“That’s what I would do”. I have come to loathe this short statement. It didn’t bother me until just recently. Usually I have welcomed sage insight from my elders and sympathetic advice from my peers but, when it comes to cutting my tits off, frankly I don’t want to hear “what you would do”.
See, they aren’t your tits and you don’t have to make the choice to cut them off or not so it’s easy to say what you would do when you don’t actually have to do it. Trust me when I say, when you are staring down the reality of looking in the mirror and seeing an angry set of red scars and fake bloated implants beneath said scars and no nipples, you question every angle. It is not an easy decision. It is not a flippant choice. Hearing you tell me, even with your immense sympathy and concern, in the 90 seconds it took for me to answer your question on what surgeries were my options, that you would opt for the bilateral mastectomy for sure, makes me want to spew vitriol and rage like a pissed off silverback. I know you were just meaning to comfort me, that the decision to amputate my knockers is the right one. I get it but, your flippant answer meant for comfort hurts way more than it helps.
I would not wish this situation on my enemies (I have a handful assholes I dislike with the white hot intensity of a thousand sons which isn’t healthy and I’m working on that and I still wouldn’t wish this on those fucking douche canoes) because, it is gut wrenching and fucking permanent. A fucking permanent reminder of a disease hell bent on trying to kill me. A visual reminder that I will, for the remainder of my life, be a cancer patient; I’ll ether be a cancer patient in remission or in treatment. A reminder that one day I could have a child that I will have to explain my scars too, that I won’t even have the option to breast feed. A visual reminder that tomorrow, I might have to do this all over again without warning. That just because I’ve come through this dark bullshit to the light, I could still end up back in this dark place again and possibly die there. An angry flag of fear waving across my fucking chest. A permanent and daily fucking reminder that cancer changed my life forever.
My choice of surgery was just a matter of what kind of shitty permanent reminder that I wanted. It was not one that I took lightly. It was not a choice made in a few minutes or even a few days. It is not a choice I will ever be happy about or even comfortable with. It’s the best decision I could make at this time based on the information I had available at the time. This was what my best friend told me when I confessed I was afraid that I would always feel the decision I made was the wrong one, no matter what option I chose. It was the best thing she could have said, and I love her for it. It helped. So, next time you’re faced with talking to someone having to make this impossible choice, and you will because Breast Cancer is a wide spread fickle, all encompassing, bitch, and you start to say, “That’s what I would do,” stop. Don’t say it, because you have no idea and I hope you live the rest of your life never knowing.