My mastectomy is now booked for January 15th 2015. I’m going to start the new year with a change, a big change, well 2 big changes. My boobs will never be the same again. Boy will i miss them. Don’t get me wrong i’m going to get new boobs but the new ones come complete with scars and although i’ve opted for a nipple sparing mastectomy, in other words i have chosen to try keep my own nipple, i am told there is a chance i could wake up from the surgery to find my nipples gone or several days after the surgery they could go and i quote “dusky” and will need to be removed.
People have asked me the same question a lot since my 1st blog on this topic (http://www.clairahermet.co.uk/life-breast-story/), how are you feeling about your op? I’m of the belief i’m incredibly lucky to be in this position. To know what i know and to be able to do something about it. However i am human i have fears. One of the biggest ones being that having this op means i will be single forever, dramatic i know. To be honest that could happen anyway, op or no op i’m not particularly lucky when it comes to love.
With this op fast approaching it’s made me take stock of my life. I have known for years that i had the BRCA 1 gene so why have a i waited all this time to have it done? Because i had always hoped that by the time i went through with this operation that i would have found a man who loved me no matter what my physical appearance. These boobs or those boobs it wouldn’t matter because he’d find me beautiful anyway. Even in the times after the operation where I suspect I will question myself about my own attractiveness, even in the times where i’m not sure i love myself that man would be there to love me.
I worry about things like how will i explain this to someone? Will i feel different about myself and will that affect who i am? Will i still feel confident with my body? Will i still feel sexy? How will someone react when they see my boobs for the 1st time? Will my boobs put people off? What kind of clothes will i have to wear? Can i still pull off sexy underwear? Is who i am without my boobs enough for someone to fall in love with?
There you have it laid bare, my biggest fear, that no one could ever love me after this. Even writing that hurts and feels pathetic at the same time, i should man up and remember how lucky i am. I have amazing friends and a lovely family who i have no doubt will support me but we all know the relationship your share with a partner is different. The intimacy you share, the closeness both physically and emotionally and of course the hope is that you feel secure in the fact they love you for whats on your inside not just your outside.
I wasn’t single when i decided to go ahead with this. We hadn’t been together long but we’d known each other a long time and in my head this man and i were going to be together and thus he’d be on this journey with me. Of course he would be. He told me he loved me and that he wanted all of me not just the good parts. My 1st appointment after deciding to go ahead with this and i went with my friend. I didn’t even ask the boyfriend because whenever i mentioned the operation him seemed disinterested. On the day of my appointment I didn’t receive so much as a call or text from him until 10.30pm that night. He told me he ‘forgot’. In that moment i felt very alone. Sometimes you just have to admit to yourself you’re better off on your own. I realise if the person i’m with can’t treat me with respect then they aren’t the person for me.
So here we are less than 3 months to go before i say ‘Goodbye my friends’ and i’m single and doing fine. I have fears and i have concerns I am very aware that these belong to me and i can change them. I work at changing my beliefs and thoughts to something more positive that makes me feel better. I focus on things and people who make me happy. Mostly i focus on my mum and my sister. I know if they had been given this chance they would have marched ahead bravely. I look at the world around me and realise how lucky i am to be in this position and i allow myself to feel gratitude simply for being alive and for being given this opportunity to avoid the very thing that took my mum and my sister along with millions of others.
If i never find a man who loves me it won’t be because i had a preventative mastectomy, it will be because i have continued to believe ‘I won’t ever find a man to loves me because i’ve had a double mastectomy’ lol the irony. The power of thought is an amazing thing. Dr Wayne Dyer, who’s books i love, says ‘If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change’ I couldn’t agree more. Change you thinking and it’ll change you life. I realise it’s ok to have fears and concerns so long as you don’t dwell on them, you don’t allow them to own you. You simply use them as a reminder that you need to make some more adjustments and keep it moving.
Stay strong, love and positivity to you all,