Discussions about whether or not women should have breast reconstruction after mastectomy are like politics: everyone has an opinion.
Navigate around the Internet for a bit and you'll find vehement blogs against reconstruction, arguing why women should stay flat after mastectomy. You'll also find the polar opposite view: strongly-worded positions in favor of breast reconstruction.
As women, we are all different. We have different goals, different likes and dislikes, and decidedly different opinions of what is right for each of us. Some of us feel the breast reconstruction journey is worth the effort, and that is just fine. Others consider it a waste of time and effort, and that is also fine, because what is right for one isn't necessarily right for all.
Breast reconstruction is a deeply personal decision, no matter what the outcome. For many of us, the decision is an easy one, whether we decide to have our breasts recreated or not. For others, it's an emotionally difficult and confusing decision, and the answer doesn't always come easy.
Probably the best thing about breast reconstruction is that it is an option, meaning that each of us has the right to decide whether or not we want to have it, without others second-guessing or condemning our decisions. And that's why I appreciated "Why I Don't Miss My Breasts Anymore" by Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, as featured earlier this month on the Huffington Post. What is especially noteworthy about this post isn't that the author lost her breasts, chose not to have them rebuilt, and is okay with that decision, but how eloquently she speaks for us to understand and respect the decisions of others who find themselves in the same situation.
Breast reconstruction is not always a quick or easy decision---nor should it be. It should be the thoughtful result of carefully gathering information, understanding your options, and then (and only then) making an informed decision about what is right for you.