Monday, October 20, 2008
The Elephant In The Room!
Below is the Houston Chronicle Article that I was interviewed for. Kim did a great job and I am thankful to have been included. The options a woman has today are amazing but without proper information it can be disastrous.
I know it is hard to believe that it has been 32 months since I lost my breast. It seems a world away actually. Life has moved on, and I have adjusted to living life as it is. The chemo is behind me, I have been in remission for 2 years and so it would seem the breast reconstruction would be also. Truth be told, I am still caught somewhere in the middle of that process all this time later. I have lived too long in this in between state. Not a uniboob so to speak but not quite a two wheeler either. When I started down this road I was not properly informed. I was thrown into the process and then left "as is" because of the mighty dollar in all honesty. I wasn't told that I would have to come back in 10 years to have my implant replaced, or that silicone was controversial. No one told me how painful it was going to be, but I dealt with the pain and kept going. So why am I so frustrated now? Well, what was suppose to be an easy fix has become an elephant in the room. This replacement breast of mine is becoming increasingly harder to deal with everyday.
Honestly I am just tired of looking at a large lump with no shape in the mirror. I am beyond ready to have it removed. But once again, the mighty dollar is the problem. If my surgeon at the time would have followed the plan set out initially I might be in a different place now. Unfortunately he was more concerned with the money to be made. By drawing out the process much longer than necessary he accumulated more cash from my insurance company.. Finally he canceled a major procedure to take in a cash paying patient ahead of my insurance based pay out. So when it came down to it in the end , as my insurance changed just a few months later, I was abandoned halfway through the reconstruction process.
As I continue to wrestle with this big elephant I am just not sure what to do. I have come to a crossroad right now while trying to make one of the biggest decisions yet. Do I save up, go forward after all this time and have the breast finished, removed or have a trans flap procedure? I just want this all to be done with so that I can put this part of my breast cancer to bed. It is time don't you think?
My husband loves me just as I am. My children have accepted the "new" mommy. What do I have to lose? Nothing really. So now it is up to me as to what I do from here. Dealing with this issue is not about feeling whole, not anymore anyway. When this all began I would have said yes I needed a breast to be whole and beautiful. I do not feel that way anymore. What I don't want is to is live the rest of my life in the middle of a process that should have been finished 18 months ago. Yes, it does bring me to tears. I do stand in the bathroom every morning and evening as I change looking at Dr. Frankenstein's creation. I lay in bed every night with the weight of my implant baring down on me. I live in spite of what I look and feel like everyday. Even when I want to hide myself away, I put on a brave face to the world wondering if I could have done things differently. I still have those moments, those insecure minutes when I fall apart. Life threw me a curve ball. I did not choose this path, no, it was chosen for me, I could have thrown in the towel, stomped off the field of life angry and resentful. But I didn't. Instead I chose to live my life bravely. So no, I am not resentful nor would I choose another path in life. I have embraced my new life, I just wish I had been better informed back when I was first beginning my journey.
So that brings me back to this: I have a choice to make. I also have some funds and a voice to raise. I guess I should have stopped the ball in the beginning. Sadly things moved way too fast and in the process I had no control over what was happening to my body. I wonder how many other women have faced the same? So whatever road I choose ahead it will be my decision. I will be in control this time. It may be painful, both physically and emotionally but whatever the outcome I will be ready for it this time.