Friday, March 16, 2012

The New Girls

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 . . .


  1. Ah, straight women passing around boobs. Love it!

  2. I can't believe you let other women feel you up before me!

  3. Ren made me laugh!

    I think I'm a little bit jealous. I didn't have those boobs even at 20....

  4. Cancer is such an emotional ride. You have ridden it with such grace and strength and humor. Especially humor.

    Laugh 'til it heals is great advice. And your healing is an inspiration.

  5. Cute boobs! I Love the way you are handling this. I especially love that you are choosing when to wear them and when not ~ how absolutely empowering that is!

    When I was a wee sprout in my teens, I worked at a bakery/coffee shop. One of the regulars was an old gal who'd had a bilateral mastectomy. She was delighted with her enormous foam rubber boobs and insisted that I give them a squeeze. I was mortified and she laughed and laughed. They did not feel real at all, but they sure were high and pointy!


  6. "Mix and match" made me laugh out loud. I can just see one size a B cup and the other a DD.

  7. It's not surprising that grief and sadness came up, I think it would have to at one point or another. Please (I realize this is common sense and I'm sure you're doing this and you can just smack me for saying it but I can't help it) be sure to talk to your doctor about anything that's bothering you.

    That said, I have this visual of you showing people them and them being passed around and ... oh, it is funny!

    Although I am not dealing with having had cancer, so I realize it's not in the same category, but I am having similar things go on around my teeth. I realize it's not the same thing, but insecurity, meltdown, anguish, tears ... they're all familiar to me. I guess I just mention it to say that I can't imagine going through this and not reacting in all sorts of ways.

    Hugs. And both ren and e made me laugh, as you did! Talented crowd.

  8. Weeping, laughing, and passing around boobs while having hot flashes - this all sounds like a very full life. May you feel embraced as you live it.

  9. After lugging around d cups I would absolutely love to take them off. Exchange them for b's.

    But I do understand how it is still a part of yourself you are losing and it will take some time to grieve the loss of a body part--even when you know it's for the best.