I went to Columbus yesterday for a check-up with my plastic surgeon. It’s been eight weeks since my reconstruction surgery. This was supposed to be an intense decision-making appointment. Instead, it was perhaps the first time in my life that I decided to leave well-enough alone.
My breasts aren’t perfect. They’re a little smaller than I’m used to and I’m still getting comfortable with the shape. The natural, lifted breast is fine. By the way, they refer to that breast as the “native breast” so if you ever want to get Saul in a fit of giggles, weave the words “native breast” into a sentence. For some reason, he thinks that’s awfully funny.
Anyway, back to what I was saying, the native breast is smaller than I expected, but otherwise it looks great.
If I’m comparing myself to Barbie, then I have to admit, there are things about the reconstructed breast (on the mastectomy side) that could use a little tweaking. I have some excess skin that the surgeon said could easily be fixed.
But here’s the thing: I look fine in a bra. If all goes well, the only person seeing me out of a bra is my husband, and he has made it abundantly clear that he thinks I’m beautiful and is just grateful I’m alive.
That’s good, because the doctor says gravity will eventually take its toll and my native breast will someday sag and I’ll once again have an uneven chest. Also, the implant has a shelf-life of about 10 years, so they will have to swap it out again in the future. Bummer, right? This breast stuff gets complicated.
I appreciated the plastic surgeon’s willingness to go back and make things absolutely perfect for me, but I can’t do it. I’ve had enough. I want to tie a bow on it and call it a day.
That’s why instead of scheduling any revisions, I scheduled a nipple replacement for August 23rd. In a 45 minute office procedure, the doctor will gather together enough skin to create a little pucker on my chest that will end up looking like a nipple.
Three months after that, they will tattoo on an areola to match the one I already have.
And then I’ll be done. What a thought. I’ve been talking about breasts for more than a year, and you’ve all been kind enough to humor me and listen.
Thank you for that. I promise to find something more palatable to talk about in the future. In the meantime, we can all be thankful that I wasn’t a writer back when I was birthing babies.