I recently got into a conversation with someone in which I once again talked about my surgical history with the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. I share my story often and openly in the hopes that it may help someone else. I am typically met with some amount of shock followed by questions which are usually the same. Interestingly one of the first tends to be “was it painful”. Other typical questions surround BRCA testing, family history and what lead me to make the radical decision I did to have the mastectomy.
So, back to the most recent conversation. For the first time I was asked the question, “what if you made a mistake and the surgery was not needed.” I found that to be an interesting question especially since lobular carcinoma in situ(LCIS) was found. Even after discussing the pathology this person stuck to the yeah but “what if” question. A quick reply was what if I did not and 5 years down the road I was diagnosed with Breast cancer?
I do not live in “what if”. This is why I had the surgery. I never wanted to look back with regret. SO to help land my point I tossed out a few other what if questions.
What if the Declaration of Independence was never signed?
What if Martin Luther King had never been born?
What if women never gained the right to vote?
What if we had never pushed the norms of technology?
All of these questions sound just ridiculous. Life is all about decisions. They are not always easy or comfortable and there will always be someone standing off to the side just waiting to second guess or challenge. I am not sure if I swayed the person’s opinion nor do I really care to be honest. You make decisions everyday, at the end of it all you can only hope you made more good than bad.