Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless topic for the week is one that I have talked about extensively: Re-make: “To make anew or in a different form”
I never struggle for conversation starters.
After all, I have a boob “re-made” from my abdomen.
Most people are absolutely fascinated by this. I have been stripped on multiple occasions by interested parties to view what is a modern-day miracle. I would love to post a picture, because it is fascinating. Unfortunately, while I don’t think breast shaped abdominal tissue is pornographic, I don’t want to shock or alarm the poor souls who innocently come to view this post. 🙂
The decision to have breast reconstruction following what I humorously call my “skin tag” removal (ie: mastectomy) was a long arduous process. I didn’t want implants. They don’t feel the same. And believe me, my hands have been wrapped around loads of implant bags. They are doughy, or a little stiff depending on what is put in it. And it takes a long time to “blow up the balloon”. A long PAINFUL time. Like 4 months of weekly injections to create the skin bag. What would happen if I got bigger or smaller, or when my other boob started to sag and the implanted one still stuck straight up in the air? I would look like an idiot. I wouldn’t be able to find a bra. I would look like a hot mess. And eventually it would leak, or need to be replaced in 15 years or so. And I am hoping that I will live a little longer then that. So another surgery to remake it again was just not in my cards.
But reconstruction hunting was like following mouse droppings. Small bits here and there, the whole process stinky, but no mouse to be found. Meandering around with no direction. My oncologist said to go to Austin. Go to Austin? For a huge surgery in a town where I knew no one? Are you nuts? There are several procedures, but the older ones have had complications that the newest, called the DIEPP, minimized. The DIEPP is the (thankfully) shortened medical acrostic for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Procedure. Yea-oza! In layman’s terms, the plastic surgeon takes out the inferior epigastric artery with all the “stuff” attached to it (like skin, fat, fascia and blood vessels) and plunks it up to the mastectomy site that has been opened and the mammary artery exposed. Then over many hours microvascular surgery ties in all the blood vessels. Then the other boob is “lifted”, basically the ligaments are drawn tight like the top of a bag and the droopy appendage is inflated again. 🙂
Finding a surgeon was a real pain. I had it stuck in my head that I would need to go to another state because my area was too pathetic to attract a specialized plastic surgeon. And then, to my intense irritation, I found one—and she was in the same system as my oncology group! Really, you were telling me to go to another state because you didn’t know that KU had one? But she was backlogged by 8 months, being the only one in a 300 mile radius. So after an 8 month gestation and eight hours of labor, the plastic surgeon “birthed” a new boob. I was surgically glued together (close to 60 inches of scars) and my new grafted boob happily received blood flow from a totally new area of my body.
Funny thing about it, as soon as I woke up, it felt like it had always been there. Of course I was pretty ill with medical complications and looped up on large amounts of narcotics coming from an epidural, a dermal implant and IV infusions. But still, I felt, well, WHOLE again. And it actually looks better than my real one…..ok, that’s not saying much for nature, but I cant tell a lie….
Who knew a skin tag could be so important? Now to get a nipple…..