.

Now, one year later, I don’t think so. I would rather have a small, radiated 2-lumpectomied breast than what I have now.

Both of my breasts still hurt. I have fluid behind the nipple on my left breast that was “lifted” to match the strange round silicon thing that replaced my right breast. It hurts. I still have fluid around my right silicon breast. Some days it all just hurts. I find myself wishing I didn’t have any silicon in me. I would rather just be half flat chested.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about any of this. Removing everything, at this point, may make it worse. It means one more surgery.

I’m also a bit chagrined that I got suckered into the whole breast implant phenomena. That I would look “great” – as in sexier, younger, whatever.

I'm thinking more and more about DECONSTRUCTION.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

moving on

It has been 16 months since the first biopsy revealed cancer in my right breast. There were MRIs, ultrasounds, more biopsies that showed more cancer, a mastectomy, a reconstruction surgery. And lots of worry.

My mind slowly adapted to the idea of cancer in my body. My mother had died at the age of 59, and here I was 57, and then 58 years old. Would I die early as well?

Yesterday, February 27th, was the 36th anniversary of my mother’s death. It was a day of enlightenment, really – the day that I saw that it was time to move on.

My body is cancer free, and I am getting on with my life. My destiny is to live.

My preoccupation with my breast cancer is over.

And thus officially ends this blog.