From the outside looking in, its hard to understand. From the inside looking out, its hard to explain – Unknown
When you get told you have a strong chance of getting something utterly, and devastatingly life changing, you’d think that there would be a lightbulb moment in your head, like “ting” …..hell lets get these funbags off me before they do me some damage. Heck, I know many a lady that has done exactly that and I am in awe of their decisiveness to just get it done. But for me it just wasn’t like that. I have spent so long learning how to love my body as it is, that I don’t really want it to change, not for a (strong) “maybe”and not because someone or something has made me feel like they’ve taken away my choices to keep it this way. I’m not a total control freak by any stretch of the imagination BUT I have taken such a long time and a put in a lot of investment to get to the point where I am, contended with my self love”and “self care”. I felt like those very things were being threatened and i’d lost control of their future; I didn’t like it one bit and I guess that’s why i’m putting my foot down (for now) and carrying on as I always intended with my body exactly as it has been for the last 10 years.
I say 10 years -not on account of growing up and maturing enough to just accept my “barely” boobs, I was always really flat chested as a teenager and at the ripe old age of 18 I decided to I wanted to have a boob job…and i thought about it for months and months before going ahead with it. Best thing I did for my own self confidence back then! Those babies lasted me 10 years and 3 months and saw me through some fabulous times …. beach holidays, backless dresses without bras and, some not so fabulous times (that one goes out to you, vigorous nipple twiddler…!!) anyway, my point being, I wanted to love my body but felt like I couldn’t for that one thing that was my personal hang-up, the (lack of) wangers. The irony is that now, whats under those implants, could try to kill me at any point and i’m surrounded by many who would advocate just doing away with them altogether based on the potential threat they could pose.
(apologies for the tedious link, there is good reason for telling you this story of pity I had for my own 32a cups)
Fast forward to 2017. As a result of a pretty serious scare in September last year, I ended up having ultrasounds, biopsies and MRIs for a lump that I had found. I reckon on average this happens about twice a year and then the usual referral to hospital and various tests ensue. ( FYI, I usually find something that wasn’t there before, so ladies GIVE EM A FEEL REGULARLY!!!! and at the same time each month )
The NHS are always really good at Southend hospital for getting me an appointment quickly as i’m high risk – and the breast unit nurses are simply angels on earth. Despite the trauma of what I was going through with my then (epically failed) relationship at the time of my last “incident”, they somehow managed to keep me calm throughout everything and even held my hand while I cried all through the testing. I cannot thank them enough for their strength and support that day…. and every other i’ve been sat there in that blue gown just waiting to know what they’ve found with absolute fear and dread running through my mind. The waiting part its the absolute worst.
On this occasion, the nurse doing the ultrasound said “oh…. thats odd…. let me go and get the head nurse”, who came in with a similarly concerned face and made similarly concerned noises. then when she said “ive never seen anything like this before” I figured it was bad, but guessed it wasn’t “c word” bad as there was more confusion than fear on her face and in her words. I meanwhile was a blubbering sobbing mess crying on a nurses shoulder while they took biopsies with needles and pushed by boobs about like they were trying to give them a new home 3 inches thattaway! Not pleasant at all. However they then referred for yet another MRI (my 3rd that year) they found out my implant had ruptured and needed immediate attention, but the NHS could only remove them for free, they wouldn’t replace them too.
Thats when I decided to speak to Professor Ramakrishnan http://www.cosmeticsurgeryessex.com/ privately about the options I thought I had for surgery both to replace and/or do a double mastectomy – he also happens to be the local specialist plastic surgeon for preventative/regular mastectomies and reconstructions, so I knew id be in knowledgeable hands. Those options were (as I thought before consultation)
- Have the implants removed completely so that surveillance on my natural tissue might be easier, but leave them rather tiny and droopy from the removal 😦
- Have the implants removed and replaced for a straight swap
- Have the implants removed and replaced for an under the muscle job, again to help with surveillance but keep all natural tissue
- Have a double mastectomy and reconstruction, and be done with the surveillance.
I wish there had been another option. I wish there had been a straight implant swap and BRCA+ disappears option. An option that didn’t mean I would be living my life with surveillance and tests and poking and pushing and scanning and needles, but also a life without the need to chop off bits of my body because the may (or may not) try and kill me one day. It so hard to explain to someone looking in quite how confusing and difficult this decision making process is. I mean, if you asked a guy to chop his bollocks off, I doubt he’d be game with a solid yes. But yet some outrageously brave and admirable women I know, have done exactly that with their melons. I jut don’t have the strength right now. I just don’t know the answer.
But then amidst my total and utter chaos and confusion in my head, I had my consultation and it kinda answered the question for me.