I’ve scheduled my next breast upgrade.  I’m still unsure about it, but I meet with Dr. D next Wednesday, so hopefully it will bring some clarity to my situation.  I’ve had some restlessness lately about my breasts.  I decided last week that my breasts should look better than they do and I went to meet with another plastic surgeon here in Kalamazoo.  I just wanted a second opinion.  He had a few hopeful things to say but mostly it was the same.  I think the bottom line is that I had inflammatory breast cancer, massive amounts of radiation over a large area and there isn’t a lot of hope I can look better, at least with my clothes off.  Which really doesn’t matter to anybody but Jeremy, and to be honest, it doesn’t matter to him.  But it matters to me, so I continue to push back on the issue and hopefully one day those plastic surgeons will come up with a miraculous way to make my breasts look perfectly normal. 

So the second opinion……

There are two reasons I sought a second opinion.  None of which had anything to do with my dear plastic surgeon over in Chicago.  The first reason has to do with nothing more than total envy.  Last month our “Partners in Pink” support group started (BTW….it meets again tomorrow) and after the meeting we were doing show and tell in the bathroom.  Don’t worry, this is not required, but a few of us hadn’t seen each other in a while…..since reconstruction…..and we like to show-and-tell.  I’m telling you….once you’ve had breast cancer you are so used to going topless it is NOTHING NEW to show just about anyone who remotely wants to see.   So at show and tell, one of my dear friends looked absolutely fabulous.  I won’t give her name out of respect for her new beautiful bosoms, but they were perfect.  I’m telling you……they looked real, felt real, and were totally perfect minus the nipples.  I thought….wow….I need to find her doctor.  I was so envious of her breasts!  I wanted a pair of my own….lol!  But when I went to visit her doctor, he told me about the same thing.  And again…..I have to throw up my hands and say “why, why inflammatory!”  I get angry again…..why couldn’t I have had a normal breast cancer where I could have had skin sparing?  Ughhhh!

The second reason I sought a second opinion is because I do believe I am in the bargaining stage of grief right now.  I think you’ve heard me talk about the stages of grief before. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.  What you may not realize, that I have come to realize about this process, is that every time something happens on this cancer journey, I get to travel through this path over and over again.  When I was diagnosed, when I was disfigured through mastectomies, when I went through radiation, and when I was reconstructed.  It’s all about grief and loss and acceptance, and I get to travel this path every time the doctors do something new.  So here’s what I think.  I think that somehow I came ROARING into the bargaining stage last week.  Because I got a second opinion and then tried to bargain with my plastic surgeon.  I’m still TRYING to get someone to promise me my old breasts but IT IS NOT WORKING! 

So there’s the honest answer about where I am with my breasts right now.  Still hoping they can make them look and feel better, but trying to accept what may never be.

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One thought on “Bargaining

  1. Becky says:

    Jenn, in my own way, I can understand where you are. It is funny how after you have finished formal treatment, everyone thinks that life is just ‘back to normal’ for you, but there are so many stages and so many emotions that you go through and have to re-go through. I am sorry that you aren’t getting the answers you would like, it is so frustrating.

    BTW, completely agree that ‘show and tell’ is so normal. You know everyone is curious, they are just too scared to ask! 🙂

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