I Was Always Strong and Beautiful, Who Knew? I Didn’t.

I was supposed to see The Boob Whisperer this coming Monday. He was going to schedule the minor revision to correct the little divet and extra skin on my right foob. I was also going to ask him about the 3D nipple tattooing process. As it turns out, he is not contracted with my new insurance. His wonderful patient liaison called me with the news. I mentioned that he’s listed in my network but she said they are still trying to get contracted. I also told her that it’s the only insurance provider of individual plans and I have no other options. She said they are hoping the contract will go through soon. So, until then I’m in limbo. Otherwise they’re still very numb and now my left shoulder hurts when I lift my arm. I probably need physical therapy. Maybe my yoga teaching husband can show me some stretches or something. I am pretty tired of doctors and such. After The Big Chop I saw my breast surgeon frequently, followed by the oncologist every other week, chemotherapy every three weeks, then radiation every weekday for six weeks. A few months later I had my reconstruction surgery and saw The Boob Whisperer pretty much once a week for 8 months. I was in a doctor-visiting bubble.

I remember The Boob Whisperer telling me about a clinical trial underway for larger than 800 cc (the largest legally available in the U.S.) implants for reconstruction patients, going up to 1,400 I believe. 800 may sound like a lot when uttered in breast augmentation circles, but with reconstruction it’s not that large unless you’re like 5 feet tall. For a taller woman with a larger frame, 800 might mean a B cup or less. For me it’s about a full C. I was chatting with a woman on Facebook recently who is part of this Athena trial at the Mayo Clinic and she has 1240 cc. These extra large silicone implants are expected to be available to breast reconstruction patients (who fit the criteria) some time in 2018. I would have liked to have gone larger, but hey these are still fabulous and very perky. Right now I need to work on getting the rest of my body in shape to match my new foobs. It’s funny how one’s perspective evolves depending on current circumstances. After The Big Chop I didn’t give two craps about having boobs. Good riddance. I felt that way all through chemotherapy and radiation. I did notice though that it seemed like boobs were everywhere I looked, in my face, mocking me. A couple months after radiation I admit I was longing for boobs again, but I didn’t want to wear a bra with prosthetics and mostly it’s because I hate wearing a bra at all now after going without for almost two years. Bras are just not comfortable and the ones that are comfy don’t do anything a cami or going commando can’t do. Anyhow, once my radiated tissue had healed I consulted with The Boob Whisperer about the plan for reconstruction and he explained how with the tissue expansion I could decide how big I wanted to go. Apparently he would just fill me up until I was satisfied-ahem-was a satisfactory size. At first I felt like, oh a C will be fine, it’s what I had before The Big Chop. But then I got kind of greedy, picturing a nice perky porn star rack. This of course prickles my feminist sensibilities, and of course I wouldn’t be happy with boobs so enormous they could double as floatations when the plane I’m on crashes into the ocean. I wonder if the idea of getting large breasts was kind of a fuck you to cancer, like “you may have taken them but they’re back baby-bigger and better than ever so suck it!”

I realize I need to love myself the way I am-no matter my breast size and give myself time to get to know this new version of me and be comfortable in my new skin. I also found that as much as my reconstructed breasts have done for my confidence and self image, I was actually a strong and beautiful person all along, even more so when I was bald and without breasts.  This is because during that time in my life I really learned to appreciate my inner qualities and let them carry me. It may sound kind of braggy but it’s true, and I recommend everyone look for this within themselves.