Bye-bye boobies, Hello hooters!

In a previous blog post I broke the news that I had made the decision to finally go ahead with the prophylactic mastectomy & reconstruction. This was a difficult one, even after 10yrs, 14 surgeries, and 30 lumps removed–not all squeaky clean (hell, nothing about me is pure as the driven snow, heh.). I mean, who wants to voluntarily get their tits lopped off? But this one was taking it for the team, so to speak. The surgery went very well. My surgeons were amazing–really, they were sweethearts and treated me like gold. The hospital staff, blew me away with the care I got. I’ve been a patient at virtually every hospital in the greater metro area, and I’ve seen the best and the worst. These folks were up there. The icing on the cake was having my friend Caroline there to help me recover. Laughter IS truly the best medicine & she brought it to me by the truckload. I was so pleasantly distracted by having her there & enjoying my time with her, within a week I really was doing well. But, true to my form, there had to be a few hitches. The phucking drains. Oh how those muthaphuckas annoyed me. I had to wait the full 2 weeks to get them out. Then there was the issue of my nipples turning black. That worried the hell out of me. I had gone for the straight-to-implant, nipple sparing mastectomy & reconstruction. The decision was made out of practicality and my desire to have as little surgery as possible. What I seemed to miss in the countless conversations & emails with the docs was the fact that only 40% of the nipples are successful. I had unsuccessful nipples. Damn, I was a nipple flunkie–how freaking sad is that. So when I went to get the drains pulled & stitches out, the surgeon tells me that my nipples were essentially falling off. WTF?!?!? OH CRAP. The first way to try to salvage this was to go to twice a day, 2hr treatments in the hyperbaric oxygen tank. If you have never done this, I’ll give you a description. You know the tube that you see aliens stored in during sci-fi movies? Yup, that is what they are like. Very narrow acrylic tube with metal endcaps, a flatscreen suspended over the top, and you have to wear this plain cotton gown and nothing else. No hair products, perfume, deoderant, jewelry, nothing. Can’t have anything in there but the juice they want you to drink, a few blankets and an emergency mask. Good thing I’m not claustrophobic. Two weeks of this, and I was just about ready for the funny farm, but my nips did seem to improve–and they are still getting better. The alternative, was three surgeries to ‘build’ me new nips and then tattoo them to make them look natural. I still have what I call ‘frankenboobs’ but they do look damn good covered, and for the first time, I am having some issues with tops because I’m a bit too busty. Ha! That never happened before. I’m now on vacation and my biggest concern is not having a nip slip out of my bikini top. LOL Another first for me. My cups runneth over. Everyone is dying for me to flash them so they can see the new girls, but they aren’t camera ready just yet. I’ll let you know when they want to make their debut 😉

The doc wants to do a minor revisionary procedure when I get back to even some places out volume wise (since they took everything and I’m all implant) and he’ll do some fat grafting. Bonus, a little free lipo of the belly! When all is said and done, I think they will be perfect, and within a year it will all be a blurry memory. Honestly, the experience has not been nearly the hardship I thought it would be.

All in all, I am still happy with my decision. This was one health issue I could control & for my sake, and that of my family, I took this bull (or set of boobs) by the horns. If you know someone who is in the same position, or is facing breast cancer and is unsure of whether to go for the mastectomy or just the lumpectomy, please tell them it is no where near as horrible as they think. Send them my way. I’d be happy to be their cheerleader.