I have 4 breasts. I’ve lost 3 along the way, so that makes 7 in total – a strikingly magical number.
My right breast is an amazing, hand-crafted piece of art, sculpted out of my own flesh. It is admired by medical professionals on a regular basis.
My left chest wall is flat and scarred. My left breast tried to kill me, too, and had to be removed. The implant I had put in failed. I can’t have another go – the skin is thinned and scarred by radiotherapy. It’s not viable.
Obviously, if I’d known this was how things were going to end up, I wouldn’t have had the reconstruction. I’d be flat all over. I’d have a choice of breasts – no breasts at all for sport; small, chic ones for sophisticated occasions; party ones! Maybe.
Instead, I have a small collection of left breast prostheses. Be aware that I am a woman who can’t control her pens, her sunglasses, her mobile or her reading glasses. That means my kids are used to hearing me shout “I’ve lost my boob, I’ll be down in a minute”. That counts as normal in our house now.
Firstly, I have a firm, silicone breast. My every day breast. It’s reasonably realistic in texture, but it’s always cold, and it’s the same plastic pink colour as my daughter’s long neglected Barbie.
Next I have a clear, light-weight, chlorine resistant swimming breast. Sometimes I wear it all the time – if we’re going away on hand luggage only. It looks like an affectionate jellyfish, snuggling up to me. It feels weird.
My last breast is the first one they gave me post-op. It’s a little muppet softy, gentle on new, tender wounds. It feels like a firmly stuffed rag doll – without the arms and legs. And head. I wear it for running, because there’s no friction.
Now I don’t have any breasts of my own, I have more than any woman could reasonably need.
This is so poignant and real. I wish, somehow, that it could be disseminated to women facing loss of a breast because of the attitude of acceptance that underlies your thoughts. That slight touch of humor! I have 2 left kidneys, one implanted in my left lower abdomen that has given me life. My abd. is lopsided. But I am alive and grateful. I think what we have been through shifts our focus to what is important beyond appearances. You go, girl. (I couldn’t handle the cold one…gives me chills just thinking about it.)
Thank you. I was just sitting here wondering if I should delete the post, but now I think I’ll leave it up! You might as well see the funny side…!
I’m a nurse, Sarah (retired, hospice mostly) but at the point in life where people who are going through what you write of come to me. I would love to point them to your blog. You ooze a positive outlook. Please don’t delete it.
Thank you, Victoria. That really means a lot to me.
Wonderful humor in a situation I can only imagine. I admire it. I think it probably helps a lot of women newer to it; please don’t delete.
Thank you. And it puts it into perspective for me, too. I could have lost something important, like a leg…and i’m still here, grumbling a bit!
I agree. I think it would help many women to read this.
I love this! Please don’t delete it 🙂
I had a double mastectomy and right now, there are four fluffy foobs in our house, none of which I am wearing as my scar is still too tender! It is weird seeing them lying around 🙂
I hope you are recovering well. Foobs is great – haven’t heard that word before!
Hehehe, still haven’t worn the foobs yet 😉 Hope you are also well xo