“You have breast cancer” can be of four of the most frightening and disheartening words any woman could ever spoken to her. Of course, most women pray or hope they never have those words spoken to them by their doctor. It’s the diligently cautious woman that is watchful and performs her regular self-exams and keeps current with screening with her doctor to safeguard against any sudden, more serious discoveries.
Except, perhaps, in extreme cases, such as that with the familial history of actress/filmmaker/director, Angelina Jolie, such certainty of an impending need for a double mastectomy, rapid—and radical—action won’t be required. Surprisingly, the knee-jerk reaction to take super fast action to take care of ridding oneself of the cancer ASAP isn’t necessary; in most cases, you have time to consult with different physicians to find out what your surgical, treatment, or options for reconstruction will be.
Whatever your individual circumstances might be, the decision for which action will appropriate for you (with the direction of expert, medical professionals) will be very difficult, and can very depressing. As you ponder the implications of mastectomy and, perhaps eventual, breast reconstruction, gather all of the information you can. Seek a support group soon; support will be of great help.
And the hope of returning to a full, productive WILL be your light at the end of what might seem like a black tunnel with no end.