Up until this point, I’ve been telling the story of my April 11th prophylactic double mastectomy on Instagram, going photo by photo and post by post describing the day-to-day feelings and happenings pre and post surgery. I wanted to expand upon every little thing here and throw it all down on paper, or screen. I’m typing a million miles a minute because I have so much to say, but it doesn’t seem to be coming out in any kind of order. Instead, this is my stream of consciousness, feelings and information bursting at the seams to get out. My boobs are gone. I think that comes as a shock to everyone but me. Don’t get me wrong, I was stunned the first time I saw my bare chest during a FaceTime call the day after surgery. It looked like I was in a vicious bear fight where I definitely lost. Maybe even died. My boobs aren’t even really boobs right now but more so lumpy, scary renditions of their former selves. My nipples look like they’ve been placed in either a space bag where all air has been sucked out or in a dehydrator. I really don’t know how else to describe it. I suppose I’ve also described my upper half as corpse looking, but I also believe that explanation does a disservice to my surgeons who are total rock stars through and through, so I prefer not to use that comparison as often. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I no longer have a body part that has grown with me since birth. Think about that. My boobs have literally grown with me and have seen me at my good, my bad and my ugly. We’ve quite literally had our ups and our downs as we traveled through junior high puberty, high school inferiority, college OH MY GOD WHERE DID THOSE COME FROM HELLO FRESHMEN FIFTEEN, and on to adult-life settlement. Hell, maybe it’s a good thing they’re gone! Time to start over with a clean (read: flat and scar-filled) slate. To all my 2nd base boys, it was a pleasure. I’ve only cried a couple of times: once before surgery and once after surgery. A couple of nights before April 11th, I became sentimental. The little guys that took up residency under my nose for 29 years were leaving. I was breaking up with my breasties, and I was sad. But hey, I was never fully invested in them to be honest. Those little suckers could barely fill out my Victoria Secret 34B padded bra. I was never a boob girl. I’ve got an ass that commanded control way back when my mom had to buy me elastic waistband jeans as a kid. My B(maybe even sometimes A)-cup never stood a chance. Post-surgery, I cried, and it hurt so badly I had to stop immediately. So much outpouring of emotion comes from your upper body, something I didn’t really think about until I couldn’t actually outpour any. Your chest heaves over and forward, almost collapsing on itself and WHOA. That doesn’t do a mastectomy body good. Looking back, it was actually a pretty comical realization. I started tearing up since I was feeling sorry for myself, something I’m sure every woman who has walked this path has experienced. That pity party ended soon after pain trumped sadness. Once the pain subsided, I was glad about the short circuit. Crying is a workout. Now a days, my definition of exercise consists of differentiating muscles groups between upper and mid-body. To sit up, I have to mentally prepare my abs to work while telling my pectoral muscles to chill the F out, or else. I think everyone tends to flex both of those groups when getting out of bed. Well no sir, not today, not for me. If my magical mind control fails, it feels like my upper half detaches from my body and BLAH that just gives me chills thinking abou tit. Ha. Tit. I’m not even going to correct that typo. It’s just too timely. The above photo shows a photo from The Last Workout. Ah. I miss them like I miss hiking in Patagonia, sweating my ass off in the humidity of Southeast Asia and even freezing balls in Canada during ungodly hours of the night while shooting the Northern Lights. Moving, fast-faced, go-go-go. I like that stuff. My Twitter bio used to read “Everything all the time.” I felt that it described me pretty well. I replaced it a couple of days ago with “BRCA Previvor.” I feel like that fits me better right now. A year ago, everything was different. I was rock climbing up the side of a mountain to sleep in a capsule that overlooked the Sacred Valley in Peru with a man I thought I was going to marry. If you would’ve told me then that I’d be having a prophylactic double mastectomy a year later, I would’ve laughed in your face. It’s funny to see how much can change in a few hundred days.
Breaking Up with My Breasties: The Naked Truth
I just woke up and looked at the Advil bottle next to my bed. I’m disgusted at how many of those reddish pink pills I’ve swallowed in the past week. That, plus the following line-up of Tylenol, OxyContin, Percocet, Valium and everything in between.