Archive for September, 2011

Silver Fox

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Yesterday, I went to see my reconstruction doc for a check-up on his work of art, my boob.  Exactly two weeks ago today, he removed the expander and replaced it with a nice soft comfy silicone implant.  It may not look like the original, but it is quite stunning compared to the crater that a mastectomy leaves on one’s chest.

After the doc inspected his work, he explained the next phase.  “In two months,” he said, “once the swelling has gone down in your right breast, I’ll put an implant in the other breast and then give it a little lift.”  That was his polite way of saying we need to correct the current state of my left breast, which has been deflated with all my weight loss and cancer treatments, again showing some resemblance to the beautiful topless women from Africa you see on PBS.       

It sounds simple enough.  Not!  It seems the lift itself requires a bit of cutting in addition to the incision made to insert the implant.  The incision goes up the breast and around the nipple.  Ouch!  I could choose to bypass the lift but will be left lopsided for the rest of my long lived days. 

And, of course, that’s not all.  I can’t forget the cherry on top, a new nipple.  He will take a bit of skin from my left breast and make me a cute new little nipple on the right.  Ta da – a reconstructed Deanne.    

As I attempted to process all of this information, the nurse asked me if I would like to see what the scars looked like.  She read my mind or maybe it was the look of confusion mixed with a bit of dread on my face that gave me away.  “Yes,” I answered, “that would help a lot.”  She walked over to me, lifted her shirt and unhooked her bra.  Wow, I didn’t see that coming.  I guess I expected her to pull out a book of photographs, not to pull out her boobs.  I love this woman.  

She has small scars around each nipple like a halo with a thin scar extending from the nipple down south to the lower part of her breast, sort of looks like an outline of a balloon drawn on both breasts.  The scars were little and it was as if her nipples were encircled with a glowing neon highlighter pen, blinking, “hey, look at me, aren’t we cute!”  Yes, they were cute.  It actually looked pretty decent and her lift job was for aesthetic reasons only.  Considering this and the fact that I did have cancer and a mastectomy, I’m going for it.  A lift it is.

I am getting my body back, one baby step at a time.  Not just new boobies but my hair is coming back too, all of it!  My eyelashes are growing, I have to shave my legs again and I am no longer bald.  It is short, thick and silver.  Yes, silver! 

I prefer to say silver over gray. It sounds more sophisticated and well, I admit, not so old.  To my surprise, I love my silver hair.  Thanks dad for your genes!  He has been a “silver fox” since I can remember.  Now it’s my turn.  I consider myself the “new silver fox”!  Move over George Clooney, Anderson Cooper and Dad, women look sexy silver too! 

I made quite a stir with my bald head, but I must say my short cropped silver hair is a close second.  People love it.  There are not too many women in Orange County who let their hair go “a la natural”.  It reminds me of the movie “Logan’s Run” where you are forced to die, death by fireworks, at the age of thirty.  The leading lady was mesmerized by an old man she met in Sanctuary with gray hair.  She asked if she could touch it. 

Well, no one has asked to touch my hair but I get compliments all the time.  In fact, the other day, a man stopped me at the grocery store.  He said, “I love your haircut.  You are a beautiful woman.”  He was at least 70.  It seems I am attracting a different generation these days.  But I don’t care, 20, 30, 40, or 70.  It makes a girl feel good. 

And after everything I have been through this last year, it feels good to feel good again.