Everyone says you should follow your gut–your gut will never lie to you. I’ve noticed since I have cancer and have to make a lot of decisions, indeed, life and death ones sometimes, following your gut isn’t always that easy. At least for me. This hasn’t changed. I’ve always been this way.
This was brought to my attention recently by the loss of my implant (see Will Travel :: Resistance). Now, if the truth is to be known, very early on when I was first diagnosed with both these cancers, I decided that I probably wouldn’t bother with reconstruction.
Now at that time, I was unaware that Medicare would pay for this, so that did color my feelings, and when I found out they would cover it for cancer (not prophylactic surgery) I changed my tune. I remember feeling genuinely relieved at the possibilities this gave me. I do like options, as confusing as they can be for me.
And then a friend of mine innocently mentioned that a lot of women don’t really care about the boob so much, it was more to erase the evidence of cancer that they wanted a more whole image. You know how those innocent mentions can really crawl inside your brain. I remember thinking, ‘okay, but I’m not sure that matters to me.’ That was also before I had debulking surgery with the huge scar attendant with being gutted like a fish, so to speak.
Once I had my ovarian cancer surgery, and the chemo was done, I was beginning to think in terms of mutilation when I thought about my body, so a reconstruction seemed palliative and comforting.
But now here I am, mutilated and scarred anyway and wondering, among other things, which was my gut feeling? The first feeling I had? Or the subsequent feelings based upon experience? And does it matter?
I’m thinking it was the first feeling, because I do think sometimes if I’d followed my gut instinct, I’d have spared myself a lot of bodily harm, drama and time to end up where I am which is without a reconstruction. Hadn’t I already been through enough? Wasn’t that what my body was trying to tell me?
But mostly I’m convinced I did what I thought was right, gut feeling or not, and while I don’t like not winning the implant war, I am satisfied that I made the effort; that it could have just as easily worked out in my favor and I would have gotten what I wanted. I do feel I did what I wish I’d done.
But I still can’t help wondering can you always recognize which feeling(s) are your true gut instincts? And are they really that infallible? Or is just doing something, anything, preferable to doing nothing?