I read this article today by Melanie Testa, a breast cancer survivor who, like me, opted to have both breasts removed and to NOT have reconstruction. Her article really touches on how unusual it is for women to just go the route of a flat chest, and how people think you’re nuts if you do. In Melanie’s case, they went so far as to make her have a psychological examination after she indicated that she did not want reconstruction. I personally think the decision NOT to is the sane, rational decision.
I am glad that I didn’t experience that judgmental attitude from my doctors. Sure, they asked, and sure they remind me it’s always an option, but they have been great.
Initially, the plan was to remove only my right breast. However, the more I pondered the whole situation, the thought of a) a recurrence in my left breast, and b) having a uni-boob, did not thrill me. When I asked my gynecologist about removing both, he was understanding and supportive, and he agreed it was probably the right decision. No psychiatric evaluations for me!
Maybe it’s because I was 50 years old, or because it was my second diagnosis with cancer, but it seemed totally illogical to me to go through all that extra time, energy, money, surgery, risk, etc. just to have breasts that would serve absolutely no purpose. Truly cosmetic only. Most people have no idea what’s involved in the process to reconstruct. I know a number of women who have struggled with infections, rejections, pain, and repeated surgeries. Every time I read one of those stories, I am grateful for my own decision.
My identity doesn’t come from my breasts and, quite honestly, at the time of diagnosis, all I wanted was the cancer OUT. I wanted to heal and get strong and move on with my life. I couldn’t even imagine having to go back to have the expanders filled a little at a time and then to have surgery again. Or even to have to wear prosthetics every day. What a pain! And for what? For whom?
In the end, I have no regrets. I was really happy to read an article by someone else who went against the grain and chose to just accept herself as is. (And for the record, it is very freeing!)
I finally got around to trying Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. There are a number of different recipes online, but this one involved making a batter, baking the wings, and then coating them with the buffalo sauce before finishing the baking. I made these for lunch and they were devoured. All three of us enjoyed them!
I used almond milk and whole wheat flour. I did use the butter, but I would totally eliminate next time. I don’t think it was necessary. I also doubled the recipe and used two heads of cauliflower. Totally delicious and I am glad to have found the taste in something vegetarian. I will definitely be making these again! (Don’t they even look like wings???) 🙂
IMDb: Flat Out (1999)