Three days ago, my breast prosthesis arrived. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s close enough. I have a balanced appearance now. Honestly, I really didn’t care, but others were uncomfortable seeing me with one flat side. And my clothes do fit better. It seems I did all my mourning before I lost my breast. And I truly did mourn, especially as time came to a close. Once done, it was time to move on.
It will be at least a year of healing before I can consider reconstruction. I am not eligible for an implant, but that’s okay—I am uncomfortable with that option. I must have a delicate procedure called a DIEP that calls for transplanting skin and fat from my abdomen to my chest. Microsurgery techniques will connect blood vessels to keep the transplant viable.
While I was introduced to a breast surgeon here, I’ve been considering a hospital in Texas, MD Anderson, which has a clinic dedicated to inflammatory breast cancer. When I mentioned that to someone here, she strongly encouraged me to go there for reconstruction. This is a relatively new and difficult procedure; I want to have a doctor who’s done it a lot and well. MD Anderson has that reputation. Bonus: I get a tummy tuck, something I have wanted since I had an 11½-pound baby 20 years ago. ☺ I consider that my reward for going through all this.
The undercurrent that you don’t hear much about is the uncertainty of how much time is left. The everyday-ness of life eventually overshadows it, but there it is. Of course, no one knows how much time is left. This wake-up call helps me to live each moment to its fullest and leave no wish untried. Next stop: NYC!