Today I received two items in the post.
The first was the itemised account for my surgery from Dr Dave. I have to say that for a procedure that has essentially saved my life the cost is very reasonable
A quick Google search for some other things I could get for the same price turned up
a spring 2012 collection louis vuitton bag or a chin augmentation with fat injection.
What also blew me away was on the same cosmetic surgery website offering the chin procedure the quote for a breast reduction was $7,900!
Let me tell you I am not paying anywhere near that for the complete removal of my breasts.
I then took a closer look at the account and was a little surprised to see that there was a price discrepancy between my right and my left breast. In fact the left mastectomy was half the price of the right.
Now who would have thought that mastectomies come with a "buy one get the second one half price" offer.
( However I wouldn't recommend rushing out to take advantage of such an offer)
I'm not complaining but I must confess I am a little bemused. Add to the fact that the left one was the diseased one, I would have assumed that it may have been a bit more complicated.
Perhaps the left one was cheaper because the job was already half done 15 years ago.
I will enquire with Dr Dave when I see him and promise to enlighten you on the reasons.
The other package that arrived today was the My Care Kit from Breast Cancer Network Australia. It contains two gifts to help woman in their post surgery recovery.
The first is a DVD of a Pilate's program for breast cancer surgery recovery. There is a "6 degrees of separation connection" for me with this as I have worked with Fiona who is the instructor on the DVD.
In fact not long before I was diagnosed we had had discussions about the possibility of re-vamping it, because while it is a very good resource ( although I haven't watched it) in her words "it is as boring as bat shit".
The second item is a post mastectomy bra, courtesy of Berlei. It is skin coloured, looks like a maternity bra with clasps at the front and comes complete with two padded inserts.
I think I must have been in a drug haze when I agreed to let the Breast Care Coordinator order me one of these because there is absolutely no way I can ever see myself wearing it.
If you remember part of my reward for having a double mastectomy was the knowledge that I would be free from the constraints of a bra forever.
And wearing padded inserts would just bring back memories of being 12, riding around on my bike with tissues stuffed down my Tshirt pretending I had boobs. Although I would hope that Berlei does a better job than Kleenex.
I think I need to add a disclaimer here. I am in no way diminishing the resources that Breast Cancer Network Australia produce. For thousands of women they are invaluable in helping them cope with their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. It's just that they are not for me.
So I will gladly pay Dr Dave and be forever grateful that despite the many things that are wrong with our health system, I have no other out of pocket expenses for my 5 day hospital experience and I will have a look at Fiona's DVD so that I can offer her some ideas on spicing it up.
But for now think I can do without the louis vuitton bag or a chin augmentation.