When making a life-changing, irreverisble medical decision, you want your physician to be honest with you, discuss all viable options and potential outcomes, and listen respectfully to your concerns. The plastic surgeon did all of those things, but we had been warned that he often spoke without thinking. I should not have been shocked then to hear him say (he is my age), “Given your age (!), not being in front of patients any more, and having a stable long-term relationship, you could opt for the less extensive reconstruction and settle for a less cosmetic chest.” To keep from getting angry or laughing in his face, I reminded myself how short he was, wondered what physical limitations he might possess, and pictured how jealous he would be of 2 women enjoying the glorious new boobs he was going to create. I reminded him that I hadn’t lost almost 120 pounds to have anything less than good-looking boobs! (Don’t ask about the scars or how I’m going to get something that resembles nipples.) Next he looked amazingly contrite and said, “You know, you have no control over your cancer, but you have complete control over your treatment and how you are going to look.” Total redemption.
I am having bilateral mastectomies with a 2-stage not very comfortable reconstruction process (bummer, 2 surgeries), and a chance to gradually watch my chest re-inflate until we decide the size is just right before he inserts permanent implants. Coming mid-June, a cancer free, pain wracked me!