I am battered and bruised, exhausted and running a fever from my surgery on Friday, so I feel a little bit like I was on the receiving end of an ass-kicking.... but I know that's only temporary. This was - hopefully - the last time I will have surgery for anything related to breast cancer.
On our way to Dallas last Thursday Hubby asked me if I had to do it all over again, would I still choose to go through all that I have? My answer then, and now (even hurting from surgery), is yes.
The easiest choice - physically - is to forego any reconstruction at all. I knew that wasn't for me. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life without breasts - not if I could help it. I have a couple of friends who have not had reconstruction and they are perfectly fine 90% of the time. I know I wouldn't be.
I could have chosen breast implants. They still require surgery, but you end up with (hopefully) real-looking breasts. After having tissue expanders in for almost a year in preparation for my reconstruction, I can say with all honesty that I'm very happy I don't have anything "foreign" in my body. Even the softest implants are still just that - implants.
The most complicated, intensive and time-consuming choice is to do reconstruction using your own body tissue (or "flaps" as they call it in the plastic surgery world). That was my choice. Dr T is a big proponent of natural reconstruction. My surgery was long and complicated, with a grueling recovery. I've had to have a couple of revisions, and I developed an infection, which meant even more surgeries, and those have given me scars on top of other scars.
Was all of this worth it? Yes. Because you know what? I have the most real fake breasts I could possibly have. And after twenty-five months of treatments and surgeries, I'm DONE!