by Jessica Gardner, Guest Contributor
Tomorrow I will walk into the hospital with two breasts and leave with just one.
I have no problem having a mastectomy. I am not worried about all the comments I’ve heard from family, friends and even strangers. Them being:
“But it’s your breast, why would you want to do that?”,
“It’s not cancer, so don’t you think it’s worth trying to save it?”,
and the best one of all,
“your body image and how you feel about yourself is going to plummet.”
Wow, thank you for that!
While I understand and appreciate they are trying to help, that is not me. I know I am a beautiful person inside and out. With or without my full set of natural, perky boobs that make men forget that my eyes are above my chin. I’ll be just as beautiful with just the one, that is not so perky because I nourished my babies with it.
I am OK with my choice, because it is, just a boob!
I choose my health, my sanity and I choose to take my life back.
No more twice a week doctor visits to hear, “we don’t know how to treat this.” No more taking pain pills for just a few hours of comfort and no more trying to plan my days around how I will feel.
It’s been a long road to get to this day. That old saying, “when it rains, it pours” is the perfect description. Not only did it seem more like a typhoon everyday but of course it also started immediately after we PCS’d to Okinawa. So. F’ing. Awesome.
Seven biopsies, two surgeries, six ultrasounds and two mammograms later, I was finally diagnosed with granulomatous mastitis; a rare breast disease.
I wish I could say that the staff at the Naval Hospital in Okinawa did their best. But, come on? It’s the Naval Hospital we are talking about. Eventually, I flew back to the States to be seen by specialists.
I chose a mastectomy, I pushed for it knowing it was the right choice for me and my body. Because, again, it is just a boob!
I encourage all to advocate for their health and do what is best for them. Keep pushing even if doctor after doctor has no options. Research your disease, talk to others and gather as much information as possible.
Most importantly, be proud of yourself. Follow your instincts and know you’re perfect.
I’m a mother of 2 beautiful, spunky girls who are always full of surprises. Happily married to a man who fully supports me and I occasionally write and submit articles. Although, not as often as I would like.