A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Surgeons Lie

In case I haven't told you this before, surgeons lie.

It's true. They minimize the pain and emphasize the fabulous end result. And leave out a few details.

My first breast surgeon told me the scar would be so tiny that I could walk buck naked down the French Riviera and no one would suspect I had a lumpectomy. He was wrong, of course...not that being naked on the Riviera was ever a goal of mine.

The surgeon who performed my hysterectomy told me that "it was his best cut ever." Wrong again. I've sliced raw chuck roast at a better angle. He should have taken the knife skills cooking class with me.

My reconstruction surgeon said my "new" stomach would be flat as the wall. Maybe. I'll let you know after I complete 15 years of boot camp.

I guess surgeons think that if they appeal to your vanity, you'll gladly go under the knife. Frankly, saving my life was incentive enough for me. They could skip the false promises. But apparently they didn't trust I'd be that level-headed.

So, I'm here to tell you BRCA carriers: Get the surgery. Go under the knife. And know that you're taking the right step in helping prevent cancer's appearance or reccurence. But don't bank on being naked on the French Riviera.