Something had to be done.
About the boobage, I mean.
Since it is World Cup season, let's imagine a soccer ball. Next to the soccer ball is a half-deflated water balloon. You can imagine them both with a checkerboard pattern, if you like. Now visualize them sitting on my tiny chest. But, not side by side, oh no, that would be too easy. Pretend the soccer ball is just under the collar bone, and the half-deflated water balloon is sitting a few inches above my waist.
Now you know what I look like.
Sure, walking around completely uneven has been acceptable in the short run. Cancer isn't for wimps. At first, I was doing chemo and too tired to care about uneven boobs. I wasn't working and my couch and my dog never complained. Then, chemo was over, life began to edge towards normal, and I went back to work. Getting dressed with this body was frustrating, but it was only supposed to be for a month or two. Everybody knew what I'd been through. So, rather than the skirts and slacks and pretty blouses I was used to wearing, I put on my old bras to try and get a semblance of evenness and wore jeans and baggy tops to hide myself. (And, be comfortable.)
Surgery was coming.
Only, now surgery isn't coming - for months.
So, it's time to think prosthesis.
The irony is I need a prosthesis for my real side, to match the blown-up skin on my mastectomy side.
Did you know that Nordstrom has women who specialize in helping mastectomy patients get fitted with prosthesis (prosthesi?) They even take certain kinds of insurance.
So, today, after I met a friend for lunch, I stopped at Nordstrom to see if there is some way to make me look at least a little even. Summer is coming - summer in Sacramento often means 110 degree days. I want to wear tanks and camis, not high necked, structured blouses.
Can you imagine 110 degrees and hot flashes and full coverage clothing?
I can't. I'm not a Saudi woman.
The fitter (Rita at Arden Fair; ask for her) was wonderful. She measured me, brought in some bras in my size.
Which, by the way, is now a 32 DD.
Yes ma'am. A DD.
I weigh 98 pounds.
Of course, that is the blown up size but there is nothing we can do - we have to match it. So, Rita brings out some prosthesis (prosthesi?) and bras and we get to trying stuff on. The prosthesi are these floppy silicone forms that come in different shapes. We tucked one in my real side to help push me up and try and make the roundness in the same general area - and guess what?
It worked. The water balloon now almost matches the soccer ball, even from a side view. Unless you inspect me (and with DD's you might) nobody is going to know the difference.
These prosthesis forms are flesh colored (although not my flesh colored) and malleable and sticky. Unlike cotton padding, these won't fall out. They almost feel real.
I guess like my eventual silicone reconstructed breast will, now that you mention it.
The prosthesis is $200.00 and has to be ordered. I almost whipped out my credit card and bought it outright, thinking my insurance wouldn't pay. (They wouldn't cover a wig, and because I am undergoing reconstruction, paying for a prosthesis is a long shot.) But, I figured since I couldn't walk out the door with it anyway, I'd take the time to call my insurance company and see if I can get reimbursed. I was going to call her Monday and let her know. In the meantime, I bought the bra ($80.00). I figured I could pad it with my old friend, my cotton foob, until I found out about insurance.
I left, happy there was a solution.
I was still in a mall though. Walking along, bones aching (I hate you Tamoxifen) I saw a brand new store called "As Seen on TV." Well, you all know I love me some TV (as long as it's not daytime TV and I'm forced to watch it in a doctor's waiting room) and I love junky gadgets - so I went in.
And, guess what I found? Our Secret silicone breast forms.
$25.00 for two of them.
They were very close to the prosthesis's I was trying on. Similar shape, same consistency. I am not sure they would work as a real prosthesis, but they certainly work for what I need them for.
So, I bought them. That, in case you weren't counting, is about $188.00 less than I almost paid.
Meet my new boob(s).
The little nipple is a nice touch, but since I'm using them more for push-up purposes, it ends up on the side of my breast. I hope nobody notices, although I understand many people have extra nipples.
And, if you think about it, I guess I would still have the right amount.
Anyway, since I saved so much, I think I'll go back and buy another $80.00 bra.
I don't know how long I'll get to ask for a DD so I might as well enjoy it.