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The 200th Post

As the title says, this is the 200th installment of BoobCast. Today I am writing about you, dear reader. Today’s installment is all about the support and the stories that people have shared with me since I first started this blog on Oct. 11, 2008.

When I first started writing this, I was also fairly active on a website called All About Plastic Surgery (http://www.allaboutplasticsurgery.com). When I posted what had happened to me it didn’t take long before I was inundated by questions about various aspects of the surgery. You can find that entry here: http://boobcast.net/2008/10/14/questions/ People expressed a great deal of concern about how well I had checked out the surgeon, what indications I might have had and what legal recourse I might have taken. During that period so many people gave their support and I am grateful for it. So my thanks goes out to the women of the All About Plastic Surgery forum. They were the ones who inspired the idea for BoobCast.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Gee Maria, why do you call it BoobCast? Were they wrapped in plaster or something at one point?”

No, dear reader. There are reasons this site is called BoobCast.  In 2007 the podcasting community lost a precious member by the name of Joe Murphy. He died of a vicious type of cancer that took him quickly. During his medical treatments he talked in vivid detail about what was going on, the testing and all of it. His strength inspired me. I wanted to be as strong and as brave as Joe Murphy. So I planned to podcast what was going on with my breast necrosis. The name of that podcast was going to be BoobCast.

I never met Joe but his life inspired me. It just turns out that I’m not that strong or that brave. To honor that bravery I have kept the name.

I also owe thanks to a very dear friend, Tee Morris. When I was trying to find the strength to create BoobCast, He was there for me. He gave me mental and emotional support by letting me know that I *could* do it. I’m sorry I disapointed you Tee but want to thank you for being a friend when I needed one.

In the time I’ve been writing BoobCast I have had people email me directly for advice. Of course, after reading the email, my advice was always “Contact your PS (plastic surgeon) and ask for [fill-in-the-blank]. Whether it was about bruising, skin texture or pain, I advised talking to their doctor. If they couldn’t get a decent answer from that doctor, talk to another one.

The one that really broke my heart was the husband of a woman who, a few days previous the email,  had the same procedure I had. According to her husband, the pain pills her PS had given her weren’t doing much and she was in constant pain. She couldn’t eat or sleep and she was suffering. I told her husband to call her PS immediately and insist on different pain meds and not take NO for an answer. i explained that, right now it was his job to advocate for his wife since she couldn’t do it herself.

A couple days later I got an email from him saying that her PS had changed her meds and she was doing MUCH better. It’s emails like those that made BoobCast well worth the emotional pain of writing those early posts.

I also want to thank everyone who talked to me about BoobCast at DragonCon last year. Being told in person that I’m making a difference means the world to me. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Finally, my thanks to Carol Montoya, Lolly Daskal and the Woman At Denny’s. I promise that once I’ve had nipple reconstruction and recuperate from that, I WILL write the book. The foundation is in the works already.

My thanks to you all for reading, commenting and talking to me. Here’s to another 200!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in anchor breast lift, Anxiety, barter, boob job, Bra Fitting, bra sizes, Bras, breast, breast cancer, breast health, breast implants, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast size, breast volume, Cash fees, checkup, chemotherapy chemical, clogged surgical drains, communication, complications, compression bra, compression dressing, cortisone, cosmetic surgery, cryotherapy, debreiding, debridement, deformity, dehiscence, Depression, Drain, Drugs, emotional healing, emotional scars, Excise, excise fluid, fear, Flashbacks, flourouracil, Fluid, granular tissue, granulation tissue, Healing, Hospital, Hospital fees, Hosptial Costs, implants, Incisions, Infection, Insurance, interferon, Invisibility, keloid, keloid scars, laser, Latissimus flap, latissimus flap reconstruction, malpractice, mammogram, mastopexy, Medical, Medical Insurance, memory, Nausea, necrosis, negligence, Nipple prosthetics, Nipple reconstruction, Nipples, Pain, Pain Management, plastic surgeon, plastic surgery, Plastic Surgery Disaster, podcast, Post surgical depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Prescription Drug Addiction, Prosthetics, PTSD, radiation, Reconstruction, Recovery, Scars, Seroma, serous fluid, Sex, silicone sheets, situational depression, Sleep, slow healing, suicide, Surgery, Surgical complications, Surgical drains, Surgical Fees, Ta Ta Tuesday, Uncategorized, V.A.C. machine, Vacuum assisted wound closure, wet to dry bandages, wheelchair

 

The Movies In My Head

Originally Drafted on 9/24/08: This is another post in the Flashback series.

We all have these movies that play in our heads: Telling off the boss; That comeback we *should* have thought of 10 minutes ago; Kissing your favorite movie star. We all have a million “what if” moments we stockpile and replay on a regular basis.

My movies go something like this:

FADE IN on our bedroom. DH sitting on bed:

DH: I’m sorry. We just can’t afford to pay for your reconstruction surgery.” FADE OUT

Scene 2: Location: Bridge at Night. Camera follows human silhouette plummeting from bridge. FADE TO BLACK

Yeah. Really stable.

From a logical standpoint I know that we’ll be able to get the financing for the surgery. As a last resort we can take the money from our investment account. So it IS going to happen.  But thanks to the latest release from What-If Studios, I’m still imagining being stuck like this for the rest of my life.

I’ve been dealing with this for 14 months now and I’m looking at another five months before the first surgery.  Then probably another three months before I have nipples again.  After all that, there’s at least a year of healing. Fortunately there are good drugs and I’m getting in shape. I’ve already lost 12 pounds.

I’m just emotionally wrung out and more than ready for this to be over with.

Why May? Scheduling conflicts abound. December is obvious. January is my birthday. February is my youngest son’s birthday. March WOULD be okay, BUT April 4 is our wedding anniversary and April 25 is DH’s birthday. Then, we have BaltiCon in May. That gives me 11 weeks to recover before the rigors of DragonCon. So THAT’S why I’m waiting until May.

In the mean time I’m trying not to buy tickets to more of the What-If Studios productions.

 

Why The Reboot?

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that as of Monday I would be starting my story  over from the beginning. I’m sure many of you are wondering why. If you go back to my early blog posts you’ll see that although there is a little bit of detail, there are some unanswered questions.

When I first started this blog I was very emotionally unstable. I left out a great deal of detail simply because it was far too painful for me to talk about then. Now that I can think more clearly and have more distance, I can tell my story much better. The more details I can convey, the more benefit this blog has for you, the reader.

I’ll be taking the weekend off. Starting Monday 9/10/09 I’ll start back at the beginning. By the beginning, I mean I’ll talk about the self esteem issues behind the first plastic surgery and the role I feel society and commercialism contributes to low self esteem. In subsequent episodes I’ll also be talking about tuberous breasts and why they are considered a deformity.

To quote Heath Ledger’s character William in “A Knight’s Tale”: Welcome to New World. God save you, if it is right that he should do so.

 

Midnight eMails

Regardless of the fact that I knew I had to be up early this morning to travel back home from Atlanta, I was down in the lounge at the Westin around midnight. I had, as usual, forgotten to ask Dr. Elliott a few things about the revision surgery we talked about at my appointment on Thursday afternoon.

We had hoped that the little spot near my cleavage would have rounded out a bit more by now, but it is still kind of squarish, So he’s going to kind of pinch that skin together to round it off. He has also suggested doing a breast lift because, as you’ve all seen from the first photo, the Twins are kind of droopy.

Of course, as part of my late night meanderings, I did research on various types of breast lifts. He did not mention a specific type. However in his reply to my email he DID say that there would be no new scars. He would simply make use of the ones I have now. This leads me to believe that he’s thinking of using THIS type of lift: http://www.breastlift4you.com/techniques_incisions.htm

As you can see, this type of crescent incision would use the scars I already have and would be a moderate lift. If the lift is included in the cost of the revisions and nipple creation, I have the general attitude of “Why the hell not?”. He’s going to be doing surgery anyway and I’m paying for it so why not just do the “one stop shop” deal and get it all done and over with at the same time? Dr. Elliott is enough of a pro to be able to do it and do it well.

There ARE other types of breast lifts that, as with the crescent lift above, do not reduce breast tissue volume the way the Anchor Lift does. http://www.plasticsurgery4u.com/procedure_folder/breast_ptosis_surgery2.html This site shows some good examples of the Donut and Lollipop lift.

I always feel better after talking with Dr. Elliott. So I think that, when we can manage the cost, I’ll be having the revision surgery. One thing I learned from my mother-in-law before she died was :Never Settle. So I might as well get what I want.

 

Knock Hers

562605416_85d5998cc4I was at a business lunch this afternoon with one of our partners. After we covered the unpleasant portion of today’s dealings, we started talking about day to day stuff. He was telling us about a woman he met who had “the perfect package”. She was, according to him, intelligent, had a “good soul” and a “killer bod”.

She was also a stripper.

Of course, this got me really thinking. Is the “package” less perfect when one of those elements is missing? Of course if a woman is a total bitch, but is still intelligent and good looking, that’s going to count against her somewhat. If she’s not so smart, but kind hearted and good looking, that qualifies her for instant trophy wife status.

But what about people like me? I’m kind hearted, intelligent, but I’m overweight. I’m healthy and starting to work on the getting fit bit. But let’s face it, the smallest I’ve EVER been is a size 10. Today, that’s still considered fat.

Does it make me a less perfect package because I’m not a size 4? I’ve got to go with “No”.  First, I don’t think there IS such a thing as perfect package. Everyone has flaws. After a certain point in life, experience has given us each at least some little tidbit of baggage.

Second, I have to wonder how much those models who are supposed to be examples of perfection and beauty, actually ENJOY life? I’m sure that they would say they’re happy. But are they, really? It’s all well and good to be worshiped and adored. Eventually looks begin to fade and you’ve got to ether start nipping and tucking or bow out gracefully.

How much of a model’s day is spent counting calories and exercising? Far more than the average mortal, I can tell you that. I was actually reading a movie star’s blog a few days ago. She said she realized that it was getting ridiculous when she got pregnant and was thrilled that she could finally have A BANANA!

Now I’m not saying that it’s okay to eat a sundae the size of your head for dessert every night. What I’m saying is the obvious. There is FAR too much focus on being skeletally thin and not enough focus on being happy with yourself.

I wasn’t happy with my breasts so I had surgery.  I lost my breasts because I focused on what OTHER people thought I should look like. I bought into the idea of the “perfect package”.

I got news for you. I AM the perfect package baby!

 

The X Rated Episode

***THIS IS MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. ANYONE UNDER 18 MUST VACATE THIS BLOG NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!***

In previous episodes I’ve briefly covered sex and good positions to use while recovering. Now that I’ve recovered more, I’m going to be talking about the one thing that I think every man looks forward to when his partner has a gigantic set of knockers like mine.

Titty Fucking.

See? THIS is why I called this the X Rated episode. If you’re under 18 and still reading this, GO AWAY! Your Mommy’s calling. Imagine what your sweet little grandma would think about you reading this kind of thing. Go on now! Git!

Are they all gone? Good.

It’s been 13 weeks today since the surgery. A couple nights ago, after having talked about this for quite a while, we decided to try titty fucking. Sorry gang. I don’t know a more polite way of saying it. “Breast sex” just doesn’t cover what happens.

Hubby has been looking forward to this since before I had the initial surgery that went horribly wrong in October of 2007. Yes, he is a patient one. So I thought it was time he got his payoff.

It turns out that laying on my back while he straddled my chest really didn’t work very well. My back is apparently still very sensitive to pressure and all that weight on top of me was just too much. So we tried something a little different from the standard.

He lay on his back and I knelt between his legs, knees slightly under his thighs. Lube was applied to both his penis and my cleavage. Then I leaned over a bit and wrapped my breasts around his penis. He was the one who did all the moving. It sounds uncomfortable but it really wasn’t. From my vantage point I had the pleasure of watching his face as he moved.

Admittedly, watching him was the most pleasure I had from that particular escapade. But HE certainly enjoyed himself immensely. So much so he suggested we do it again SOON.

 

Briefs

***I’m STILL waiting for a call from Dr. Elliott regarding the whole weight loss/losing boobie volume issue. This is really the first time I’ve actually been truly disappointed with him. He didn’t call last week nor did his PA. Needless to say I’m somewhat miffed. I’ll be looking for an explanation when I call on Monday. I know he sees patients then.

***I heard back from Paul about the prosthetic nipples. He said he can do anything I want. So NOW all I have to do is decide what I want. Not as easy as it sounds. If I decide not to opt for surgery, these babies are my nips for life. Or until the wear out and I have to get new ones.

Mail order nipples… Now THERE’S a modern concept for ya.

***A friend of mine from another site who just recently started reading my blog said that I need to “pull myself out of the Abyss”. Someone else pointed out that the word “survivor” is frequently used as a crutch. Now THAT took the wind out of my sails.  Those two comments have me wondering just how much of this blog consists of me whining about how truly awful things have been. I would LIKE to think that there is some helpful information in all of this. As for pulling myself out of the Abyss, THAT is what this blog is about for me. I have been in some very dark places since this all began. The things I’ve been discussing are surface issues by comparison. I know I still have healing to do.

There are times when I’m not very good at recognizing my limitations and boundaries. This is one of those times. I’m still somewhat enmeshed in the misery I suffered. Some days it clings to me like cobwebs. I wonder how much longer this sorrow will be with me. I suspect it will be years more because I have a book to write.

I also have allowed a few people to have a great deal of influence in my life. I wonder sometimes how much I’m doing just to make them happy and how much of what I do are things that *I* want for me. It’s difficult when I can’t seem to separate my desires from theirs FOR me. Not long ago I was explaining to someone that I tend to analyze the crap out of everything. So I am. It’s just part of the “Maria” package.

***That troublesome spot on my back has mostly scabbed over. Now it’s just a matter of time before it completely heals up. The wet-to-dry bandages really helped. The other side that had separated and scabbed is healed up now and has blended into the rest of the scar line.

***Intimacy has the most beautiful bras and panties for DDD+ cup sizes. The engineering that goes into these bras is phenomenal. Unfortunately, their customer service is HORRIBLE! I’ve had to keep calling multiple times to check on a back order. I called three times and left two messages before someone called me back to let me know that my original fitter was no longer with the company. Then it took 20 minutes for them to find my original back order paperwork and verify that those items were ones I still wanted.  At that point, after being placed on hold for about 5 minutes I was told they were out of stock but would be getting them in soon.

Six weeks later I got a message saying that my back order was in. So I called back, ended up leaving two messages in a week and FINALLY got a human being a week after that. It took another 20 minutes to find and verify my back order ONLY to be told that they were out of one item that I ordered and it would have to be shipped from the Boston store.

If Intimacy could just get their act together customer service-wise, they would be more popular than Victoria’s Secret. Intimacy’s lingerie is better made, more supportive and will last longer. PLUS they offer life time tailoring. If you lose a substantial amount of weight, they will tailor your bras to fit as many times as you want.

 

A Tad Bit Nipply

Remember that classic Christmas son “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)? Well, all *I* want in time for DragonCon is a pair of high quality hand made silicone prosthetic nipples.

I’ve looked at the pre-made ones and they’re terrible. Sure, under a SHIRT they look like nipples, but in no way shape or form could THIS ever be considered a proper nipple: http://tinyurl.com/m7emlr 

Granted, they call them nipple enhancers. But they also tout them as prosthetic nipples. I’ve read posts on breast cancer forums where these are considered acceptable replacements for real nipples.

Reforma nipples are a bit better http://tinyurl.com/npazs9  They’re thinner and more pliant. Unfortunately they’re still not what I would consider a really good replacement.

The best type of nipple prosthetic that I have found are made of silicone. They are molded to your breast mound for the best fit and then hand painted to match your other breast. In MY case, or in the case of both breasts being taken, the artists I have talked to will use a sister or daughter as a model.

I have neither. Well, I have four half sisters, but two of them I’m not talking to and two of them, no one knows where they are for sure.

Here is an example of the kind of nipple prosthetics ALL women should be wearing if they decide not to opt for nipple reconstruction:http://tinyurl.com/likqgb  Life is just far too short to settle for something that doesn’t make you completely happy. Especially when it comes to your mental well-being.

In my research I talked not only to the gentleman who created these, but also two other prosthetic artists. One insisted that I had to be fitted there at her office. The second suggested two places here in Florida. One is in Naples and the other is in Gainesville. I will be contacting the artist in Gainsville first since they’re closer. Of course once I know more I’ll post about it. Eventually there will be a shot of me wearing the new prosthetics.

 

The Check Up

This afternoon I’ve got an appointment with Dr. Guy, the local Uber plastic surgeon. She’ll be checking on the progress of the tissue overgrowth on my back in that one spot. According to Hubby, who can actually SEE what’s going on back there, it’s closing up FINALLY. I’m still going to hold off on wearing bras for a few more weeks though. Just to give that spot  time to FULLY heal.

I’ve also found a way to make these shelf bra camis more supportive. There’s a bra-maker supply shop here (http://www.bramakerssupply.com) that has everything I need to replace these flimsy straps with wider ones. The elastic under the breasts is pretty wide already so i won’t have to replace that. All I have to do is hand dye the new shoulder straps to match and sew them in. VOILA! New, supportive cami shelf bras. Since I live in Florida, wearing two tops in the middle of summer is just too hot. So this solves both the problem of support and the heat issue. I’ll post pics when they’re done.

The *other* checking up thing I have to do is call Patti at Dr. Elliott’s office. She was supposed to call me about where I could get silicone prosthetic nipples locally. Since I don’t have an existing nipple to be cast and copied I may not have to see someone to be fitted. But then as large as the new Twins are, I may. I have NO idea ho that works really.

That’s one more thing I’ll have to report back on one I know something. I REALLY want to have the prosthetics in time for DragonCon. I’m still REALLY not in a head space for another surgery yet. Even if I COULD afford it right now, the last thing I’m looking forward to is being cut on more even if it IS just minor, in-patient surgery.

I’m afraid I can’t find any photos of the star flap nipple reconstruction. I did put up a link in an earlier post though. I’ll dig around and see what I can find and edit this post if I can find an appropriate image.

 

The Person My Dog Thinks I Am

0706091117I started writing this particular post on 12/17/08. At the time I was still very emotionally wounded. I was struggling to find the strength to start recording podcast episodes for BoobCast. And I was failing miserably.

Since my little dog is ill, I wanted to finish this and post it because he inspired me to write this.

It never fails. I can go out the door to get the mail and the moment I step back in, my little dog starts jumping all over me. His little face lights up in a grin, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth in an expression that can only mean “Mom! You were gone for so long! I missed you so much in those two minutes you were away!”. Then he’ll run to get a toy so that we can play for a few minutes. In the evening he curls up by my foot…sometimes ON my foot…and we watch TV together. Or he’ll convince me that my lap is where he belongs. But heaven forbid I should stop rubbing his chest. He’ll promptly (and repeatedly, mind you) paw at my hand until I resume my duties.

He loves me unconditionally.  To him, it doesn’t matter if I beat myself up or think badly of myself. It doesn’t matter to him how I look or even how I THINK I look. He loves me just the same. That sort of unconditional acceptance and love is the kind of thing we all should be practicing on ourselves.

Imagine how much more peaceful and satisfying our lives would be if we loved ourselves the way our dogs love us. No more self-esteem boosting seminars. One of those would just consist of an hour playing Frisbee in the park. No more feeling like you’re not good enough. Your dog knows that you are.

It was those feelings of not being good enough, spurred by fashion magaines and the media that pushed me to have surgery. If I had learned earlier to love myself the way I am, I could have saved everyone a world of heartache. As we all know, though, hindsight is 20/20. So regret, like guilt, doesn’t really serve a purpose either.

My dog knows that lesson too. He lives in the moment spending his time just being Brenner. He isn’t worried about grey hair or, in his case, a graying muzzle. His biggest preoccupation is figuring out the best place to nap in the sun. Oh for that simple life.

 
 
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