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Insensitive GP comments....

AR17AR17 Member Posts: 5 New Member
edited January 2019 in General discussion
 Diagonosed in July 2017 then went onto to have a double mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction. Am yet to have nipple reconstruction as was sick of surgery and procedures plus am very comfortable with my body the way it is.  Maybe one day I will go back for them. But in the meantime 
breasts look so natural in bathers and this is wonderful and I appreciate how lucky I am.I am ever grateful for each day feeling healthy and well. Anyway, was at GP  who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years (during which time I’d had total hysterectomy due to giant ovarian growths then the breast cancer) and I was telling him about how great I feel after all the medical drams I’ve endured and how comfortable with my body, when he suddenly interrupted me and said “Yes but would you feel comfortable finding a new partner, I mean you are single aren’t you?’.....I was completely astounded. Instead of feeling expowered by my positive journey, I suddenly felt defective: forget about the strength and positivity I have maintained through the hard time, it suddenly boiled down to “but would a man find your breasts attractive?...” I get that breasts and sexuality is a valid and big element but I was (momentarily)crushed to have an older man and a doctor!! reduce me to the state of my breasts and if they pass as sexual objects.!  Anyway, I stomped down to local swimming pool and proudly swam in my bathers and changed in the change room openly. I really wish some medical proffesionals would think before they make these types of comments: I thought they would better educated in these matters. Thanks 


  • JennyD78JennyD78 NewcastleMember Posts: 54
    Wow.  What a complete knobend.  Well done you for being able to brush off his completely unnecessary and inappropriate comment!
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,968
    Twit! God knows what he would think of me - giant scar and no reconstruction! But then again I am not thinking about him.......unfortunately the medical training absorbed by some seems not to encompass gender equality, good manners and not interfering in people's private lives. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,891
    Welcome to the forum, @AR17 .... the place for universal acceptance & even some laughs!   

    WTF!   I am guessing that is the last time you'll be seeing HIM!!   It just shows where HIS brain lives - in his pants!  It really is unacceptable that not all our medical profession can maintain some sort of decorum and sensitivity.  He could have just said something along the lines of 'Please don't take offence at this, but they look alright from here' .....   and you would have been chuffed, instead of stuffed!  :(

    All the best  xx
  • AR17AR17 Member Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks all. Glad it wasn’t just me feeling overly sensitive to his frankly odd comment. HIs priorities are clearly very different to those of us who are happy to be here ! Yes: never seeing him again but I feel it’s a shame that I didn’t say anything to him so he will never know how his comments came across. I was too caught off guard at the time. But best to move on and not give him any more of my energy! Just hope he doesn’t say such things to other people. 
  • Patti JPatti J Member, Dragonfly Posts: 589
    Even now, even though my breasts look OK after reconstruction, and I  have nipples and tattooing, I   think I  could get changed in a public place, like a shopping centre, without anyone seeing my naked body. 
    It is just me and my need for discretion. 
    Some of tbe other ladies at aquarobics strip down to nothing. That is not for me. I have sisters and went to an all girl school but, in public, I  am very discrete. 
    Not all older male doctors are so insensitive.
    Although, one of my friends, whose mum died from breast cancer, was asked why she needed breasts at her age. She is not in a relationship.

  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,903
    edited January 2019
    OMFG! I am lost for words! Perhaps a formal letter to the practice about the necessity of engaging the brain before opening the mouth...

    Welcome @AR17. If it's any consolation, you're not alone with this kind of engagement with the medical profession. Two weeks to the day from my diagnosis, and two operations later, I met my PS for the first time. My sister had died from breast cancer the year before, which I told him, plus the rest of my sorry story. I was seeing him about the possibility of a BMX & DIEP recon like you. Amongst other things he told me I'd never lose the weight I needed to get into the safety zone for the operation (I did), that I would put it back on (not so far I haven't) and that I would never look good naked. The latter he said twice (my husband begs to differ). I was devastated after that appointment, an absolute wreck. It was gob smackingly insensitive. My breast surgeon recommends him because he's tecnichally brilliant, and he has done a superb job, but boy oh boy, you've gotta have the hide of an elephant to deal with him.

    I want fipples but need a bit more time to gird my emotional loins before I see him again...
  • AR17AR17 Member Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks everyone for your feedback: really appreciated. Patti I completely understand what you are saying about discretion in a change room scenario.We all have different levels of what we feel comfortable with and we should never be made to feel pressure or judgement regarding what makes us uncomfortable.  Unbelievably insensitive comment to your friend. In the end, they are our bodies and ultimately that’s the main point out of all of this discussion regardless of our ages, marital status etc. Kmakm: your experience sounds like my PS and his obsession with giving me nipples! He cant understand how/why I am not up to it at the moment. I think they see so many patients and sort of lose perspective : that they are talking to people going through a life changing stressful time. Anyway thanks again all.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,973
    What a twitsack! I can totally agree with you not wanting to waste energy on him. There is a thread here about the ridiculous things people have said to us (one of the more tech savvy can probably put up a link) which might give you a giggle because, really, sometimes all you can do is laugh.
    I'm a walking example of someone with substantial deformities from a failed retread attempt, and I can tell you that having tits that look like they've been hit by a stick blender has been no real obstacle when it comes to finding a new love interest. I'd like to have ten minutes of that man's time to educate him on what really matters and what I think of those who are more interested in what is going on under my shirt than what is going on between my ears. Mind you, if he is that dense after years in his profession he'd probably write me off as being either hysterical or deluded--that seems to be how their heads work. Phhffft. Mxx

  • roserose Member Posts: 34
    Yes, outrageous! Can you see someone else? And yep, not surprised to hear about misogyny in the medical profession. He'd be horrified by some of my friends, who've had breasts removed and not reconstructed and proudly display their chests, as the wonderful women they are. 
  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 238
    Agh!!! Yes, reduced to 'you've got to have boobs to get a man.' First wave feminists called this 'being subject to the possessive male gaze'. In my experience it is difficult for many men to understand that such comments are sexist and deeply offensive and distressing. Would I let him know that I was offended and distressed? Not sure given the emotional roller-coaster ride of BC. Trust you are feeling restored by the responses you've received.
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,553
  • AR17AR17 Member Posts: 5 New Member
    Thank you!
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,973
    That's the one @sister !

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,592
    edited January 2019
    @AR17 Yours definitely belongs on that thread!

    If you don't laugh...
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