Thoughts On My Reconstructed Self

Many women who have one or both breasts removed to treat cancer may have unrealistic expectations about how they’ll feel after that surgery and after breast reconstruction, if they choose that option. I completely overestimated how much this would boost my satisfaction of the outcome of the breasts and my feelings of sexual attractiveness.

I think we sort of like to believe that plastic surgery will make everything better. It does help, but not as much as people may think.

The days of the hard, egg shaped tissues expanders are a thing of the past (Doing a happy dance. I do it every time I remember the day those hard, uncomfortable things were removed).

And now the shape looks way more natural and they don’t feel like rocks anymore. But these foobies honestly look a little strange without nipples. Does it mean I will add nipples…probably not.

It’s a long road of tests, surgery, injections, more surgery in an up hill battle against breast cancer. Fipple (nipple) reconstruction (maybe, but most likely, not), and hormone blockers or eliminators for the next 5 to 10 years.

I was so ready for all of this to be done the minute I was diagnosed. I was feeling incredibly lucky and thankful for having had an amazing response from the team of doctors who worked on me. I mean they wasted no time. Appointments with the doctors and extra test started immediately.

I had no aphony, but I would say I got a new lease on life…well sort of. I am a survivor. I am stronger and wiser in many ways. And I finally feel like I see a future ahead of me again, while with all the new uncertainties that a personal history of cells gone bad brings. I know that there are no guarantees and have come to terms with the fact that recurrence happens. But this business of what my reconstructed self has become (both physically and mentally) still has to be addressed, and the final product is visible for me.

I do like my new girls shape. Perky, well-rounded implants feel like an upgrade. I have experienced more breast numbness afterwards than I had expected. My skin is peppered with broken blood vessels; the scars from my drains look like dimples; and then there are the bride of Frankenstein scars across each breast, which are subtle, but still visible. I try and tell myself they are battle scars…visual reminders of what I gave up to move forward. They are a sign of the strength God instilled in me.

There have been some unexpected issues as well. Because the implants are under the pectoralis muscle of the chest, they are oddly good at flexing. And I mean some serious foobie dancing (getting chilled sets them off) here. And while they look good under a t-shirt, they are obviously not the real deal underneath.

Healing from breast cancer treatment can be a long road, but sometimes even a small step can make a big difference.

2 Comments

  1. I love how beautifully you describe your journey. Everyone has their own battle and thankfully our battlefield is outward. You are strong enough to keep fighting. May Allah bestow serenity and strength upon you. Stay blessed sister 🌿

    Like

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