In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I post a blog each day with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections all stem from something in the play. (All quotes are from lines in the play).
Day 10: Mastectomy. “The doctor says she needs a mastectomy. I ask about the other, the left breast. Clearly there is no way to know if there is any cancer in the left breast because in the right breast there wasn’t even a tumor. Just cancer. We all agree, a double mastectomy.” The Actual Dance
It seemed like such an obvious decision for us. How could we know if there was cancer in the second breast since it was basically “dumb luck” to find it in the first breast? A chance biopsy of what the doctor thought was just old scar tissue. While there is probably still a consensus that this was the right decision based on Susan’s family history, it isn’t clear today how easy that decision would be. There is significant pressure in medical world to reduce the rate of double mastectomy. Reading current literature makes me wonder if we made the right decision, but just for a nanosecond. Then 16 years later Susan is still here.
Stat of the Day: In women with a strong family history of breast cancer, prophylactic mastectomy can reduce the risk of breast cancer development by up to 90% National Cancer Institute
Task of the Day: Talk to your wife about her breasts and your reactions to them. And ask her how important they are to her; and you need to understand what they mean to you. You may find that this is not as simple a conversation as you thought.
Resource of the Day: Breastcancer.org has a great analysis on the risks and benefits of a double mastectomy.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.