Can I Feel Your Boobs?

Because I don’t really remember what my old ones before cancer felt like and I would like some kind of basis for comparison. My unveiling was last Monday and to say I am pleased would be an understatement. The first thing The Boob Whisperer said when he removed the bandages was “now remember this isn’t the final result.” And I knew this, they are going to “settle” and that could take up to six months and I may need minor adjustments when all is said and done. Honestly my first reaction was elation. I could work with this. They don’t match perfectly but they are the same size and look great in clothes. The right side that had the floob has a slight pucker in the lower right corner but it was WAY worse when I had the coconuts (expanders), and he said that the pucker should fill in. They seem to feel somewhat firmer than the old boobs and definitely perkier.

As of right now I am absolutely satisfied with the results and I am so glad I chose to have reconstruction. There were some rough patches where my resolve wavered because as I’ve said repeatedly, the seven month expansion process was PAINFUL, but in the end I’m so glad I hung in there. To the women who choose not to have reconstruction, I totally get it. It’s like, enough with the surgery already. I could have easily been a Flatty Patty for the rest of my life and there was much about flatness I embraced. It’s a deeply personal decision and I respect and admire all breast cancer survivors whatever their chosen path.

Reconstruction was not all about how I look but also how I feel. Let me tell you what else reconstruction is not, at least for me. It’s not a panacea. I still worry about cancer returning. I still see the scars every day from three surgeries and my chemo port. I see the overly tanned from radiation left side of my chest, even a year later. Reconstruction has returned a piece of me that was taken by cancer and I don’t just mean “well yeah, my boobs, duh.” There are so many seemingly insignificant moments that once you’ve lost your breasts, now become noticeable. Like tying my shoe laces. I used to bend over and feel my breasts against my arms and leg as I was tying. Sleeping without breasts felt different. Standing in the shower, all of a sudden there was my stomach when before I looked down and saw breasts. Just little movements and actions that I’d do throughout the day felt different and each one was a reminder of breasts now gone. Now I feel more like my old self and I don’t automatically look away from my silhouette in the mirror. I was pissed at my family yesterday because when I started talking about the 3D nipple tattoos they were all “why do you need those, who’s even going to see them?” ME that’s who! The 3D nipple tattoos will be my denouement. Monday I go back to The Boob Whisperer and I hope he’ll remove the steri-strips, and perhaps I’ll get some more information about what to expect over the next few months.

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