I stood there, topless, ready to be photographed.
“Welp, here goes nothing,” I thought as I looked at the person holding the camera.
In fact, I was wearing only a cheap, disposable panty and a smirk.
The shutter clicked away as I was told to hold a few different poses.
“Okay. That should do it,” they nonchalantly said, obviously having done this dozens if not hundreds of times “Go ahead and get dressed”.
How is it that I ended up nearly as naked as a Kardashian selling their latest lipstick-lingerie-diet pill combo? Is it because I am fulfilling a lifelong desire to pose for a girlie mag? Is it because I am taking my shot at Instagram modeling? Is it because I am posing for a weirdo with a bizarre fetish?
None of the above.
I am actually in the office of my surgeon. We are getting me ready for the first phase of reconstruction following my bi-lateral mastectomy I had back in February of 2020. The ‘photographer’ is actually the nurse taking the ‘before’ pics in relation to the DIEP Flap surgery I will have some time this summer.
Following a mastectomy, a woman has several choices as to how she wants to proceed, post-boobs.
- Do nothing and enjoy never wearing a bra ever again!
- Have breast implants and enjoy the new headlights
- Build breasts from existing materials found about the body. Kind of a reduce, reuse, recycle sort of deal!
I chose C. Let me rephrase that. C was the best choice for me. I’ll get to why, but first how I got there.
Nearly from the moment I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma in the left breast with 4 tumors and lymph node involvement, I knew I would need to make a decision about what to do with the front of my body where my knockers used to reside.
From the time of diagnosis in July 2019 up until January 2021, I made and re-made the decision 9,482 times. Not because I was scared to decide, but because I needed to know I was okay with whatever decision I made.
I have known all along I would most likely go for reconstruction, but still, I would stare in the mirror at the horizontal scars and examine the weird, lumpy skin-flaps that replaced my diseased DD’s. I would tell myself no matter what I decide, I am at peace with my body. I had to be, or no decision would be right.
I had to know that if I suddenly decided against new tits, I was more than good with it.
Even after my first consultation with the plastic surgeon, in the post I titled Noobs, I continued to challenge myself with what to do.
My only true choices were A and C. I could either skip it altogether, or undergo a very serious surgery that harvests fat, tissue, veins and arteries from other parts of the body that will be used to shape new breasts.
The reason B was not really an option is because of the amount of radiation the area was exposed to, my body would ultimately reject the silicone. My doc said I could do it if I wanted, but that I would be in his office every couple of years getting them replaced. NO THANKS.
I decided against choice A, as I truly do want ta-ta’s again.
So C it is.
On January 8, I had tissue expander surgery. The surgeon goes in through the existing mastectomy scars, and places the expanders and fills them with a bit of saline. The idea is to slowly prepare the area to receive new jugs. In about a week and a half, I go in for my first ‘fill up’, where they add a bit more solution. Then a month or so after that, I will go in for another, and then I wait it out.
Since the surgery and first bit of fluid, I now have what kind of resembles little boobs, the kind you find in the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I am no longer Lumpy-stiltskin and it’s fantastic.
My recovery has gone well, but I will admit raising my arms above my head is a big no-go. I tried to take my shirt off over my head the other day and got stuck. It was fun writhing in pain as I waited for my husband to stop laughing long enough to untangle me.
The DIEP Flap surgery will happen around June or July of this year. Make no mistake, this is not ‘cosmetic’ surgery. The recovery time will be about 6 weeks, and is going to suck. But I am more than okay with that.
Meantime, I plan to have some fun with my lil’ buddies, the wannabe boobs.
We will wear tank tops this summer. We will ride my motorcycle. We will go running and hiking. And we will enjoy more time with no bras.