Breast cancer has invaded my family, it changed us, and we are different for it. Both my mother and grandmother are breast cancer survivors.
I know all the preventative measures to take like changing my diet and switching up deodorants. I barely use any personal care items and long ago gave up on makeup, although all the recent #GMCbeauty articles have convinced me to look into that again.
I’ve even been adapting my lifestyle, but seriously who can give up stress! I can’t honestly think of a woman in my life that has not been affected by breast cancer, either personally or through a family member.
Making My Own Decision
One of the things that worry me most about my odds of having breast cancer one day is the thought that I’ll be unable to make choices about my body.
For me, this is one of the terrifying things that the diagnosis takes away.
You get all the tests done, like yearly mammograms, then comes a diagnosis. Boom. Suddenly, someone else is making the decisions about treatment schedules and which treatments you will undergo.
Oh, you have options, but the treatments take things from you. First your appetite, then your hair or fingernails. Your friends and family may even start to treat you differently.
Then you get faced with the big one. The “we think we should remove your breasts” conversation. Not every woman needs a mastectomy or chooses to have one, but to avoid reoccurrence, removing the breast is one of the best preventative measures. It’s not about vanity at that point. It's about physically losing a piece of you to the disease.
Considering A Preventative Mastectomy
It’s one of the reasons I have been researching having a preventative mastectomy, just like Angelina Jolie. Actually, just like tons of woman who want to take the power into their own hands and make a choice about their future with breast cancer. T
he advances in this field are impressive. There are support services available through organizations like Willow. There are even supportive events like BRA-day. There are also people who will question your decision to do something so radical.
My breasts do not define me as a woman. I may have used them to my advantage at certain points in my life, and I’ve been incredibly blessed to be able to feed my three children with them. It is because of those three kids that it is time for the breasts to go. Removing my breasts doesn't mean my future will be cancer free. It's a huge decision that will involve conversations with my entire family. And I get to make the decisions about my breasts in this process.