A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting My Money's Worth

It’s been a week since surgery and my body is healing day by day. That’s the miracle of life: the body’s amazing ability to heal over time. What’s not a miracle are the 2 drains dangling from my sides. When I saw my reconstruction surgeon during my follow-up appointment, I pointed my finger at him and declared, “Liar, liar, liar! You knew perfectly well that I’d be carrying these drains home with me from the hospital! You just didn’t want to admit it so you wouldn’t have to hear me whine!” He laughed.

I'm glad he sees the humor in this. From my point of view, drains are a drag…literally.

Meanwhile, my body is taking shape and my boobs are bigger than I expected…or necessarily wanted. I’ve always been a small boob kind of girl. Gary, on the other hand, is thrilled. “Well, finally, I get something out of all of this!” Men…

My new boobs are going to take some getting used to, I can tell you that. The more important issue, however, is that my butt is still too big. You see, a natural outcome of opting for this massive reconstruction surgery is that they end up lipo-ing your hips in the process. This is in order to even out your midsection after they remove tissue and replant it in your boobs. Frankly, if I had known I was going to get a butt-job out of this, I would have rushed to have had a double-mastectomy 20 years ago, whether I needed it or not.

Even so, I didn’t get my money’s worth when it came to butt removal. My surgeon was way too conservative on that end (no pun intended) and concentrated more on my boobs—despite my constant pestering otherwise. You know the adage: “You can never be too rich or too thin?” Well, for me, it’s “You can never have a small enough butt.”

Right before surgery, when I’m in the pre-op area, my surgeon entered with his magic marker and began drawing circles all over my abdomen of where he was going to slice and dice and cut and chop. (This included a staple that I pointed out he had left inside me during my last surgery. “Oh, yeah, we’ll get that,” he replied casually.) Anyway, when he began drawing eensy-teensy circles around my hip area, I stopped him dead in his tracks. “No, no, no! This will not do!” I told him. I pointed to my buxom derriere and said, “It needs to be sucked out of here!”

He didn’t budge. “You don’t want to do that,” he said. Of course, I do, silly man. “No, you don’t.” He was adamant. “It will make you sag if I pull fat from there.” Soooooooo, what’s the problem with that? Let’s see…sagging butt versus big butt. There’s no question about what a butt-obsessed person would choose.

I reached for the magic marker to jerk it out of his hands and we got into a wrestling match, practically fighting each other to the floor. He won, of course. They always do when they knock you out with anesthesia.

So, now I have bigger boobs and an ever-so-slightly smaller butt. This is what I’m stuck with forever since I hope to never darken the door of an operating room ever again. Therefore, I must take comfort in what my dad has always said: “There’s nothing worse than a woman without an ass.”

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