Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why I Chose a Double Mastectomy

So how we told our families about the "good news":

The hubs and I: "We have some good news!"
Whichever family member we were talking to at the time: "Yes...?"
The hubs and I: "I'm/Emily's getting a double mastectomy!!"
Whichever family member/friend we were talking to at the time: **complete and total silence** Followed by: "That's the good news?"
The hubs and I: "Well hell ya that's the good news!"

When the hubs and I first told our families that we chose to go with a double mastectomy (aka bi lateral mastectomy) needless to say at first we didn't think they completely understood why we ultimately decided to go this route.  I'm sure some...most people thought this was probably a little more evasive then necessary, anyways my cancer is only a Stage 2 and I was eligible for a lumpectomy with 6 1/2 weeks of radiation.

We decided that a double mastectomy was the best decision for us, but a lot of factors played a role in our decision. The main reason was to keep my sanity and peace of mind.  I feel that even though I was told that a lumpectomy with radiation is JUST as effective as a mastectomy and also preserves the breast; my thought was that I wanted to eliminate ANY chance of going through this hell again.  I was also told by the radiologist that there is a possibility that with the radiation, it will eliminate my breast cancer, but has a chance of causing me to get lung cancer.  Yup...not doing that voluntarily.  He also said that another side affect is that my ribs could become weak.  I won't know for sure if I am free from having to do radiation or chemo until after they remove the unwanted guest, but my chances are pretty slim, but obviously if the doctors tell me I have to do either, I'll do it.

It's really hard to explain the mix of emotions and feelings I was going through when I got that phone call, but one thing I am ABSOLUTELY positive about is this.

For some women they may feel that a lumpectomy or a single mastectomy is right for them, but with me only be the ripe old age of 27, with a lot of life ahead of me, I would be so scared if I found another lump and completely devastated if it was cancer.  Most importantly, I do not want to have that feeling of regret knowing I could have done something more about it in the first place and the hubs and I also do not want to take any chances of going through this again if we have kids.  The burden and stress (at least I feel it is) that all of this has put on my friends and family is enough for a lifetime and I don't want to do that again!

I also chose a double mastectomy over a single mastectomy for many of the same reasons as I said above.  Another main reason is the balance afterwards when I'm going through reconstruction.  I figured it would be best to start with a "clean slate" and make it easier on everyone.

There are a lot of women out there who may disagree with my decision and their experience with breast cancer, along with their decision on treatment is entirely up to them (and doctors depending on the severity), but I know that after this is all said and done I am going to have one worry checked off my list of getting breast cancer again.

I should find out early next week when my surgery date should be, which will be a huge weight lifted from me knowing that there is an end in sight!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


  1. Emily, you are positively Positive, Courageous, Mature, Strong, and more. All our lives are full of challenges and obstacles and we can, if we try, find the grace (and things mentioned above) to meet them well. From what I can tell you Live, Love and Laugh like the saying goes...what an inspiring young lady you are. Aunt Lynn Denise

  2. Auntie Lynn-

    I'm definitely trying to be all of those things, but I still get scared and nervous at times. Life is most definitely full of challenges but I'm on a mission to not let this one overcome me!