I get asked that question daily. Really no, none of this was worth it, it all sucked. But inquiring minds want to know so let's dish about my reconstruction. I am not going to blog about the suck ass part, you know lymphedema, exhaustion, can't move your arm, elephant on your chest all that crap- this will be just recon. I won't rehash the bullshit of "oh my god you are getting a FREE boob job", "finally getting the boobs you wanted", "are you going bigger", "no more saggy boobs" because I will just get angry and no one likes angry AM. Plus we all know that is utter nonsense. See a boob job is a choice we did not choose this and it comes at us full force. Recon from breast cancer is different they scrap you to 1% of breast tissue, rads and chemo effect how that implant sits too. Your body is going through a trauma and trying to adjust. Now add your mind set or your mind wrapped in cancer, completely different than a boob job.
The you have cancer comment happens then almost immediately after it is the "do you know a plastic surgeon?" I think our issue starts there. Why do we push right to recon? Our body is about to go into major overhaul adding this element is something I think is more pushed by society. Think about it, the first and most important is to remove the cancer. Just that surgery is intense and takes a toll on our body. The drains, the removal of the breast, the exhaustion and the mental part. Add a foreign object and what the actual f$^k just happened. Then there is chemo and rads making it all a big ass mess. Recon should come later but it does not. In retro spec I would have gone flat and fabulous to heal mentally and physically then done recon. I am not anti recon only on Brideplasty that show pisses me off.
The recon started right at mastectomy with expanders was difficult. They felt like a squeaky toy inserted in my body. Then with the fills, ugh. I felt nausea set in and pain like a hard work out, do able but with everything else it sucked. There is a metal piece that they use to find the part for the needle to inject the saline in, seriously read that again that is in our body! I set off the metal detector at an SU football game and had to explain to the security guards, they were freaked out I was amused. The expanders were a bitch-uncomfortable and odd. Just didn't know what to make of them. I think watching your body change before your eyes is a mind screw too. Cancer messes with you on the inside but you can not see it this you watched literally. Looking back I know I joked about it but I think it was hard to watch yourself change like that.
Then you have the implant itself. Hard, unmovable, lifeless thing inserted into your body. CRAZY! Now do not get me wrong it works for some, not for me. I hated them. Zipping up a dress they didn't move and that got me for some reason made it so sad to me. Granted they shifted into my arm pits, not a good look. This and infection is common because of the above reasons chemo, rads, and scarping to 1% of breast tissue. I remember when I went into the plastics office the first time and asked for a tram surgery he laughed at me, rude! I weighed 107 pounds and was fit and healthy he told he couldn't find anything to make even one breast from that is why I went with implants first. It was such an alien invasion for me but everyone kept telling me how great they looked I didn't see it nor did I feel it.
I went in to have my scars that were HUGE keloids and very painful looked at and the PA said first we need to figure out what to do about the shifting. UGH another surgery. I asked about the DIEP because now thank you cancer you dirty devil it gave me 27 pounds and I could. I was warned of the surgery but knew what it was because I had done my research and talk to many who had it. I was mentally prepared, I really believe that is why I did so well this time. My head was ready for a 10 hour surgery, 3 days in ICU, 3 days in the hospital, 3 weeks resting, months recovering, and another surgery to follow. Do not be fooled by the tummy tuck bull shit this is not what this operation is about so do not go in thinking that. I felt like using part of me was like taking two back from cancer, hahaha I was a thief in the night and was going to get myself back. Dumb to some but to me I needed this.
Then came the revisions. ALL of my friends told me the lipo was the worse part. See with this surgery you get what someone (who the hell was it I would like to know) dubbed "dog ears" on your hips. Its from crap settling after and you need adjusting. So every time my doctor would try to explain but Ann Marie you are having.... I would reply I know the lipo is the worse. He gave up and I went in a dumb ass. This surgery kicked my ass. He removed ALL my scars, YAHOOOO and we will watch and ride them like crazy. He made my breasts the size I wanted, I always knew he went bigger the DIEP so he had something to work with. He did good but he basically did another mastectomy. OPPS I should have listened.
After reading all that do you think recon is easy? NO! Was it worth it? I won't answer that. It is what it is. It is what I had to do to feel a little like me after cancer. It is not what I wanted no matter how many times before cancer I joked about perky boobs I would never to plastic surgery as want ever. Recon SUCKS but like anything it should be your choice. Do you have to have this no way. Flat and fabulous is just that but like recon not for everyone. I think the best thing is to talk to as many people as you can and listen to their experience and remember it is just that theirs you are different than them and will handle this your way. For now my size is comfortable, they feel comfortable and I am in a good spot. When I am dressed that is don't get me started on the scars, OY this post is long enough. Did anyone make it to the end? My tiara got dusty just writing it!
This is what my breasts have been through in 2 years, this is a lot of trauma for a person's body.