Everyone is different. It’s one of the first things that you learn with your breast cancer diagnosis. From the type, stage and grade to the treatments you receive and to the choices you make. Whether or not to proceed with breast reconstruction may be one of those choices. It is so intensely personal and it is so clear that there is no right or wrong. I researched – searched online, read books, talked to women who had reconstruction and to those who chosen not to proceed. I met with a plastic surgeon and talked to doctors. I considered developing a matrix to assist other women with their decision and that may be my next post. In the meantime I’ll share with you the defining factor for myself which I was happy to discover: my teddy. I received my teddy from my grandmother when i was a baby. I carried him every where. Teddy is now 55 years old.
The remnants of pink and light blue that are visible around his arms and feet was from the material lovingly sewn or crocheted by my grandmother to give Teddy extended life and protection from my onslaught of affection as a young child. He went everywhere with me. I should have placed something beside him in this photo for context. Teddy is 10 inches tall. He used to have ears and a face. Part of me can conjure an image of how he used to be. But it is a fleeting glimpse. When my grandmother attempted to sew new button eyes on to him, i balked. They were never quite right. They changed him. Once these features were lost, they could never be replaced to my satisfaction. It was disturbing to me. I preferred the vivid memory in my head. I had my answer on reconstruction.