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Taking Stock – Breast Cancer and Preparing for Reconstruction

A large photo of my left boob with nipple shield and a temporary tattoo saying bite me. You can see that I have no right boob, though the scar line is neat.
A before shot

CW This post is about Breast Cancer and Reconstruction Surgery

Until I had breast cancer myself, I never understood how this disease could affect a persons sense of being. It’s not just the surgery whether lumpectomy or full blown mastectomy, but everything that comes with it. The nature of the disease means the tumour may feed off of our ability to make the hormones that make us who we are. I don’t think I’m over egging the point when I say that my sense of being a sexual being seemed to be deeply connected to my breasts. It’s been 3 years and 5 months since my mastectomy and the loss of my right breast. A loss I still feel keenly. Most people won’t know or notice, and that’s a very good thing. But there are few waking moments that I am unaware of it and that is a real pain and itch. It often itches!

Body image

I think I’ve been braver than most. That I’ve been able to share photos of myself with one breast has been a huge help. I thank everyone who has ever visited my blog and liked and commented on the images. The support from day 1 from this community of bloggers and tweeters has been immense. But, it’s not easy and I don’t suppose it’s meant to be.

I yearn to wear sexy lingerie again, both for Master and to show here on my blog. I want to own some of the beautiful wares promoted and sold by the Knicker Fairy. I’d like to walk braless down the street, feeling my nipples harden as the fabric of my dress rubs against me. I’d love Master to be able to grab not just one hand full, but two. See it goes deeper than worrying if people can see I’ve had a mastectomy. It’s not about them, it’s about me. I want to be and feel like me again.

For someone whose had and got over breast cancer, relief that we are very unlikely to die of the disease is quickly replaced by the knowledge we have been mutilated. If not by surgery then by radiotherapy. My reconstruction may not work because of radiotherapy damage, which is quite the choker. But still I want it done, I want 2 tits again, even if one is made up of skin and fat from my abdomen.

Preparing for surgery

I was just getting to the right BMI in 2020 when disaster struck. Not for me so much as the entire world. Unsurprisingly no (or very little) breast reconstruction surgery happened for most of 2020 and part of 2021. I was finally seen in clinic in October last year, to be told to lose weight again (like I didn’t know). Honestly I could have weighed myself and saved me the humiliation and them the bother.

So I was gobsmacked when out of the blue I was called up by a surgeon I’d never met to ask if I’d like my reconstruction on 22nd March. This was 3 weeks ago and to be frank I hardly knew what to say, except to ask if I’d be ok for our trip to France in May. I guess that’s how the brain works. On the subject of BMI, well apparently what I am now is ok, even if it is over 30.

Since then, life has been frantically busy. I’ve been trying to fit everything I need to do into a brief few weeks. It’s typical that I started a sponsored walking challenge from 1st March, then discovered I’d only be able to fulfil 21 days of it. But, true to form that hasn’t stopped me after all it is contributing to my physical wellbeing. Yesterday was my last working day and I now have a few days to prepare myself physically and emotionally.

Thoughts on afterwards

This is something I really want but am extremely apprehensive about. Master is unsurprisingly equally anxious, he wants me to do what’s best for me, but it will be hard on him. We met my lovely female consultant last week. She is young and enthusiastic and instilled an amazing confidence in my through her direct manner. She sensed in me a person who likes to get up and get going, a good thing because I will need my inner strength for this one. It’s a big operation, probably about 8 hours in duration and involves two incisions. If you want to know more look here.

Hospital visiting is still greatly restricted. So it looks like Master and I will only be able to see each other for an hour a day while I’m in. My wonderful work colleagues will be near by since the surgery is taking place at my work place, they’ve made me promise to call if I need anything. I hope though that I recover quickly and can come home as soon as possible to be cared for by him. We both hope that as we hate to be apart.

Every now and again I catch myself wondering if everything will be ok. If I am foolish to be planning the wedding. It’s weird how our brain works to add doubt to our already anxious minds. I’m trying to shove those thoughts out of my head, but it is tricky.

My new breast won’t look like my old one. But the surgeon reassured me that she can give me one that is a descent size. Afterwards there will be options to give the other one an uplift, to form a new nipple and for areola tattoos. Some of the results I’ve seen look amazing. But I guess I won’t know what is in store till the deed is done. Rest assured though there will be photos here on my blog.

4 thoughts on “Taking Stock – Breast Cancer and Preparing for Reconstruction”

  1. You had the courage to post your photos after your mastectomy.
    Everyone understands that this operation was necessary and may have saved your life. But you were not only brave, but also strong, you fought and defeated the disease.
    And now it’s time to return to you all the fullness of beauty.
    Let everything be as you want!

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