We’ve all made the jokes about how “size matters” regarding a certain male body part. Based on small hands or small feet, even ethnicity, it’s an old joke/mindset with no basis in anything that matters. Size doesn’t matter. Size is not connected to anyone’s self-worth or success. And while I’m not here to talk about any males size, I do want to talk about my own.
Before my exchange surgery, I joked a lot about size. I said I should get Double Gs as it would be easy for my doctor to remember because of my initials. I joked that I wanted them to be obviously fake Baywatch style flotation devices for when I finally can paddle board again. You know, safety first. I obviously wanted none of those things. In actuality I asked my plastic surgeon to make me look the same as before which for some reason made me feel bad. Like I was missing an opportunity that others pay a lot of money to have but I was getting for “free”. That sneaky guilt again that is a part of breast cancer I didn’t expect. Guilt for not having to get chemo or radiation, guilt that I didn’t lose my hair, and guilt that I didn’t use this opportunity to get bigger breasts. Weird. For me, the size I wanted was whatever wouldn’t make me feel more awkward with my new breasts any more than I inevitably knew I would.
I scoured websites for pictures and proportions and sizes. I checked height and weight and tried to match mine. I saw some examples but ultimately gave myself the gift of letting my plastic surgeon make the final choice during the actual exchange. I could have requested a certain shape or brand, but what do I know? I’m not a plastic surgeon. I knew that for me trusting the professionals who so far hadn’t let me down was the right one. I especially knew this was the right choice when I was at an event for a breast cancer community I’m a part of. One of the other survivors had recently traveled to a different state for her exchange surgery. When I asked her why, she smugly looked at me and stated “because they’re the best.” She said it as if any doctor in San Diego was below par. As if anyone who would trust them was an idiot. In that moment I realized for some survivors that control was a comfort to them, but to me, it was a Pandora’s box of options and choices that I would have drowned in. I wish that survivor the best, but dear god I hope I never make anyone feel so small because of their choices over the course of their treatment.
My implants are 560 cc. Everyone wants to know what size that is but when you immerse yourself in this breast cancer world you learn that cc don’t correspond with bra size. A 560 on me is about a small C, large B. But on someone with a smaller rib cage might be a large D. I was barely a B before so that’s “bigger” if you’re one of those size matters people. After the awful expanders, anything was a welcome change and i’s amazing to see how natural my implants already look. They’re soft and squishy and slowly feeling like part of me. They will gradually settle lower and more naturally into place. I may have rippling due to not having any tissue between the implant and my skin. Fat grafting might be an option if that happens to soften everything up. And they are heavy. I couldn’t imagine going much bigger because of the weight alone.
One blog I read talked about how your implant size will vary from just right to too big to too small depending on the situation, the bathing suit, the dress you really want to wear. There is no perfect size or shape. There is no right answer, no right doctor, no right anything except feeling happy and confident in your own body that is now cancer free. That’s all that matters to me.
I’m still healing happy. How lucky is that?
*I made the decision not to post any nude pictures of my new breasts for personal and professional reasons. If anyone is that curious, please message me directly and I will consider your request especially if you are going through this excursion as well.