YOU LOOK GREAT
As I changed into my gardening clothes yesterday to finally begin cleaning out my barn on the first spectacular sunny summer type day, I took a long hard look at myself.
The day before I had done my weekly traipse to the good Doctor (Dr. Hottie in case you forgot) for my second fill. Apparently when you are the size you think you think want your breasts to be, he needs to go a bit bigger for some stretching reason that will be important later at the next surgery. The general consensus was that after one fill, my new breasts were big enough. It is funny because the shape of them is so different than they were prior to the mastectomy; I think it is the upright standing to attention factor that has changed them so my perception of big enough is skewed. I wish I could put a picture here but no can do. I mean technically they are not real so I should be able to, but why risk whatever I would be risking, (getting booted off the internet?)
So the second fill really created full boobs, one I don’t think my upper body had seen the likes of even in my fullest breast years. When I put on my tank top, I was kind of startled by how great my upper half looked. This presents an interesting dilemma for me. I have always been a form fitting tshirt kind of gal. I always liked cleavage. I used to love push up bras, but gave those up when they were just too uncomfortable and lulu lemon workout tops became my go to support system. My mantra was always that if you have boobs, show them because women were having them lobbed off left and right and you may as well. I must have known that I would eventually be on the chopping block in these early comments I jokingly but somehow knowingly made.
I stared at myself trying to decide if I should continue on with the form fitting shirt (what a dilemma) or keep this new and in my opinion obviously fake, somewhat disguised. My previous experience of women having cosmetic implants was that they really maxed out the visuals with lots of tight shirts. I always thought this kind of odd, but now that I am a twice “survivor” I chose the first. I mean what the fuck, I just had major surgery only FIVE WEEKS ago and the fact that I was staring back at a legitimate upper body should have made me run to the tank top store to stock up. So I put the tank on and enjoyed the view. I mean holy shit. I looked great.
I have been writing so much that now I have a new dilemma. People seeing me out and about knowing I had a double M and their first human nature glance is where else? Not my face for sure. I get it, the curiosity factor is just that and I actually welcome it. The miracle of this surgery in this 2017 is that a mastectomy is a choice that can be either no reconstruction or yes reconstruction. Many young women are choosing no reconstruction, maybe as a statement or a fear or even a welcome opportunity to not think about breasts ever again. Many women don’t even know that there is a FEDERAL mandate for all 50 states that require insurance to cover reconstruction after a mastectomy. This is such a personal decision and it is not a light decision. As the good doctor reminded me on several occasions, this is elective surgery and lots can go wrong. Lots can go right too (knock on wood here) and lots is going right as I navigate this new part of my body that I am so grateful to have had the choice to add or subtract.
What I have noticed in this short time with this latest fill is I LOOK GREAT, people tell me this because cancer usually implies sickness and people’s perception of how I should look is usually different than how I really look. Remember this was caught super early so I didn’t have to deal with chemo and the things that make me otherwise look sick. The other thing I notice and I did this myself BC (before cancer) is that you forget what to talk about with someone who has been diagnosed and you end up having some awkward silence after the first few comments,
“You look great!”
“How are you feeling?”
That is the end. The weird ‘what do we talk about next’ sits in the air, waiting. Even though I am aware of this, I try to come up with some other conversation that does not pertain to AC (after cancer); trying to make it easier for the person on the other side. Maybe it will get easier as I get further away from this experience. But the fact is that I will never be away from it, my very perky upper body will not allow this to be forgotten and I am now on the other side of cancer. Survivor, alive, happy, changed, humbled, open book. I love discussing this experience because as Michael my partner says all the time, LIFE COMING AT US.
Life comes at everyone and I think talking about the down factor lets the proverbial cat out of the bag softening the blow of hardship. I know for me when someone says, YOU LOOK GREAT, I think, “damn straight, I own it.” So if you see me strutting around in a tank top take a good look. I am ok with it because I earned these fuckers and I can’t wait until I can go to the beach and really sass my boobilicious self off.