Friday, April the third, marks a one year anniversary.
On that day, in 2008, I had my cancer risk reducing surgery, specifically a bilateral mastectomy, with reconstruction. It’s astonishing to me that it was a year ago. In many ways it feels like yesterday. What an eventful year it has been.
About 15 months ago, I was interviewing plastic surgeons, researching methods of reconstruction, and comparing notes with other women with an increased risk for breast cancer who had chosen surgery.
Although my primary reason to have the surgery was to reduce the risk for cancer, I was also concerned, obviously, about how I would appear afterward. As a single woman, I was still working out how I would talk to a prospective partner about all of this. Additionally, I was now trying to imagine exposing my transformed body.
Although I had never been one to be particularly body conscious, even after two children, I now found myself in strange territory. I knew that once I was on the operating table, all that I could do was hope that my choice in physicians was smart.
My breast surgeon, who would perform the mastectomy portion of the procedure, the most important part as it removes the breast tissue, named my plastic surgeon as one of the doctors she recommended.
The plastic surgeon I chose offered a method that would allow for minimal visible scarring, while using implants. Once all of the surgeries were completed, I would end up with only a small scar in the bottom fold of my breasts.
I found comfort in the notion that with these two surgeons, I could remove as much of the breast tissue as possible, while still allowing most of my breast, at least from an external appearance, to remain intact.
Now all I had to do was hope that everything would unfold as planned.