They’re Boobs, Not Secret, Mystical and Mysterious Appendages

So fill up number 15 was Monday and The Boob Whisperer said 3 more fills. Gah! So 3 more fill ups until my D cups. Okay that was pretty lame. My strength and resolve is wavering you guys, but in for a penny, in for a pound. Or in for boobs, in for D cups. The pain isn’t even diminishing now after a few days like it would after my prior fills. I have such empathy for those of you out there living with chronic pain. After the last fill on October 17, I have to wait 30 days for the implant exchange surgery. Then I will need to wait 6 months until I can get my 3D nipple tattoos.

I want to confess something. I’m all about talking about breast cancer and telling my story with jokes and sarcasm. I follow breast cancer social media sites like My BC Team and Living Beyond Breast Cancer. I like learning about other women’s experiences and knowing I’m not alone in this. But if I’m being honest, when I come across stories about Stage IV and metastasis or “mets,” I tend to look away.  Like closing your eyes with your hands over your ears going “lalalalalalala.” I know I do this because there is a chance that could be me some day and even though I’ve faced many scary things throughout this journey, I haven’t had to do it with a Stage IV or mets diagnosis. I came across the story of a young woman with mets, who still had her breasts but was not having them removed because the cancer had already spread to several other places on her body. I stopped reading and tried to scrub all thoughts about that from my brain. But these women deserve my attention and support, so no more “see no evil, hear no evil” looking away for me. I will read their stories and pray for them and their families. Every person’s journey is worthy of my support and compassion. Whether you have Stage I or Stage IV, lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemo, radiation or no treatment, we shouldn’t measure experiences by degrees because for each woman the fear is real and not necessarily mitigated by a Stage number or surgical procedure.

Something else has been on my mind. I’ve noticed that when some people ask me how my treatment is going, or if I’m “done” with treatment, when I start talking about my expanders and my lat flap surgery, some people lose eye contact and say “oh but you’re done with your treatment, though, right?” I guess for them, it’s okay to talk about your knee or torn meniscus surgery but boob surgery is taboo.  Guess what people? They’re JUST boobs. It shouldn’t be so uncomfortable to talk about them. But I guess we can’t even look at breastfeeding moms’ boobs so why should we be able to discuss reconstruction of boobs? (And I’m not advocating naked breasts all hanging out with a suckling babe attached posted on Instagram, but if a woman is discreetly feeding her child, then you offended dipshits need to get over it.) But I digress.  Yes chemo and radiation are over but I am still going through the exhausting and painful process of reconstruction. Shit can still go wrong. Know this – if you ask me how my “treatment” is going, or how I’m feeling I will probably tell you and it likely won’t be a brief “fine thanks.” It will be the unvarnished truth.