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Topic: funny interaction

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: May 7, 2007 09:20AM

caaclark wrote:

Hi Girls,

Just thought you would all appreciate this interaction I had. On Thursday I had a lap. hyst. I stayed one night in the hospital. The roommate that was with me was probably about 60 years old (I am 41) and also had a hysterectomy because she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. So, the curtain was pulled almost the whole time but we had some small conversation. She was talking about how shocking it is to be diagnosed with cancer. I said, "Yes, I know. I was diagnosed with breast cancer over a year ago." She paused. Then she said, "Do you mind me asking if you had a mast.?" I said, "First of all, you can ask me anything you want, and yes, but first I had a lumpectomy, chemo and then mast. and radiation." She paused again. Then she said, "Well, you reconstructed, didn't you?" I said, "No." She said in a shocked tone, "Oh but you will eventually, right?" I said, "No, I really do not want to reconstruct. It is not that important to me." For some reason, she could not accept that and said, "Well, I am sure you will change your mind someday." I said, "No, I don't think so." She then said, "Well, maybe you don't think so now but you still have time." I gave up.

Just thought it was sort of funny that she is certain that I will be reconstructing in the future.
Carol Clark- Author of WHEN OUR MOM HAD CANCER Diag.1/06 at age 40, 1.6cm, 6+nodes, stage IIIa, er/pr+, her2-, chemo, mast. rads, no recon
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May 7, 2007 09:32AM JudyWI wrote:

I guess that hunk of flesh is more important to some than others. I had Bil Mast and with no reconstructing and never plan to. Did have to have one surgery to remove those darn dog ears the doctor left. Left even after I told him not to before the surgery. Well the second surgery still left extra skin so now I have to have a third when done with chemo to get even. Don't understand both doctors when I was so up front about NO reconstrction. The first surgeon told me he thought I would change my mind when I saw it that is why he left the skin. I had helped my mother so knew what to expect, doctors and others really have a hard time excepting thata woman doesn't mind having no breasts.

Dx 1/2/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 7, 2007 10:30AM caaclark wrote:

Judy,

When I was diagnosed and first saw my oncologist (had lump. first, then chemo, then mast.) I remember her right away talking about reconstruction possibilities. I knew already that I did not want to reconstruct. As soon as I told her that, she stopped talking about reconstruction all together, which I appreciated. Same thing with my breast surgeon, who is female. As soon as I said that I was not interested in reconstruction she dropped it. I did look into it before my mast. just so that I would be an educated consumer, so to speak. I wonder if there is a male/female difference as far as doctors go and whether or not they push reconstruction. I also feel like as time goes by I am more and more certain I made the right decision for me, and while I know that for some people reconstuction is the right choice, I just cannot see the benefits for myself.
Carol Clark- Author of WHEN OUR MOM HAD CANCER Diag.1/06 at age 40, 1.6cm, 6+nodes, stage IIIa, er/pr+, her2-, chemo, mast. rads, no recon
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May 7, 2007 10:49AM Erica wrote:

That's an interesting question about male v. female doctors when it comes to reconstruction. When I was considering it, my female breast surgeon had no problem with my not reconstructing. In fact, she suggested that, unless I was absolutely certain I wanted to, I not reconstruct, as delayed recon would always be possible (she said the most unhappy patients she's had are those who went ahead with recon despite feeling uncertain, then regretted it). My female oncologist was equally supportive--one thing at a time, was how she put it, and also assured me I could always do recon later if I changed my mind. My radiation oncologist, a man, was the only one to advocate reconstruction. He is a wonderful doctor and human being and I know he had my best interests in mind and felt concerned about my self-image if I chose not to reconstruct. I regard him so highly that I actually scheduled recon before I realized that it just wasn't right for me.

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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May 7, 2007 11:19AM djd wrote:

My breast surgeon (a female) steered me away from a mastectomy after my second dx because "reconstruction is a long ordeal". Then when I finally had to have the mastectomy 2 years later, you would have thought we were chopping off HER boob!

She and I are the same age and she always tells me I'm "awfully young" to give up on reconstruction. So, I have to assume that she is projecting her own feelings and emotions about her breasts. I don't hold that against her, or anyone else, because people can't help bringing their own baggage.

But, given all that I have gone through and the likelihood of complications, my family would think I had lost my mind if I started talking about recon now
Donna Dx 12/13/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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