As I mentioned in my earlier post, there were a lot of factors to consider. I also surveyed as many breast cancer patients and survivors as I could. I did not hear of anyone who had a bilateral mastectomy and regretted it. However, I did hear stories of women who had less invasive surgery and later did regret it. Either because they felt "lopsided" or because the cancer came back on the other side. It required them to either live with the issue (at best), or have more surgery to go back and remove the breast.
For me, a big part of the decision is peace of mind. I am a warrior. I am going to stand up and fight this invasion with overwhelming force. I'm taking away its battleground. Taking the rug right out from underneath it. Game over. (I hope). I'm 40 years old. I have a lot of years ahead of me that it could come back in. I don't want to always worry that it would come back. I now have a 95% risk reduction of developing it on the right side. If it comes back, I'll fight it again. But I want to do everything I can today to fight the definitive fight.
It is going to be very strange to lose body parts. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about losing my breasts. I don't really have a choice for the left side, there are just too many tumors in there. For the reasons mentioned above, I want to deal with both at the same time. Its just going to be very strange to be so flat after 25+ years. And just dealing with the realities of surgery. The incisions, the drains, the pain, the recovery. The down time. That is going to be hard for me to be incapacitated.
They do give you prosthetics that will slip into a camisole. I've seen some survivors refer to them as "foobs." They the shoulders and balance. After you have recovered from surgery, you can get more sophisticated "foobies." Some are even waterproof! Who knew?
I don't know right now if I will choose reconstruction are not. There are lots of options there-some that even give you the added bonus of a tummy tuck. I'm not a candidate for immediate reconstruction. Depending on the size of the tumor, I may need radiation after chemo. I'm glad that isn't a decision that I need to make right now anyway.
The next step is to schedule surgery. I should be able to do that tomorrow. My surgeon told me that my case has the highest priority. The timing is all in God's hands. Of course, now that the decision is made, I want it to happen as soon as possible. Get that cancer the heck out of my body. God will work it out so that all of the balls that are up in the air, (Eric's trip, my menstrual cycle-I don't want to be having my period while recovering from surgery, my soon to be arriving nieces/nephews, kids' birthdays, etc.) will come down in exactly the right place.