The subject of breast reconstruction keeps finding its way into my conversations lately. I guess that tells you how often I talk about cancer, huh?
I just wanted to share my opinion. I was offered the opportunity to have reconstruction done when I had my double mastectomy in 1999. I was finished with chemo and the stem cells, but still needed to do radiation. I decided to wait. I didn’t want to take the extra time out to heal from that. I wanted to get back to normal as quickly as possible, albeit with a flat chest. I didn’t know if I could stay on my path to wellness if I did reconstruction right away. So I waited. I am so glad I did.
Reconstruction was the hardest, most painful procedure I encountered. I had a lat flap done on the left side, along with a tissue expander on the right. I had it done four years after treatment when I was tired of wearing t-shirts because nothing else fit right. The surgery to do the lat flap and the tissue expanders was fine except for those nasty drains. It was the weekly fluid expansions that nearly knocked me out. Ouch. It became so painful that we stopped a little sooner than we had planned.
I was more than happy to have the implants placed and be done with it all.
Now, another five years down the road, I am glad I did it but I have a little advice for others. Take your time. There is no rush. Listen to your body and do what it says is right for you.