I've got to get something off my chest

My first appointment with a breast surgeon was a doozie! Most of it is a blur, but the gist of it is that I would only need a lumpectomy; however, after a new scan, the conversation shifted from lumpectomy to removing both of my breasts. Basically, there were three locations where cancer was detected in my right boober. Because my breasts were so tiny to begin with, a lumpectomy would have left me, well, lumpy. So it boiled down to removing one or both breasts.

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with my boobs. When I was a kid I wanted so badly to have giant knockers like Dolly Parton, but much to my dismay I was as flat as a board for most of my life, that is, until I gained about 70 pounds in my early 20s and then BAM! Hellooo boobies! But the idea of losing one or both of my breasts was terrifying. What was I going to look like? Would I be able to wear a bathing suit? Would I still feel sexy? Once the word “reconstruction” was mentioned, I perked up a bit. You mean I can get brand new, BIGGER boobs!? Maybe this was the extremely thin silver lining to this whole breast cancer bullshit. So, three days after my 30th birthday I woke up from a bilateral mastectomy with new boobies and no evidence of cancer per the doc.

Making this decision was complicated and heart wrenching. The decision to have both of my breasts removed was based on a strong desire to reduce the possibility of cancer returning as much as humanly possible coupled with a deep desire to look symmetrical. It may sound petty to some, but as a young women it was important for me to look as “normal” as possible in a bathing suit, to feel comfortable naked, to be able to just throw on a t-shirt and jeans and go to the grocery store without having to worry about a prosthesis. For me, having a bilateral mastectomy was the right choice.
August 26, 2017 by Stephanie Nichols