Monday, August 15, 2011

The Boob Show

Back when I went to the free mastectomy class and they gave me the free camisole...included were two free "boobs."  They are some sort of foam-ish material that you can wear so you have boobs.  They are super soft and cushy and when I first got the camisole (which has pockets for the aforementioned boobs), I thought I would wear them, sometimes at least.

But, then I had the surgery...and I was in too much pain to care.  And then I was too happy on pain pills to care.  And then I decided I really didn't care.  No one is staring at my chest or giving me weird looks or pointing and laughing (no more than before that is).  I don't think the fact that I don't have breasts is all that noticeable honestly.  Except that I'm waiting for someone to ask me if I'm pregnant (since the stomach to breast ratio is off) but...I don't think it really registers to anyone that I don't have breasts.

Obviously, the way I'm dressing makes a huge difference.  I'm wearing baggy shirts and nothing fitted on the top so it's not obvious at all.

The Foam Boobs
However, the other night, I came across the foam boobs sitting in the bathroom and I decided to give them a whirl.  I was wearing a nightgown (the camisole has long been abandoned) so I just kind of stuffed them in there.  I then strutted into the office and asked my husband if he "noticed" anything...

He definitely noticed!  After his initial excitement, he was quickly confused and he said, " that where they GO?!"

Because, you see, in our twelve and a half years of marriage, he has been witness as my real breasts went ever more south.  By the day, those things were creeping ever downward.  Gravity was not my friend.  So, it makes sense that he may have forgotten where breasts actually belong on a woman's body.  I told him to get used to it because the new ones will be in the "right" place and they will STAY there!  He was part excited, part terrified.

I was so proud as I paraded around with my foam boobs.  I was even undeterred when one popped out.  I just shoved that puppy right back in there.  So easy!

But then I looked in the mirror.

Wow.  I was so confused.  My brain just didn't really process this weird body that I was looking at.  I just seemed so odd.  I grabbed the foam boobs and pulled them out and shoved them back in the bag.

I was not expecting that.  I thought I'd be thrilled to see myself with breasts again.  But, I wasn't prepared for it, I guess.  It just seemed so unreal - so unnatural - so wrong.

I'm not sure why I had such a strong reaction.  I haven't spent a lot of time looking in the mirror at myself the last 5 weeks.  Though, of course, it's always on my mind that I don't have breasts right now and, of course, I definitely notice every time I look down.  But I didn't realize that my perception of myself had changed so drastically or so quickly.  Am I just angry at my breasts for giving me cancer?  Am I still mourning the loss of my breasts?  Did wearing fake breasts make me feel like I was cheating on my old breasts?  I just don't know.  I can't sort it all out yet.

It's been a journey to accept myself as boobless and it's obvious that it'll be a journey, for not only my body, but also my brain to get used to having breasts again.  Something that was so natural before will take some adjustments to, once again, accept as part of myself.

People Outside My Family Who've Seen My "Boobs": 31 (The assistant to the physical therapist - I'll pretty much strip off my top for anyone these days)
Boob Count:  123!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Laura, what an awesome post today! I have to share a story with you (and everyone now) When I was young, I'd parade around the house w/out a bra on. I'd brag to my mother who had large breasts about how perky mine were and how I didn't need the support.

    Times have changed. Gravity (not even kids yet) have taken quite the toll on those large things I was endowed with and Mom has since had breast cancer and quite the job done to make hers smaller and tidier.

    Now she's the one who can parade around, no support and kind of giggles when she does because she knows that karma has come to bite me in the ass!

    Enjoy your situation, relish the time you have w/out your breasts, don't be mad and look forward to the future with some perky new ones!