When the exam was over, I was told I could get dressed. Before closing the front of my gown, this new surgeon looked at me and said, “Why didn’t you have reconstructive surgery?” I was taken aback. She did not speak the words in an inquisitive tone, rather, she’d said them with a derogative connotation. At that point, I felt I had to defend my choice not to have reconstructive surgery.

As I explained my decision to this doctor, she made me feel I’d made the wrong choice. She battered me with statistics and started talking about all the ways breast reconstruction could be performed. I didn’t want to hear it but listened out of respect.

Why was she shaming me? Wasn’t it my body and my choice? Why should I be made to feel less than if I’d chosen to live the rest of my life without breasts? Did it make me less of a woman?