Breasts, the most apparent and supposedly “defining” feature of a woman & femininity. Some women think theirs are too small, others think theirs are too big. But imagine having breasts (whether you thought they were too small or too big) then having to remove the majority (if not all) of your healthy breast tissue to prevent cancer from developing.
It’s painful. Not just because of the surgery itself, but because of the emotional feeling of losing and the physical feeling of missing breasts. It may sound strange to some because breasts are nothing more than fat and they aren’t what makes us women, but at the same time, they do. Society shoves down our throats the “perfect body.”
Thankfully, with today’s technology and medicine, it’s possible to have some confidence after removing your breasts. Although your breasts may never be how they were before, breast reconstruction can significantly increase and/or bring back a level of confidence you thought you’d never have again.
In my case, I had a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and came out of the surgery with no nipples and two scars straight across my chest. However, before undergoing my mastectomy, I spoke with a breast surgeon. I made an immediate decision to start the process of reconstruction after my preventative surgery.
I was able to partake in a clinical trial for a product called AeroForm, which I found while researching online. Aeroform is a breast tissue expander system. It stretches the skin to create a pocket of space for a long-term implant. After about a month, it looked as if I had real breasts. The catch is that I still have scars, no sensation in my breasts and no nipples.
While researching online, I also found Naturally Impressive. They specialize in producing nipples that look very real and stay on securely. Each nipple was made with slight variations in size, shape, and color to offer authentic prosthetic nipples that look amazing.
Naturally Impressive has amazing customer service. They have treated me like a friend from day one. Naturally Impressive was founded by Randi, a breast cancer survivor, and Brian, her husband. They have a dedication and commitment to their clients to make them as comfortable as possible with their new nipples. It took a couple versions, but the last one really comes close to my vision of my nipple for me. Of course, the prosthetic nipples are not like my natural nipples prior to the surgery, in how they feel. The biggest downside to me was that the silicone nipples stay very firm and so don’t always seem real. (I did speak with Randi and they are testing a softer silicone that might help this issue).
However, they do give me the confidence to look “normal” and after my boudoir photo session, I am definitely more excited about wearing them more often. The most challenging part of my reconstruction was explaining parts of it to my daughter. I told her how there was a high percent that my nipples wouldn’t be there after the surgery. I glossed over about my reconstruction (I couldn’t show her my pictures) and she seemed really excited for me. She was fascinated and I could tell how happy she was for me.
I know that moment will always be something she can look back on and be proud of how much of a fighter and survivor I am. The way my journey fascinated and excited her is what I hope to bring to each reader who is a previvor. Know that you will come out of this stronger than ever and inspire all of those who surround you.
My brca2gene started the fight but I am going to finish it.