May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!
~ Robert Frost

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. This is my story of how I faced my risk of breast cancer, the decisions I made, the support I received and my week by week recovery from surgery. I chose to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (March 2010). For more information on my 'Medical Team' please see tab above. I also have a wonderful circle of friends who have supported me throughout. They have provided us with lots of delicious meals and desserts. Many of those recipes are included above under "Feed the Flap" recipes. "Feed the Flap" is a term I coined when trying to increase my abdominal (fat) flap to ensure that I was a good candidate for the DIEP procedure. This was not something recommended by any medical professional, it was just something that made sense to me. I think it worked!! Feel free to join me on this journey and feel free to post comments.

Select the tabs on the left side marked Week 1, Week 2, Week 3..... to go immediately to the surgical/recovery part of this blog.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nipples

Two years ago did I ever think I would create a blog post entitled, "Nipples"? Not in a million years. Life has a way of throwing curve balls, so today I thinking about nipples or actually the lack of nipples.

At my last post-op appointment with my PS, I told him that I would like to have nipples created as well as some touch-up liposuction at my next surgery in November. Stage II typically is the nipple creation stage, so I have been planning on doing it. Until now. Well, let me tell you what has changed.

This week it has been so hot here in Maine, so I have been wearing all those tank tops I bought for post surgery. I have been going without my bra. At this point the only bras I have that fit are the mastectomy bras and I didn't want the extra weight or the binding feeling. AND I LIKE IT. Yesterday I even picked my daughter up at school this way and it was such a freeing feeling. Prior to surgery I never would have gone without a bra if I was going to be seen in public.

So this is where nipples come in. I don't have any, so I don't have that awkward appearance of going bra-less and having nipples show through. Even in cold weather or if I get a chill I don't have to think about my nipples. Very very freeing. Not that I thought about my nipples at all before the surgery, but after the surgery I have thought about alot of things I never had before.

Here's my dilemma. Do I have the PS reconstruct new nipples, which will always be semi-erect (without any sensation) or do I go with a 3-D tattoo that looks like a nipple? As a traditionalist I always figured I would do the typical Stage II nipple reconstruction, but I am leaning strongly toward the tattoo. The thing that is tipping the scale is the freedom to go bra-less when I choose to. If I go with the nipples then I would not walk around bra-less in a tank top at public events. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but as I said I am a traditionalist, so I just wouldn't do that.

Plus, as a new 38A, I am limited. I've tried all the big chain stores for bras that fit my new body, but it is an exercise in futility. So, luckily I have already been fitted with mastectomy bras, which are great. They give me the shape that I have always lacked and they are comfortable. But on hot days, particularly when I moved to camp, I like the simplicity. And putting mastectomy inserts into a bra just aren't my idea of simplicity.

As I searched the internet for a photo for this posting, I came across lots of tank tops and camis with shelf bras built in. I wonder if that would make the whole semi-erect nipple a mute point. I will have to try one to see, but I am still leaning toward the 3-D nipple. If anyone of my readers have dealt with this issue I would absolutely love to hear from you.

Today I am cleaning. All that clutter I talked about last week, well it's still here. I was working on a special project that consumed me for a few days, but now I am back.

1 comment:

myblip said...

I know I asked before but not sure if you answered, I need to look through your posts - but why is it that you are only an A cup after your DIEP? I've never heard of that before.
I had nipple sparing, but totally hear you on the advantage of being nipple-less (and yes, it is funny, how things change so much! I never thought I'd spend the bulk of my time thinking of boobs & ovaries either!) - anyway - nipple tattoos usually look great in the beginning but just about everyone I know that's gotten them has had a problem with the tattoo's fading out - a lot, and they've had to have them redone. Just something to consider, but it seems to happen to everyone who gets them..
Good luck deciding!

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