As they happened, here are the memorable things that happened today surrounding my check up appointment:
1. I DROVE MY CAR! For the first time in 2 months, I drove my car to the hospital. Yay!! It was that or catch a couple of buses with my trusty stolen NHS pillow in tow or get a pricey taxi. So I thought it was about time I tried to drive again. My range of movement is sufficient to let me do it safely and the seatbelt doesn't hurt my chest now as t did as a passenger. It was fun at first, I was free from the house again, to travel about but then I had to park in a tight space and getting out was a bit tricky with my lack of body twistiness.
2. I met a man who had a boob reduction. Yep, whilst sat in the waiting room a man came in looking nervous, I smiled at him and he sat one chair away. It was busy in there and I could feel some eyes on me and almost their thoughts.."she's young".."I wonder what the problem is"..then the man arrived and I felt less like the odd one out. Most women were well over 50 years old and with their husbands. It was when the waiting room was quieter that I got up and grabbed a couple of magazines, giving one to the man, an ice breaker. I was interested to know if he was a male breast cancer statistic or not. We started talking after I asked him if he was one of the rare men who got breast cancer. He said that after he'd got leukaemia he had grown breasts from the drugs and hormone treatments. He'd got fed up with people staring at him and decided to get it sorted out but he'd been coming for fluid draining since his operation for 12 months. It wouldn't go away. I talked about my drains and the fluid I'd had on my back and he was amazed at my surgery description too. We shared the same surgeon. As I was called through (an hour late) I touched his arm and wished him the best, hoping he would heal this time.
In the treatment room I stripped to my waist as usual, donned the amazing little cape that makes me laugh everytime and scratches my neck with the crumpled velcro. Eric came through with a sidekick doctor (a trainee I think). He went to shake my hand and I told him I needed to hug him instead. He hugged me back, nicely, not awkwardly. It was a real bond thing. This man changed my life. I shook the ladies hand but for a moment I think she thought I would hug her too. She smiled at me. Eric asked to see how my boobs were doing so I performed flash no. 1 to two people. I was expecting a two person flash today so I was ready.
They were both impressed with how my new boobs looked. Eric explained that I was all natural, no implants used and reconstruction was made using the latissimus dorsi muscles in my back (cue model spin to demonstrate back scars). I thought her eyes might pop out of her head in amazement. Eric was glowing about the results. I felt so much better for seeing him again. I felt pleased too and realised how much I liked them, despite my anxieties about body image creeping in. I listed my issues:
Hairy Boob - skin/body shock, testosterone - blood test to check levels, should fade with time and go back to normal.
Dog Ears - they can be snipped off and sorted at nipple creation stage. No worries. Hoorah!!
Overlap in nipple patch - not likely to flatten out, maybe both sides will need tweaking - can be done at nipple creation stage. No worries.
Different shapes - Left problem child boob can be tweaked after 12 months to make sure that it won't settle first. He agreed that the muscle placement was a little lower on the left and it was a simple tweak that can be done. No worries.
Over the phone, my BCN kept telling me that things would flatten, go down etc but I was right - I need some minor tweaking with a knife. Not worried at all about that. In fact, quite pleased that it was so easy to ask for. Phew!! As I got dressed they left the room I heard the sidekick doctor go, "That's AMAAAZING!". She must've liked my new boobs too.
3. I had my photo taken! One unexpected boob flash. Eric was so pleased with his work and my progress he wanted to have some pictures taken. He knows I'm not shy about all this stuff now and said he wanted to use the photos and have them published. I will ask him more about this another time. It felt great actually, like I am his model for promoting his surgical prowess. It made me feel like all the tweaks that will be done, the nipples I get will be done with pride.
4. Got my blood tested. I found my way to the Outpatients department for blood tests. Took a ticket and five minutes later I was in the chair chatting to the lady. She asked about my surgery so I explained about my gene and surgery. She was listening intently, fascinated so I asked if she wanted to see. She lifted my top at the back and gasped then I showed her my boobs = One surprise boob flash! She was amazed. I told her that if you get breast cancer you can have this kind of fantastic surgery done straight away now instead of mastectomy and then revisiting. Lots of women don't know that. She was gobsmacked. The other blood taking lady came back in and knew she'd missed something. I told them it would give them something to talk about for a while :D
5. I bought some strawberry plants. Retail therapy at the garden centre. Much needed but I torture myself by falling in love with a plant and then not being able to walk away without a severe feeling of disappointment. Today, in light of the sold surfboard, I indulged in a plant I fell in love with. Gorgeous! Now time to got planting..carefully. Gardening gloves and cup of tea at the ready! I'm off to the shed :D