Monday, August 15, 2011

Plastic Surgery Woes

Last week was my trip to the plastic surgeon's office.  She is the second half of my prophylactic mastectomy, given the charge of reshaping my body after my breasts are gone.  She'll either form new "breasts" for me or make space for implants during the long surgery.

I didn't expect to leave the office so upset, crying. Unlike being upstairs, I wasn't in the oncology ward, so I thought I'd be spared the you're- a- cancer- patient/you're- not- a- cancer- patient ups and downs that come from sitting my perfectly healthy self across from women about to be called in for chemo. There was a quick intake process with almost no wait.

From my breast surgeon had come the idea of using fat from my thighs to shape new breast mounds.  I had never heard of this.  It is called the TUG procedure, and is done on women without the sufficient abdominal fat to create a new breast-- that is, women who are either small, have  had previous abdominal surgeries, or  like me, have never had children. 

The plastic surgeon talked most about waiting until after children so that I'd have a fat pocket to remove to form a new breast.  And she talked about implants.  I was not interested in either.  I mean, I could wait, but wait until what? Until I have kids (not happening anytime soon)? Until I have cancer (my sister was diagnosed only a few years from the age I am now)?

And as for implants-- I just don't know.  The process for expanding the muscle in which to place the implant seems so scary to me.  And while I wouldn't mind perky, perfect boobs, I don't even use silicone in my hair-- I'm not sure how I would feel about putting it in my body.  To make matters worse, I'd need new boobs every 10 years or so, which would mean an additional surgery each time.

{blouse- lucky; shorts-target}

I went to the appointment alone and then walked over to main campus to take the bus. I could hardly keep it together. I'm still hardly keeping it together.  The thing is, I don't know what my problem is: is it that I was suddenly asked to reconsider my options? Was it that the plastic surgeon, highly recommended, was a bit cool (I was told to expect this from her)? That the breast surgeon and plastic surgeon didn't seem to agree on which procedure is best for me...? And if they can't agree, how the fuck am I-- a layperson-- supposed to figure it out? 

I am SICKSICKSICK of this drama. I want the breasts gone so that I can move on, finish my fucking dissertation, and stop thinking about breast cancer every day.

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