Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Just Tissue . . . . .

I belong to a private Facebook group called Prophylactic Mastectomy.  The women who belong to the group vary in age and size, but everyone in the group has either had, is going to have, or is considering having a prophylactic mastectomy.  I'd say most of the gals have tested positive for the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutation, but some are just at very high risk of breast cancer due to family history.

I've gained insight by being in this group as it is helpful to see the path that other women are choosing when it comes to size and shape as well as complications that can occur from this surgery.

Someone posted this question the other day.

Does anyone miss their boobs?

While I can't completely know the answer to that question yet, it did make me stop to think about whether I will miss these boobs of mine.  I really don't think I'll miss them.

Having no children, the main purpose of my boobs were never utilized.  The fact that I've never been called to do a Playboy photo shoot makes me realize that these boobs are not that spectacular!

And then I thought about what is really going to happen next month.  The surgeon will make an incision under each breast which will heal and hardly be visible.  She is going to remove healthy breast tissue.  The key word here is healthy - I don't have cancer.  I think about the thousands of women who have this surgery because they have cancer in that breast tissue, and I realize that I'm the lucky one.

Then the plastic surgeon will fill up those empty spots with spectacular fake boobs!  Fake boobs (foobs) that will never get cancer.  Foobs that won't sag with age.  Foobs that might hurt like hell the first few months and might not feel like the real deal, but boobs that will still be on my chest.  And foobs that will have my own nipples.  I'm almost excited to see how fabulous they will turn out!

I think about my brave Mom.  She had one breast removed due to breast cancer when she was 49 years old.  She didn't have reconstruction.  Every day when she looked in the mirror or when she wore her prosthetic breast, she was reminded that she had breast cancer.  She was a very private person and didn't talk to me much about her breast and ovarian cancers.  I'm sure she was scared, but she always had a wonderful attitude.  But that railroad track of a scar was in the middle of her chest to remind her that she had cancer.  And again, when she was 74 years old, another breast cancer scare.  And another surgery to remove an unhealthy breast.   She passed away a year later.  It made me sad to see her with no breasts.  I guess I missed her breasts for her - I missed the healthy breasts she once had.

I know this surgery is not going to be easy, but I also know the peace of mind that I will have once it is over will be worth everything that I'll be going through.  And, I think missing these breasts is not something I'm going to worry about.  I'm going to enjoy having new ones that I know don't have the potential for getting cancer.