Monday, September 6, 2010

Remembering Farrah, and This Me

I've been staring at the title section of tonight's blog for some time now, not able to come up with one.  Hopefully, as I write, something will come to me.

Um, I've been thinking about my identity today, how I have always seen myself, and the losses/changes that cancer brings.  Mostly today, I've been thinking about my nipples.  About losing them.  That's some rough stuff.  I'm trying to digest it, on balance, a little each day, moving towards my surgery in late October.

I meet with True North on Wednesday, but from what I understand at this point, this is what I am looking at.

Left mastectomy of Flopsy, outer skin will be spared and filled with tummy tissue, but the nipple will be removed.  Usually at some later point, the nipple is reconstructed in the plastic surgeon's office, using local anesthesia.  Nipples are created using a few sutures, and areolas are tattooed on later.  The new nipple is for cosmetic appearance only, it will not have the same feeling or sensation as my real nipple.

Right prophylactic mastectomy of Mopsy, outer skin and nipple will be spared and filled with tummy tissue.  As a large breasted woman, a free nipple graft will have to be performed.  That's where the nipple will be completely removed while the breast is reconstructed, and then reattached at the end.  The reason for this is that when Mopsy is reduced and lifted, dead center will be in a new place.  My reattached nipple will have a great cosmetic appearance, but also will not have the sensation I have now.

My favorite body parts of myself have always been my hair, my smile, my eyes and my nipples.

Remember that Farrah poster?  The famous one of her in the red swimsuit; big hair, big teeth and nipples?  I am thinking about Farrah tonight, one of the huge icon's of my generation.

In my mind's eye, that is how I have seen myself.  I don't mean looking like Farrah, but identifying with her best features.  Hair.  Teeth.  Eyes.  Nipples.

Sure has been hard to lose the hair.  I miss it.  As fun as the wigs can be, I miss the hair.  I miss the hair rituals.  I miss hiding behind it.  I miss pony tail hair, and work hair, and bed hair, and sex hair.  Although it may be awhile, the hair will be back.  It's already on its way.

I don't even know where to start the grieving for my nipples.  Oy vay.  I don't know where to start on that one.  Yes, on balance, I realize I am doing what I have to do to SAVE MY LIFE, but despite that, this does not come without huge loss.

Husband reminded me today about when I would breast feed the boys, after they'd finish, they'd have this baby drunk look on their sweet little faces.  Husband would gently carry them to the bassinet, staring into angel faces gorged on Mother love, breast milk still moist on their chins.  Knocked out and still sucking on the booby in their dreams; it was so satisfying to feed my boys.

I always thought I have pretty boobs.  I mean, my nipples are pretty, not too big, not too protruding, just right.

Of course, I have other favorite nipple memories but that would be a different blog!  One I'd make more than coffee money on.  H-m-m-m.

Losing my nipples is cutting off a big part of my sensuality and sexuality.  It will be foreign and empty to have such an erotic zone become a dead zone.

Look, I'm a writer, I know that a huge part of erotica is what's in your brain and not necessarily what's happening to your body.  That said, I will miss the physical pleasure and joy of being felt up and nibbled, and 2nd Base is a very close second to the mothership for me.

I know the end result of my surgery will be a leaner, fitter, more proportioned body.  All of that will be fabulous.  It really will.  I've been talking about getting healthier and leaner for years.  Talk.  Talk.  Talk.  This will be a huge step in that direction.

Even so, I am really sad about what I will be sacrificing.

How do you throw a Bon Voyage party for your nipples?

How many can I throw between now and then?

Should I go stag or drag or both?

This is what it looks like, facing cancer with humor and grief and uncertainty.

This is what it looks like.

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