It's a strange feeling, waking up the morning of major surgery, knowing that no matter how well everything goes, things will never be the same. On the morning of my mastectomy, my daughter suggested we take some tasteful photos to say goodbye to my breasts. We took a few minutes that morning to get some shots-- it was a surreal experience making peace with what was about to happen. I haven't looked at those photos yet, but I know that someday I will be ready to see them and say a final goodbye.
You see, this is so different than I thought it would be. I mean, what are breasts, really? I thought I had it all figured out. I would have new ones built for me over the summer, and from the pictures I'd seen online, most likely they'd be beautiful. I had faith in my plastic surgeon that he would work wonders, and so far, I'm very pleased. Nobody but my husband would see them, anyway, and with clothes on, nobody would be able to tell they were any different.
But the nipple thing really got me. It still has me. Losing my nipples has been harder to deal with than I anticipated. My nipples served their noble purpose in feeding my three babies well, but the kids are grown now and I have no plans of having any more. What's the big deal about losing them anyway?
Sure, I can go braless now and not worry about high beams poking out of my shirts. I might opt to get really cool tattoos to cover my scars. I could get some new nipples reconstructed when all is said and done. Lots of options. But the fact of the matter is, "things" are different now, and that will take some getting used to.