Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The case of the missing boobs

In my house, you never know where my boobs will turn up. Wait a minute you say...what is she talking about??? I'll back up and explain for those of you who don't know. Almost 3 years ago,  I had both of my breasts removed due to breast cancer. After surgery, I chose not to have reconstruction. I didn't want to go through the pain of more surgery. The breast surgeon said if I didn't choose reconstruction I'd have to either be flat chested forever or wear prostheses. I figured my best choice would be to remain flat chest for most of the time and wear prostheses only when necessary. It's worked out pretty well for me.

My first set of silicone breasts were a large C cup. The fitter at the little boutique selling after care items for breast cancer patients encouraged me to go with a large cup size. She said the prostheses needed to match my body. (I guess that was her way of saying I was overweight or of large stature?) I had no idea what I was doing so I trusted her. I went home with those heavy breast forms. The first time I tried to wear them, I felt so weighted down. My natural breasts hadn't been that heavy and certainly weren't that large. Needless to say, I only wore them once.

Around the house, I don't wear my prostheses. I'm more comfortable sans breasts. My husband and children have gotten used to seeing me this way and think nothing of it. When I go out in public, I do wear the prostheses. I'm still not comfortable being without breasts when I'm around others. I guess I don't want to disappoint them or have the constant stares that come with judgmental eyes.

We were on the way to the nursing home recently to visit my mother so I slipped on my mastectomy  bra and prostheses. I knew we'd be gone all day and would probably go out to eat. Although uncomfortable to wear all day, the prostheses were going with me.

The ride to the nursing home was long. We had a good visit with my mother and on the way back home, stopped for a quick dinner out. On the way home, I told my husband I was tired of wearing my boobs. He said, "Why don't you take them off then?" (I've made a point to remove my boobs whenever I felt I couldn't wear them one second longer. My family is used to me whipping them off at random places and times.) I've gotten quite adept at removing my bra and prostheses without removing my blouse. I smiled at him in silent agreement. "Here they go," I said as I unbuttoned the sleeves of my blouse, reached inside, grabbed my bra straps and pulled them down until I could slip my arm through. After getting my arms free, I reached up and under the back of my blouse to unhook my bra. Next I grabbed one of the bra straps through the armhole of my blouse and gave it a quick yank. The bra and prostheses came out easily. I threw them into the back seat of the car and breathed a sigh of relief. I was so thankful to have the excess weight removed. When we reached home a couple of hours later, we were both exhausted. We went inside just as it was getting dark and got ready for bed.

The following day, I had a doctors appointment. After showering and getting my makeup on, I was ready to get dressed. I'd already picked out my clothes and had them lying across my bed so they wouldn't get wrinkled. I slipped on my pants, socks and shoes. I went to my dresser drawer to pull out my bra and prostheses. I keep my silicone breast forms in two small round zippered cases with built in sling hammocks. The little hammocks are to keep the forms from being damaged. As I looked inside the cases, the breast forms weren't there. Now where in the world had I put them? I went into the kitchen to look. Sometimes I leave them on the kitchen table when I come in from a trip. They weren't there. I looked in all the usual places and couldn't find them. That's when it hit me. My boobs must still be in the back of my husband's car! Quickly, I sent him a text and asked if he'd take a look. He left the warehouse and went out to the parking lot. Sure enough, my bra and boobs were lying in plain view on the backseat of his car! I couldn't help but laugh as he told me. I wondered what his coworkers thought as they passed by his car and noticed the intimate apparel with flesh colored silicone breasts peeking out. Did they think he was a transvestite or transgender person??? Heaven forbid!

I remembered I some microbead breast forms I'd made last year for a summer trip to the beach. I dug them out of my closet and put them into another mastectomy bra. Without weights in them, the bra kept crawling upward as I moved. Pretty soon, the bra and boobs were practically under my chin! This was inconvenient! I stripped that get up off and decided I'd just go to the doctor without anything on. If I chose a print or checked blouse, it wouldn't be quite as evident that I was flat chested.

When my husband came home from work later that evening with my bra dangling from his fingertips, I was so embarrassed. I asked if he got teased by any of the guys at work. He told me none of the guys had seen my gear. I was so thankful! I guess I'm going to have to be a little more selective about when and where I strip off my boobs. I'd certainly hate to have them turn up unexpectedly at a most inopportune time.

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