There were a couple of funny things that happened once my reconstruction was over.
My original breast surgeon, who declared me crazy for deciding to have my breasts removed, turned out to be wrong in every way that mattered. As life would have it, my left boob tissue, which looked healthy enough on the operating table, ended up being full of cancer. The pathologist’s report showed that had I listened to the advice of that first surgeon, and gone ahead with lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, I would have indeed been back before St. Nick the radiologist, dealing with another bout of cancer that may not have been as receptive to treatment as the one from which I was newly freed.
I wasn’t looking for validation, but knowing that I was right, and that my natural boobs would have come back to torture me unless they were sent to the garbage pail, was quite satisfying.
I guess I could’ve called Mr. ‘lum-PECK-tomy’ and crowed about being wiser than he, but instead I wrote a letter to St. Nick, telling him what happened and thanking him for his honesty, which ended up saving my life. He never responded, but I am very hopeful the sincerity of my note gave him whatever motivation he needs to keep speaking up to women about their chances, no matter what his referring surgeons may think of his advice.
Knowing how close I came to recurrence makes me view my new boobs with grateful pride, but they do have some drawbacks. Naked, the girls are incredible, but in clothes, the nipples always stand up, making me look as if I’m permanently freezing cold. During the skin graft, the assistant whose job it was to remove all the hair follicles from my inner thigh skin missed a couple, which isn’t surprising considering the amount of hair I have down there, so every now and then I have to deal with a stray bit of wiry white pubic hair growing out from the center of my implant. Small issues, I know, but they do exist
And while it’s great to no longer need the support of a bra, I still have to wear one when I’ve got on a lighter weight shirt because the nipple is either visible or just too pronounced to ignore. Finding lingerie that fits is a challenge, as my boobs don’t move and can’t be adjusted to fill the cup. In fact, it was bra shopping that gave me the final laugh in the whole new boob experience.
Unhappy with the way my shirts looked over a bra that was empty at the top due to the way my implants are shaped, I went into a Victoria’s Secret one day looking for something I could wear to cover up the pointed nips.
“Do you know your size?” the salesgirl asked
“Thirty-six B” I told her, trying not to preen as all of my life this was what I considered the ultimate measurement.
She seemed skeptical, pulled out her measuring tape and smiled broadly.
“No wonder you have such trouble with the fit,” she said approvingly. “You’re a thirty-six D.”
I made her repeat herself, feeling my face grow hot as she reaffirmed her findings. D! I was a D-cup? Holy Mother of God!
For some inexplicable reason, I was mortified. I hadn’t ordered a D – I said B! Could the plastic surgeon not have understood me? Hurrying out of the store, I called him from my cell phone to complain. Listening to my indignation about the mix-up, he guffawed into the receiver.
“B, D, what difference does it make?” He asked.
“What? Didn’t you hear me? I’m a D cup,” I exclaimed. “I’m huge.”
“You’re exactly the same as you were before the girl measured you,” he said. “And you look great. Just enjoy them.”
It took a bit of time to get used to my size, but in the end I decided to take my plastic surgeon’s advice. The girls were way bigger than I had expected, but they fit me perfectly. Maybe I’d been wrong imagining a “B” was the cup size for me. These D-girls certainly worked and while in another universe I might have been born with large, healthy D-sized breasts, these fake, safe silicone boobs were all I could have hoped for.
They may not hang and sway like living breasts, but I am more than pleased with their presence, and very grateful for the opportunity to be able to wear them.