The decision to rebuild or not rebuild a breast is an immensely personal one and making it will require honest, deep introspection. Remember that it is your right to be happy and healthy and to feel beautiful. Mastectomy breast forms can be a valid long-term alternative to breast reconstruction as well as a good short-term solution to reclaiming your sense of self while you consider reconstruction.
Just as every woman is unique, every woman’s experience with breast cancer is unique, too. Know that what works for one woman may not work for you—and that’s okay. First, consult with your doctors and potential plastic surgeons to find out about the choices available to you. If breast reconstruction does make sense given the nature of your cancer and treatment plan, consider it as an option.
Next, you might consider talking with other women who’ve gotten breast reconstruction surgery or who have opted out of the procedure. About two-thirds of women choose to have reconstruction, while roughly one-third of breast cancer survivors opt out of breast reconstruction. What has their experience been like? Are they satisfied with their decision, or do they wish they had done things differently? Hearing the experiences of other women can help you make a more informed decision.
With that said, no one—not loved ones, not other women, not society at large—can or should decide if breast reconstruction is right for you. Your experience with breast cancer was uniquely yours. As such, only you can know what you want moving forward.
Some women like the flexibility of mastectomy breast forms. For other women, having a permanent breast shape is vital to their sense of identity. Some women would rather forego further surgery and stick to breast forms. Other women look forward to the plastic surgery.
The truth is that there is no wrong answer. Each consideration and decision is valid. The only wrong answer is doing what you don’t want to do simply because you feel it’s what people expect you to do. Try to see this choice for what it is: an opportunity to empower yourself.
If you’re still not sure if breast reconstructive surgery is right for you, that’s okay. No one says you have to get surgery right away. Take some time to think about what you really want. In the meantime, there are mastectomy breast forms for sale which can, without draining your wallet, give you a way reclaim your womanhood.
Whatever you decide, be proud of your decision and your experience. You are a cancer survivor—you’ve been through more than most people, both physically and emotionally. Rejoice in your success. You are a hero. It’s time to start feeling like one, too.