Thursday, September 24, 2009

Breast Cancer Has Perks

Believe it or not, having breast cancer has an upside because by law, you are entitled to reconstructive plastic surgery. In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill that requires all health insurance companies to cover the cost of breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. The bill also states that both the diseased breast and the opposite breast would be covered surgically to restore and achieve breast symmetry.

Even though I still have one more surgery coming up the end of this year, so far I've gotten a breast lift, tummy tuck and fat taken from my back. My breast tissue has been replaced by fat tissue. Accept for the fact that I have no feeling, I can't tell the difference visually. When I told my friend Maggie that I would be getting a breast lift, tummy tuck (and soon implants) compliments of breast cancer, she commented: Sweetie, it can't be all bad, you just got yourself about $15,000 worth of free plastic surgery!

I say it's a well deserved perk after the trauma of chemo and losing some of my most feminine assets. I am happy to report that my stomach is flatter than it's been in years. No amount of exercise and situps could talk away that middle-aged bulge. Also, I can get away without wearing a bra because of the breast lift. That alone takes years of your biological age. My plastic surgeon keeps telling me by the time all these surgeries are over, I'll be able to wear a bikini. We'll see, but right now, I don't think so.

I do think I look better in clothes, but looking good parading around naked? Not so much. There's just wayyyyy too many scars mapped out on my body to do that.  The way I view it, there were plenty of times in my life when I sashayed across a room without a stitch of clothing. But there comes a day when you just can't pull it off anymore. It's sort of like the first warm day of spring when you pull out those short-shorts. When you finally squeeze into them, you realize going out in public wearing those shorts would probably get you attention--but not in a good way. At least I can now wear T-shirts with a little spandex in them and look good again! So ladies, look at the silver lining of breast cancer--the possibility of perky breasts, a flat tummy and putting on that old bikini again!

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