Most women are pretty critical of their bodies.  We complain about our hips or our nose or our saggy breasts.  Then someone goes to take our breasts away and we cry and scream in our pillows for the flawed breasts we once had.  I wish I was the woman who said “good-riddance” and never looked back, but I’m not.  I still cry for my saggy, imperfect mammary glands that seemed so flawed at one time and now seem as majestic as the seven wonders of the world (minus the cancer that then overcame them).

But since I can’t have my God-made wonders back, I am going to settle for man-made.  I have to, what other option do I have other than nothing? 

The creator of my man-made wonders, my ever so kind plastic surgeon sat with me as I complained yesterday.  Which I feel a bit bad about now since these are his creations.  But he took it all well.  We revisited the fact that I had inflammatory breast cancer, which in the end caused him to tell me that he would not do fat transfer on me.  I’m still coming to terms with this since I really (really!) like the idea of moving fat from somewhere else to fill in the new breasts and their flaws and the indentation caused by digger.  But he won’t.  He was nice about it, and he gave a pretty good reason and that is, because I’ve had IBC, if I did have a reccurence it would probably effect my skin, and having extra fat in that area would cause necrosis.  Which would mean more “digger” type issues….and Lord knows I don’t want another digger!

So my option is small implants.  This would fill out the flaws and the indentations and make me just a tad bigger.  It would also help pancake resemble righty.  I really don’t want to be much bigger, but he said in perportion to my size, a little bit bigger would be good.  Plus I have lost some weight since the surgery and I think I lost some in my breasts as well.

You’all know I have not wanted implants.  This option is not all that exciting for me.  He looked me in the eye and vowed that saline implants were safe.  He answered the question we all have….”would you recommend this to any female in your family” and the answer was yes.

We agreed I would sit on this for a while.  I’m not in any hurry to make this decision and since digger only finally, completely closed about a week ago, I should wait.  So I think it could be several months before I make a final decision regarding the implant option. 

He showed me more pictures because I am a little sad about how the scars look.  I told him my fears about having the nipples put on and how I just am pretty sad with my lumpy, scar-y, breasts.  I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever adjust to the new ones and the new look.  I’ve tried sunless tanning and pretty bras, but nothing seems to make me feel better about them.  They’re just not my old ones and I still have a hard time with that.  Can anyone relate to this?

He was very nice to me once again.  Who knew plastic surgeons also had to be psychiatrists.  He seemed pretty confident that I would eventually adjust.  And I had no idea this fix-up deal would be such a long process.  I’m really glad he had me look at more pictures, and I took special note of how long it was from before to after.  Several of them were two years later and the scaring was significantly lighter.  He even showed me one that had a DIEP and then implants and I have to say she looked pretty good.

So I have some decisions to make.  There’s no hurry.  There’s no cancer.  There’s just me adjusting to something new once again and deciding how and when to proceed.

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4 thoughts on “Decisions

  1. Kristen M. says:

    Hi Jen,

    Thank God that there’s no cancer. I’ll say Amen to that!With each step along the way on this cancer journey, it’s normal to feel nervous when something new is on the horizon.

    Just today I was on the phone with a friend, freaking out over something new on my horizon. Nothing bad, just new. There’s a new test out that tests to see how effective Tamoxifen is. My insurance company sent me an at home kit to take a cheek swab and send it in. Dr. Liepman approved it and it may make a difference in my treatment if my body doesn’t process the Tamoxifen effectively.

    What does this mean- well it may mean taking one of the other aromatose inhibitors for post-menapausal women. Am I post-menapausal…no or maybe. It may mean that I need to be post-menopausal to be effectively treated. Lots of things going through my mind in regards to having ovaries out in order to be considered post-menopausal in case the test shows that Tamoxifen isn’t working for me……

    So, the maintanence plan for a cancer survivor isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I guess it’s not the hardest thing to endure either.

    We’re enjoying our summer otherwise and are still waiting on our house to sell. Lots of good thoughts your glad to hear that digger has healed.


    Although my breast reconstruction is different than yours (tissue expansion with saline then silicone implants), I can definitely relate. I am always adjusting to my new additions but I’m generally satisfied with them. One thing is for sure though in my experience is that the saline implants felt hard as a rock as opposed to my soft and more natural silicone implants

  2. clergygirl says:

    He Kristen! I’m so sad you haven’t sold your house…..I’m sure you guys are ready to move! I may have to come by soon and check out your implants…! Do you think they were hard because they were being filled or because saline is not as soft always.

  3. Melinda Andrews says:

    I have learned recently from you to be thnakful for not only my saggy breasts, but for everything. I enjoy you so much and the things that you have taught me. Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Leah says:

    I just happened upon your blog and have read some your posts regarding your reconstruction, digger, and your feelings about your new breasts, and yes, I can relate. After being diagnosed with IDC last November and undergoing 13 chemo treatments (to which two of my best girlfriends took me each time and got me through them — you’re right, always stay with the positive people), I had bilateral mastectomies with immediate reconstruction in June. After developing a digger of my own, I had to have one of my saline expanders replaced in July, and as of now (mid September), it’s just within the last couple weeks healed completely closed and my plastic surgeon (a really great doctor) and I are crossing our fingers that it stays that way. The other breast healed up just fine, but of course, that was my non-cancer side. Hopefully, all will go well and I’ll have gel implants put in in about six months. I am cancer free, which is the most important thing, and lucky to have my lumpy, scarred-up breasts, but it can be a daily struggle to accept them as they are. I know you know what I mean, and reading about your experiences and your own feelings reminds me that I’m not alone in looking at myself at times and thinking, “This is me?” Sometimes it just does not compute. But other times, I just think, “Isn’t this nuts, I have foobs (I like your word!). Never thought THAT would happen.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and I wish you all the best in your recovery. I’m praying that your MRI is uneventful and thoroughly negative.

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