Breast Cancer changes everything. Breast Cancer changes your life, your body and your idea of what is important and what is not. After living 1 year without a breast and another with an implant I can tell you that your choices become complicated. Go forward and complete the transformation or just let it all go? Live without a breast, have what was started removed or just be comfortable in the body that breast cancer has left you with?
Honestly it is not an easy decision. I thought it was when I first lost my breast. At 32 I surely didn't want to live without what God gave me, what made me womanly and what I thought made me beautiful. But after living through the removal of my breast and simply living without hair in a world that measures you by both, I think that I am ok with just one breast. It feels like an eternity since I first started the process of breast reconstruction. Today I am living with a partially reconstructed breast. Money and insurance have been two of my top problems so I have been living with no shape and no nipple. Talk about putting life and vanity into perspective! But then living without hair does that for you too.
Breast reconstruction. Well for some it is the ticket. I thought it was for me too. But now, I am not sure. I am tired of living with a lump that just sits on my chest as if it is squeezing the air right out of me. I have no natural breast tissue left, so yes it hurts and no it does not move. I can feel my implant every waking moment. It just sits there, unmovable without any feeling. After all my nerves were removed, all my tissue and every part of the breast that I lived with since my first training bra is gone. Yes, I lost my breast to this beast, but in doing so I saved my life. I saved what time I have had since then, time I might not have had with my children, with my husband, my parents, family and with those friends that share this life with me . I did it to live, and live I have. Every minute I have had since that day in February 2006 has been a reality only because I gave up my breast. So yes life truly changes in the wake of breast cancer.
Is it easy? No, it is one of the hardest, toughest and most painful decisions a woman can make.Life changes for not just you but for everyone close to you. Life changed for my husband and how he saw me physically. How he touched me, laid next to me and yes even how he saw me. Yet he loved me , needed me and has stayed by my side very step of this journey. He is comfortable with my body, and with my life as a uniboober. But life also changed for my children. My breast was not just a sexual component for my husband but a source of life and a symbol of motherhood to my boys. My youngest was completely devastated when I lost my breast. He wanted mommy's soft breast back again to lay against. Yet now all this time later, with an implant in place, both my boys are comfortable with mommy having just one breast to face the world with. My life changed in more ways than I could even begin to describe here, but mostly I have had to come to terms with not just losing my breast but living without it.
Yes reconstructive surgery is a wonderful thing and for some it is life changing in a positive light. But for me it has not been. I am not comfortable with this foreign silicone residing inside of my chest wall. I have lost my breast and I am ok with that. I am not ashamed of it, nor am I afraid of living without one anymore. True it has taken me a long time to get here and yes it has been a long road up to this point. But I am ready to consider removing this implant and moving forward without what was already taken from me. I am and will always be a woman. I will still be attractive and I will still be Christina. My husband will still love me and my children will still see me as beautiful.
True this beast will always lurk in the shadows, but living without my breast will not change the scars I live with. I have come to terms with those scars, both internally and externally. Life changes, but life is worth the changes if you can be free to live without the beasts chains around your body!