Ever since my surgery, I have been going every where flat chested. A friend of mine who had a mastectomy years ago told me that she just wore her old bras and stuffed them with socks. And then she sent me a box of socks. I was swollen and sore for quite a while and couldn’t even think about fastening a bra around my chest.
But it was winter and I was wearing bulky sweaters. Flat wasn’t so noticeable. Then one morning I put on a tight, V neck sweater and started to cry. It wasn’t the flat that bothered me but the fact that my chest is still lumpy. The scars are not smooth, there are still hard pockets of fluid, and the area between my right arm pit and chest is very ropey. I could see all this weirdness through my sweater. So I put on a bra and stuffed it with socks. But in the mirror all I saw was my skinny, twelve year old self, so insecure about my lack of breasts that I stuffed my bra with tissues. It was the first time I felt a serious sadness and grief about having my breasts amputated. I took off the bra and changed my sweater.
With the warm weather I realized that I would have to make a decision about clothing. To go flat, there would just be some clothing I could not wear, including one sexy little dress I wear to weddings. That pissed me off so I made an appointment to be fitted with prophylactic boobs.
After some getting to know you type questions, the women asked me "so what size do you want to be?" Peachie, who had gone with me, thought this was my chance to go for a real big rack. Tempting, as it would balance out what has happened to my butt in these last few months of inactivity. But I finally chose a standard B cup, which I've always been.
Here they are - my new girls!
The first day I wore them to work, I kept taking them out to show everyone. They are weighty and very "real" feeling. Every boob joke in the world ensued. The funny thing is that they are high and firm. They are my 20 year old breasts. It's an odd and nostalgic feeling to have them riding so high on my chest. I may have to stand next to a heater to get them to melt a little. But I don't think I'll wear them everyday. I really like the freedom of being flat chested, of just throwing on a Tshirt when going to the gym or running errands or just hanging around the house. And I get a free pair every two years, so I can do different sizes, or mix and match. That would be fun.
I know that many friends and co-workers think I have just breezed right through the whole breast cancer thing. But it is not true. I have had moments of great insecurity. Days I could not look in the mirror. I have had many, many tears. I have had a couple of major triggered meltdowns. I continue to have waves of sadness. And now, taking hormonal drugs to reduce the risk of recurrence, I am dealing with wicked nights sweats and fatigue. Not so much fun.
In the cancer boutique, there was a big poster that said "Laugh 'til it Heals." There was a time in my life when I could not laugh at all. When humor came back to me, I realized how much laughter can heal a soul. And personally, I can find a lot of humor in a bunch a straight women, passing around and feeling my boobs. I am going to get so much mileage out of this . . .