Online dating breasts
Did your doctor downplay the damage or mention it at all? She was fresh out of chemo and going in to consult with a plastic surgeon about recon before her double mastectomy.I was heading in to schedule my second round of fat transfer surgery but, as usual, was happy to discuss my chest with another BC buddy (and her husband, as it turned out).Both were kind and courageous enough to talk about the sexual challenges they’ve faced since treatment and I can’t thank them enough for their candor and insights.Many thanks, also, to Nicki Boscia Durlester and her private breast and ovarian cancer Facebook group, Beyond the Pink Moon.Not that there aren’t still plenty of daily reminders regarding my year of living cancerously: chemo brain, adhesion pain, hot flashes (courtesy of my new BFF tamoxifen) and, oh yes, my board-flat Olive Oyl chest. The biggest one — for me — is that I now have hair.
I do know, though, that a year ago, I wasn’t able to have a conversation about my mastectomy with doctors or family members or friends without tearing up.And now, god help me, I’m not just talking about them – or writing about them – I’m baring my chest, and my soul, in new and very public ways.Three weeks ago, I went in to see my oncologist for a quarterly check-up (blood work all came back fine, by the way) and afterward, went up to the surgeon’s office where I stripped down to show her and her colleagues the results of my first fat grafting surgery.It’s so important to have safe, supportive places like this where patients can bond and bare all. I was standing in line to check in at the plastic surgeon’s last week when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. “Did you write about your breast reconstruction for the University of Washington alumni magazine?Did your cancer and treatment lead to sexual side effects? Please join me and the folks at Fred Hutch tomorrow (August 4) at 10 a.m. ” I nodded and introduced myself and the two of us talked “shop” for a few minutes.
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But I think I’ve been able to help others by serving up a few straightforward answers and insights (along with a healthy slice of attitude). Are you open about your breast cancer with everyone – even strangers — and if so, has it been a positive or negative (or both)?