Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Cancer is Giving Me a Smokin' Hot Bod

From the movie, Sixteen Candles:

Grandma: "Look, Fred; she's gotten her boobies!"

Grandpa: "I better get my magnifying glass!""

Grandma: "And they are just so perky!"

Really, the new boob is very perky. Like two sizes perkier than the original. I haven't had boobs this cute since I was 11. Then it was, quite literally, downhill from there.

My abdomen is taut. Right now, it looks like pregnant taut, but it is slowly deflating. (Or rather, draining.) The skin is stretched so tight, no lines show. (Kind of like actress Nicole Kidman's face.) Because of this, I cannot stand fully upright and tip-toe around with itty-bitty steps.

It prevents me from standing for longer than a couple of minutes. Today at Trader Joe's, I had to use the scooter cart to get around. In doing so, I incurred the wrath of the over-85 crowd ("Why do you need to use the cart?) and my three year-old. "BUT I WANT TO RIDE!!!!"

I'm feeling better. I went to Dr. Venturi, the genius plastic surgeon, for a post-op on Wednesday. He removed the drainage tube leading from my new "foob." (Faux boob) He'll take out the abdominal drains at my following post-op next Tuesday.

After this, I will most likely have "touch-up" surgeries done to:

1. install a nipple

2. smooth out any lumps or puckering on either my new breast or abdomen. I now have the world's biggest smilie face. It runs from hip to hip. The good part is that surgery removed the extra skin (my so-called "muffin top") and the skin that "Dun-lapped" over the tops of my thighs.

The bad part is that I seem to have a really, really bad allergic reaction to the surgical tape that was used for external closing. It is paper tape. And since I'm pretty sure I'm not allergic to paper, it's gotta be the glue. And it is bad. Like 3rd degree burn bad. No wonder I kept telling the hospital nurses that I was itchy after I woke up.

So, future surgery might smooth this out, too. However, I'm not terribly concerned. I've never been a bikini person (I like to really swim and dive too much) and I think the last time I bared my midriff for fashion was sometime in the mid-1990s.

And if CJ wants to spice things up, he can draw a pair of eyes and nose over the smile.

A note about Dr. Venturi. I am incredibly grateful that he was my plastic surgeon reconstruction guy. He doesn't have to offer reconstruction services (plastic surgeons can afford to be picky) and he certainly doesn't have to offer the most difficult type of reconstruction, the DIEP flap. Which, of course, being me, I chose.

According to CJ, Dr. Venturi was performing surgery on me for 9 hours. Excluding lunch and trips to the potty, that is still quite a feat. He looked beat when he came out of surgery but when ICU nurses called him at 4am the following morning because they thought my new breast was getting too low in it's temp, he came right in. And reassured them that even though everything was fine, they did the right thing.

I think he is very impressed with his work. CJ and I also think it's just killing him that I didn't want him to reduce and lift my right, healthy breast at the same time. (I'm saving it for nursing future spawn.)
Dr. Venturi remarked how unusual it is to have someone choose to not do both at the same time.
Ah, asymmetry...the bane of the artist's existence. He needn't worry. I'll be back eventually. (Thank you, Bill Clinton!!)

Right now, I'm looking a wee-bit lopsided. But that is why the Goddess created falsies.
And really feeling how heavy my breast was-it was an instant 11 lb. loss. Scary.

At least I'm getting something in trade....


  1. So, I could lose 22+lbs if I get my boobs lopped off? Hmmm. . .could be worth it!

    I'm glad everything is looking good - I hope you can stand up straight soon!


  2. From: CJ
    Subject: "Foob"

    ****ing Brilliant. Did you come up with that? I nearly spit Diet Coke up on my monitor. We must trademark that immediately.

  3. WOW. I totally get weepy eyed when I read your posts. You are one of the strongest and certainly THE most positive people I know. I love you loads!

  4. Thanks for the update - so glad to see you at preschool today! I can just imagine you and Elizabeth and an 85 year old fighting over the scooter at TJ!!! Hope that tape allergic reaction goes away soon.