Ujam, that is such a great question. First of all, yes, there are prosthetics that you can use if you don’t want to go the mastectomy route. The medical prosthetics tend to be expensive, but they are covered by insurance. There are also lots of non-profits that give away homemade prosthetics, Knitted Knockers is one: www.knittedknockers.org. There are also videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com
There are lots of options. Just Google breast prosthesis.
But I’d also like to talk about fear:
Once you are diagnosed with cancer, fear will always be a challenge. Right now, you are afraid of the possibility of mastectomy. After mastectomy, you may be afraid of side effects of surgery. After that, you may be afraid that the cancer will recur.
Fear will always be there. Remember, though, that the cancer diagnosis just reminded you about mortality. Mortality is always there. We all have different ways of dealing with this. I find it useful to try to live in the moment. That’s a cliché, I know, but it really works. Concentrate on what’s going on now. Enjoy your kids or grandkids, notice the beautiful sunset. Find joy in the little things. If the fear gets really bad—in the beginning, I was terrified of MRIs—close your eyes and focus on your breath. In. Out. In. Out. It’s a meditation technique, and I’ve found it to be really useful.
None of this will make the fear go away, but it may make you able to cope, able to enjoy each day as it comes.