Not long after my breast cancer diagnosis, I called my health care plan. Even though I didnâ€™t think that I wanted reconstruction, researching it was a good distraction from my fear that I would not live long enough to raise my two children.
â€œHello,â€ I said. â€œIâ€™m calling to see if you cover plastic surgery after a mastectomy.â€
â€œWhat do you mean, plastic surgery after a vasectomy?â€ a female voice replied.
I gulped and tried again. â€œDoes my insurance cover reconstruction after a mastectomy?â€
â€œYou mean, you want to reverse a vasectomy? she asked.
â€œNo, no,â€ I said, struggling to go on. â€œI have breast cancer. I am going to have a breast removed. Will the insurance cover reconstruction of a new breast?â€
â€œOh,â€ she said, â€œOf course, of course.â€
I hung up the phone and sat there, stunned. Then, I laughed. This cancer journey is going to have some absurd moments, I thought.
Now, almost 14 years later, I go around one-breasted, my children are in college, and I am grateful to still be laughing.
(This appeared in the magazine Heal: Living Well after Cancer, Vol.1, No. 2, Fall 2007)
Â© Pam Roberts