shopping for a boob

Well.  That wasn’t a very graceful or poised title was it?  Normally, I use anatomically correct terms, such as “breast” but I just kind of liked the double-entendre of “boob” .  In this case, that is kind of how I feel about this topic.  Sorry guys-if this is just too much information, go ahead and click out now.

So.  The time has come to begin to think about how I will return to school and what I will look like.  Many of you know that I teach  kids at the Junior High School level… case you’ve forgotten, that is the 12 to 14 year old range.  I have already decided that I am planning on teaching with a “naked head”.  That will take some guts, even for me.  I just feel it is the right thing to do…it is important to send the message that even though I know it looks goofy, this is who I am now, and “this too shall pass”.  Kids at the JH level can use a good example of somebody even weirder than themselves to boost their self esteem, and provide an example of how to get through the tough times.  Might as well be me.  Because it is  me.

So, OK if you are a 13 year old kid and you have a crazy teacher with a bald and stubbly head, would it be just too much if she only had one breast, too?  I just don’t think I can go there with that much honesty in the classroom, therefore, I find myself perusing the American Cancer Society “tlc” catalog (“tlc” stands for “tender loving care”…a little on the sweet side for me).  Hmmmmnnnnn. They have pages of  “side entry cotton-pocketed post mastectomy bras”.  Oh my god, what the hell is that?  I tried, just for “fun” to put on my most favorite old bra (the $75.00 “Bralleluia”  Bra) a few weeks ago, and immediately ripped it off my body, because……..ummm……it doesn’t “work” anymore.

I have the right side of my chest in reconstruction.  A very very ROUND expander implant is in place with (at this point in time) 450 cc’s of saline.  It is ROUND…the normal breast is nowheres near round.  More like a teardrop shap.  Big teardrops.  The round implant exends out to the outer side of the body more than a real breast does.  When I tried to put on an old bra, big round implant doesn’t slide into the cup.  In fact, it doesn’t slide at allA real breast is soft and pliable and conforms to the shape of the bra.  A real breast has feeling!  An expander implant breast, well, it is hard, and has a definate shape, and isn’t exactly innervated.  So when I walk, the right breast stands rigidly at attention and doesn’t really know if it has bumped into things directly.  She is almost kind of rude that way.  It is kind of like having an innverted cereal bowl on your chest.  Try fitting that into a bra.  (BTW-I’ve been trying to come up with names for her, the expander implant…nothing seems to “fit”….hahaha…a little implant humor!!!!  Maybe I should host a contest, “Name that BOOB!”)

SO-back to the “back to school shopping”.  I’m looking at the bras and camisoles and breast forms.  Oh my heavens.  There are flat back forms and molded triangle forms and molded asymmetrical forms and molded hollow back triangle shells and that is just the options in the foam breast forms.  Of course all of them can be ordered Unweighted or Weighted.  Whatever that means.  So how do you choose?  Just choose the most expensive one and hope it is great?  These are all the inexpensive options, with the most expensive being around $50. per “form”. 

Now when you examine the silicone options, theres where you can spend some money, with the cheapest boob being $175. and my lord, the options here……you need to pick left or right side and “softer drape” or “firmer drape”.  Wow.  Who knew?

I have tried to seriously make a decision on this breast form business, and I just get kind of overwhelmed.  Sure wish I had a mother helping me pick out what is best.

Post Note:

So last night I finally went to the Breast Cancer Support Group meeting at the Victory Center….ah yes, The Victory Center**, once again a place of support, comfort and answers.  When I told Penny (the most sweet and lovely “Participant Services Coordinator”) about my humerous attempts to get serious about buying a boob, she gave me a local contact.  Apparently “Renee” of  “Renee’s Survivor Shop”  is just a doll and would be willing to let me come in with a photographer and document the “shopping” .  I’ll make the call today and see what I can set up.  Stay tuned for a second installment of “shopping for a BOOB” coming to this blog soon!


**The Victory Center supports and educates Cancer patients and their families, free of charge.  Check it out:    I am working on figuring our how I can, and you can help support The Victory Center. 


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