I went to see a patient on the floor today after her DIEP surgery, and she asked me, ” Is this cosmetic, what I just did?” She went on to explain that her oncologist, out of town, really gave her the impression that this was not necessary.
We truly feel that this is not cosmetic surgery. Working through a breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and mastectomy is a life changing process. The time spent on rebuilding yourself is not cosmetic, but is really meant to give you back what was taken from you. Every diagnosis and treatment regimen is individual, and although most may not know exactly what you are going through, I hope you surround yourself with those who attempt to understand it. Understanding that the process of reconstruction is worth it, is offered to make you feel whole again, with hopes that you can go through your day without being preoccupied with your diagnosis.
You are a woman with breast cancer, often a mom, wife, sister, full time working woman, who wants to lead a normal life, despite a diagnosis. Reconstruction can help you get back to feeling like you again. DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. Often, talking to a medical team such as our Boston DIEP group, who feels strongly about this, can give you support throughout this process. Talk to other women that have gone through this. Many of our patients feel this is most helpful.
Ultimately, surrounding yourself with people who support you, and a medical team that is behind you, will make for a more positive experience….