My story is a little bizarre and different...and there were at least a few things I needed to explain. Although I read so many personal stories, I thought that mine would add a different dimension to the many reasons women choose to have breast augmentation.
In the year 2000, I was considering having breast augmentation. Finding myself divorced after 23 years of marriage left me feeling more than a little insecure and with a needed boost of self esteem.
I went for a check up and found to my surprise that I had stage four Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
Needless to say, having a BA was out of the question. Instead, I spent the next five years learning to live with cancer. NHL is very sneaky. There is no cure, but my treatments were able to put it into remission, and there have been no signs of cancer now for three years. After the customary chemotherapy, I had been receiving treatments with a new drug every six months for five years, with the hope of keeping the cancer at bay for as long as possible.
Because the treatments I’ve received are so new, no one really knows what the long term side effects are. Most people with stage four cancer don’t live very long. I did.....thankfully. Not only that, I now feel healthier than I ever did, before cancer In spite of this good health and high energy, I suddenly and without warning lost vision over a period of a few days. The loss was so drastic that I had to quit my 25 year teaching career and go on disability retirement. It was all so bizarre to me to find myself suddenly not being able to drive, to work, to read or to get around on my own. The suspicion is that the years of treatments I’d received had caused this neurological damage. Corrective glasses or lenses do not work, since it is damage to the optic nerve, and not my eyes. After months of searching for answers....and finding very few....my Oncologist decided that since there was no sign of cancer, I should stop receiving treatments, just in case the drugs were causing neurological damage.
This story goes on and on, but I will get to the point. Once my treatments were stopped, and every test came back negative....even though it is a mystery as to why I am legally blind....I made up my mind to stop thinking of myself as a ”victim” with cancer.
In June I got married to a wonderful man who has stuck by me through all of this. One year ago...things for me seemed hopeless and less than positive. Today....I have a wonderful life and a future with a man I love! Suddenly, my dream of having breast augmentation didn’t seem so silly and insignificant anymore!
I talked to my Oncologist about it....and he was surprisingly supportive. He said he saw no reason why I couldn’t do the procedure....as all test indicated I was currently a healthy woman.
I then had the catheter implant that had been placed in my chest for chemotherapy treatments removed. That’s when I knew I was ready..........so ready..........not just for beautiful breasts....but to feel like a person who has a future. I felt like I deserved to feel sexy...like a woman....and not like a sick person just waiting to die! For the first time in years, I was able to focus on a medical procedure that was going to be a HAPPY experience. I could not wait!
I am 49 years old, which I have noted is older than most of the women who have written. Maybe my story will help women from my age group make a more informed decision. There really isn’t an age limit to wanting to look your best and feel good about it!
I have three children who are all grown and one grandchild. I breast fed all three of my children, and over the years watched my once “perky” breast become deflated. Most people say that I look pretty good for a woman of my age, but as so many women have said, there was always something “missing.” I have longed to feel more sexy, more feminine and more appealing for a very long time. I’ve been through a lot of struggles in the past, so I feel that I have earned this!
I found the Doctor who did my surgery through a friend, who had her BA about a year ago. She looked so great and natural. I called and made an appointment and found myself and my new husband driving the two hour drive to his office.
The office was very nice and all of the staff seemed helpful and friendly. It was so nice and so strange to be in a medical office that did not have the aura of fear and sickness! The young girl who escorted me to the examining room seemed to be about my daughters age. I began to feel a little silly and expressed to her that I must be insane to want to do this at my age. She was very kind and told me that the doctor actually preferred to work with women who had already had children and were more mature. She also explained that since the implants will not last forever, it makes good sense to wait. I started to relax a little while she showed me before and after pictures to get an idea of what the outcome would look like. We then went into a small room where I put on a sports bra and tried on various sizes of “fake boobs.”
Once we found the size I felt comfortable with, 450 cc’s, she told me that most women end up wishing they had gone bigger...and suggested the next size up from what I had chosen. As it turned out, I’m glad she spoke up. I think that most of us are so afraid of being too big that we tend to start out going too small. The Doctor asked to have a medical clearance from my Oncologist, which was done that very day. They also decided that the anesthesia would not affect or harm the little vision I still had, which was my only real concern.
The date was set, the bill was paid......(by my sweet husband)...and in less than two weeks, I was scheduled for surgery! They gave me a box filled with vitamins and other supplements I was to take daily from that day to the day of my surgery. I was also given prescriptions to be filled ahead of time. They gave me a booklet of directions and advice to follow as well. We drove home so excited. It was fun to think about how I was going to feel like a new woman....almost literally transformed from the person I had been before....in more ways than just the size of my breasts. I’ve never felt more hopeful or more alive!
The few weeks seemed to drag by. I became obsessed with web sites on the internet and spent hours looking at the before and after pictures. I’d look at my tiny, droopy chest and could not imagine how I’d look with actual boobs! It was all I could think about!
We checked in to our hotel the evening before my BA, as my surgery was scheduled first thing in the morning. I was so nervous! It seemed odd to me that I had been through three c-sections with childbirth, gone through cancer, chemotherapy, biopsies and endless, terrifying procedures in my life..and I never remembered being this nervous!
When we got to the clinic....(My Plastic Surgeon had his own surgical clinic, which was so nice)...I was led to a small room with a warm, cozy feel to it. I was told to put on the gown and given socks and a warm, soft robe. The nurse set up my I.V. and I was given “something to relax me”....and that is pretty much all I remember!
I woke up feeling warm and so comfortable...not wanting to wake up from my wonderful “nap.” I felt no pain at all, so I remember asking when they were going to do the surgery? The nurse explained that I was all finished and my husband was waiting to take me home! I couldn’t believe it!
My husband decided to stay at the hotel an extra night just in case I had any problems, we would be close by. We lived two hours away and it would have been bad to drive back if I had any trouble. The next thing I remember is being back at the hotel, in a recliner with pillows all around me. My husband had put the recliner between the beds so that he would be right there if I needed him. I had to be propped up on my back, so the recliner did the trick. I drifted in and out of sleep for a few hours, and then woke up very, very hungry!
The pain meds gave me a little buzz so I felt wonderful until they wore off! I slept all the way home except for a few moments when my husband said that I sang to him...ha ha.
The next week was spent taking it easy and being amazed by my new additions, the “twins”.
I found myself paranoid at times when I thought I SHOULD be feeling better, as time went by. It is now three and a half weeks post op and I still find myself needing a pain pill now and then, but since found out that I was normal, through the help of this web site and my PS. It takes time to recover, especially a person who had been through as much as I did. In a way, it gave me more motivation to make my body as healthy as possible....before the surgery...and continues today.
I have my one month post op next week and I am eager to see what the PS thinks! I think they are perfect! The Mentor, saline, round, high profile, smooth 470 cc’s gave me a perfect C cup...and filled in all that saggy skin that use to be my breasts! Now, I feel great about my new look...but even better than that....I feel great about my new “outlook” on life.
Patient of Dr. Robert Young, San Antonio, Texas