OldDogNewTits












It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Did you know that? Well, of course, you did.

Even my kids have noticed the ‘pinking’ of their worlds lately. I like that. I like that they’re so aware as children and don’t giggle at all when discussing something this important. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all saying ‘breast’ and not ‘boob.’ (Yeah, that would likely send them both over the edge.)

My son and I recently got to spend a little one-on-one time together when he was home sick from school a few days. Strep throat. Poor kid missed playing in his football team’s playoff and championship games, which has got to really bite for him. So, what does a mom do to make it up to her boy? Well, once he was feeling well enough to leave home, we went straight for the fast food (greasy and delicious!) and then to a local sports store where, of course, I bought him a for-no-reason present. Love those kinds of days.

And, while we were in the store, my son couldn’t help but notice all of the pink jerseys, hats, gloves, cups, pens and other merchandise that touted the Breast Cancer Awareness message alongside the name of his favorite football team. (Duh, the New Orleans Saints)

I expected him to think all of the pink stuff in a Saints/Hornets/LSU store was oddly out of place. He always asks a lot of questions and I was ready to do some serious explaining. But instead, he just surprised me and said, “Look at all the pink jerseys. All the NFL teams are wearing them for Breast Cancer Month. And pink pants, gloves, socks, cleats, everything. You ought to put it on your blog, Mom.” And then he suggested that I take a few pictures.

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My blog??? My boy’s been paying attention enough to know about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that his mom is writing a blog?? I just looked at him with my mouth open and decided to do exactly as I was instructed.

I don’t know that I’ve been giving him enough credit. His birthday is Sunday. I think I’ll go buy him an extra present.

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My friend, Vanessa, sent me another great story to share at ODNT.  (Thanks again, V.)

While the world over debates the safety and health ramifications of breast implants, there’s one woman in Moscow who is counting her blessings for ‘adding on’ five years ago. This 40-year-old woman was recently stabbed in the chest by her husband in the midst of an obviously heated argument. He was aiming for her heart … but what he hit was her boob.  And the knife became lodged in one of her silicone breast implants, the apparently enormous gifts she received from the very same man years earlier.

The woman was, of course, rushed immediately to the hospital and is now doing just fine.  She’s already replaced the implant and left her homicidal husband.

As I see it, she’s now fixed one big leaky boob and dumped an even bigger, more stabby one.

 

Apparently, breast implants have saved several women from sudden death (see video).

 

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My fifth (and potentially last first round) appointment was Thursday morning. My friend, Melissa, had recommended the doctor and came along for the ride. And I want to point out immediately that this place as well as this experience was different from the others.

What better month to bring up this topic.

My friend, Melissa, has been battling breast cancer now for the last few years. And she’s been beating the hell out of it I might add. You know how when you’re watching some Sex and the City, Desperate Housewivesy-type show and one of the characters has cancer, but they manage to deal with it with levity and an amazing sense of calm and grace, you think to yourself ‘This woman does not exist. If it were me, I would not be able to face people every day and talk about it, let alone joke about it.’

Well, I’m here to tell you that this woman does exist and her name is Melissa.

I won’t delve too much into her personal story but, suffice it to say, she was given the sobering news twice. For the first occurrence three years ago, she opted to have a lumpectomy. After this procedure, she (like all patients) was carefully monitored for any signs of recurrence. Which is how they caught the second occurrence about a year and a half later. This time, she (like many women) opted for a much more aggressive treatment. This time, she would take on a double mastectomy so that she could live worry-free of this disease. For good.

So, the two of us spent the afternoon at the very specialized facility where she had her procedures done. And, as I mentioned above, it was a very different experience from my prior appointments. Rather than a small, private waiting room filled with others seeking cosmetic improvements of various natures, this office (really a small hospital) had a large, beautiful waiting area … a two-story, glass-ceilinged atrium that actually looked and felt more like a spa than a clinical space. There were no TVs or other distractions but rather just a setting to promote peace and comfort to all who entered. The center even offered a little refreshment area for its visitors. And on the table in front of me … where there were typically albums of before and after work … was a similar pink scrapbooking album filled not with breast photos but rather with heartwarming letters, family pictures and other amazing testimonials from women whose lives had been changed as a result of the services and treatment they received from the medical staff here.

Honestly, it was very humbling.

We were taken to a private examination room almost immediately, which is where I actually completed all of my paperwork. Melissa and I caught up a little bit while we waited and she confessed that she wore a boob-showcasing outfit to this appointment … in my honor, of course. (Coincidentally, this is the second time this week that a woman has selected her wardrobe based on its boob presentation for me. Is that weird?)

And, after waiting a little while, the doctor came in. Friendly right from the start. He gets points for that. Feeling a bit small for seeking cosmetic augmentation in a place that is largely medically restorative in nature, I nervously explained right off the bat that I was not here necessarily but more recreationally. He liked my use of the word ‘recreationally’ and said he’d be using it in the future. We talked just a few minutes about what I was looking for (you know the drill by now … nothing too big as I am a small person) and he seemed pretty in tune to everything I had to say.

He said that the biggest mistake women make is going too big or too wide.

He added that women should look to correct and improve the shape of their breasts and not just be worried about their volume. He actually said smaller breasts are “more elegant,” which I’m pretty sure makes me Audrey Hepburn. And finally, he emphasized that an implant should be used to enhance your natural breast, not become it.

In discussing my options, he said that he encourages his patients to get everything that they want done in one procedure. When I asked about the full lift and implants being done together, he said it was no problem. Remember Doctors 1, 3 and 4 all stating it should not be done? And they offered two different reasons.

  • Doctor 1 & Doctor 4 said it shouldn’t be done because the anchor incision involved in a full lift would be under too much pressure to heal if there was an implant stuffed beneath the skin. Doctor 5 said that the anchor incision he makes involves only a very superficial layer of skin and therefore healing and thus scarring is not an issue.
  • Doctor 3 said it shouldn’t be done because of complications that can occur with the patient’s blood flow and there is a possibility of losing the nipple. Doctor 5 said that blood flow concerns are only present in repeat implant patients and assured me that, while the risk is never zero with anything, I would not be a candidate for these types of problems.
  • Doctor 2 (in case anyone was wondering) was also pro-2-procedures-in-1-surgery but his only argument was that any accomplished surgeon can achieve the desired results with no problems.

The doctor also assured me that, if anything, he was a bit of a germophobe and he had never had any complications arise as a result of infection. He said he uses something called an implant funnel to insert the implant. He literally likened it to a pastry tube … only instead of sweet buttercreamy goodness, mine would be filled with silicone. Delicious.

When I asked about the texturized implant shells (that we learned about from Doctor 4), he said he feels they do nothing to prevent the possibility of scar tissue and hardening. Additionally, he said the texturized shells don’t slide down into place and settle as well after surgery.

When I asked about implant placement, he said he determines whether the implant should be placed above or below the muscle based on two things:

  1. The patient’s activity level – Triathletes, for example, are encouraged to seek over the muscle placement … as putting the implant beneath the pectoral muscle could become too physically restrictive for them.
  2. The patient’s quantity of tissue – Patients with a limited amount of breast tissue available are encouraged to seek under the muscle placement … as there often simply isn’t enough skin present to stretch and support the addition in the front.

And, incidentally, he added that under the muscle placement typically results in a more natural curvature and slope from the chest wall into the breast thus creating a more natural look overall.

When I asked about the silicone versus saline decision, he said much prefers … are you ready for this? … silicone. (The exact opposite of Doctor 4, remember?) He said he uses it almost exclusively in his practice explaining that silicone is lighter in weight than saline which is more comfortable for the patient. He added that silicone also doesn’t have the same problems with breast hardening or even possible visibility as the patient ages and her skin thins. That said, he highly recommends a new innovation in the implant world called cohesive silicone for various reasons:

  1. Unlike the silicone of old, cohesive silicone adheres only to itself, keeping it together where it should be on the chest wall rather than leaching into other areas of the body.
  2. The recommended MRI every 2 years for these implants has been lifted by the FDA.
  3. The same 3.5 centimeter incision made for the lift can be used to insert the silicone implant, thus any argument to opt for saline over silicone due to less cutting would be null and void.
  4. He’s seen many first generation silicone implants (from the 70s and 80s) come out … practically empty of their contents … with no harm done to the patient.

When I asked about the fat injection method rather than implants, he seemed to steer me away from that direction altogether. He explained that he felt the technique was best used in cancer patients who are seeking to match one post-surgical breast to another healthy one. Melissa and I were both pretty surprised. We expected this technique to be one he lingered on for a while. It was, after all, the method Melissa had chosen … though she did explain to me that, because she had undergone radiation during the course of her first treatment, she was not a candidate for implants. Her breast tissue would likely have rejected them.

When I asked about the effects that implants have on mammography, he said that so many women have implants these days that there are now named techniques for performing the test proficiently on these specialized patients. He also added that any mammogram, implants or not, can miss anomalies in the breast tissue. Apparently, nothing is foolproof. (Sigh.)

Then, he took lots of measurements of just about everything I’ve got above the waist. Which ain’t much. And he seemed very focused on the fact that I have a very narrow base width which basically means I have a narrow chest. 32 to be exact, A/B. (Lord, did I just put my bra size on the internet?) The doctor said that, for me personally, he would recommend somewhere between 280 and 300ccs of “assistance.” Which is just about exactly what Doctor 4 said. (Yay! Consistency!) He also said that he would recommend something between a full lift and a mini-lift. Rather than an anchor incision, I would need something more L-shaped, coming down from the center of the breast and turning outward on both sides. Best of both worlds, I suppose.

Oh, and they took pictures. Lots of ‘em. I was escorted to a special room, a studio if you will, with very high-tech cameras, computers, lighting, etc. There was even a little heater in the area where I was photographed so I wouldn’t get too chilly, being disrobed and all. I kind of felt like a supermodel. A naked supermodel. Which I guess would sort of make me something else, wouldn’t it?

A word of advice to all women out there who may pursue this avenue – Do not wear any identifiable jewelry, clothing or hairstyle in your headless photos. And God help you if you have a tattoo. Trust me. Your pictures WILL be recognizable. I’ve already identified an acquaintance in one of these photos with complete certainty.

With my photo session behind me, I returned to my exam room to find Melissa waiting for me. And while I dressed, she undressed and showed me the handiwork of her operations. And, I must say … Melissa, you are beautiful. Your boobs are far superior to anything I could hope for. Your doctors did an outstanding job and you deserve every ounce of it. Unbelievable. Boobs made from scratch … using only parts of your body. I am speechless.

We left the exam room and walked back out into the posh waiting area again … with me having learned (and I think grown) a lot from my visit … but not before stopping to snap an all-important picture. It’s one of the many t-shirts they sell in the lobby.

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Breast cancer patients are incredible, awe-inspiring. I bow at the feet of these women.

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{September 28, 2011}   When TITS is part of your blog name

When I set out to name this blog, I bounced around a lot of different ideas with a lot of different people. Most of these ideas were too lame to remember, much less post, but I do recall clunkers like ‘Making Mountains out of Molehills’ and ‘Two Boobs are Better than None.’ Alright, calm down. I told you they sucked. They’re too obvious .. and limited.  Too boob-centric, if you will.  And I’m not all about the boob, you guys. I am an interesting, colorful and multi-layered human being.

So, one night while my husband and I were out having drinks (and some sinful culinary creation called Gouda Beignets), we played around with a lot of these different ideas … including the crappers above … and happened upon Old Dog, New Tits.  We both busted out laughing … maybe it was the booze … and decided that was it.  Even though it would have to mean my being cool with calling myself an ‘old dog.’ I decided to hear it in my head as its streetsmart cousin …  ‘dawg’ … and ran with it.

So, I bought the domain and got to work.

And I remember telling my friends about the name and getting the same initial reaction from them. Laughter. (That’s good, right?)  Except for one friend who seemed concerned with using the word ‘tits’ in my blog name.  “Aren’t you afraid it might turn some people off?” she asked me.  And I responded with “Well, my MOM likes it.” (She’s a pretty reliable hash mark on the prude-to-offensive yardstick. Right, mom?)

Of course, I will give my friend this credit. Having ‘tits’ in the title has prevented my inclusion in certain blog directories. But … I’ve learned that those directories are not so much the ones in which I want to be listed anyway. (Whatever, blog directories. I won’t bash you over it. Here. In writing. Where there’s proof.) Oh, and ‘tits’ has navigated many a colorful Googler to my website. It’s actually one of the primary words that leads ‘Googlers’ to me. (I so wish I could see the disappointment on their faces when arrive at ODNT.)

And, seriously, let’s take a look at the tiny little word ‘tit’ for a minute.  As some of you may already know, it’s one of the original Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television, a groundbreaking comedy bit made famous by George Carlin.  Remember?  Well, if you don’t, I’m posting it here.

BUT WAIT! DON’T WATCH THE LINK WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE ROOM! OR ANYONE ELSE’S KIDS!! OR EVEN A GOAT KID!!!

George said the same thing that I’ve been saying all this time. ‘Tits’ soooooo should not be keeping the kind of company it’s keeping here. The other six are killer words that you’ll only see on premium cable. Or maybe a Tarantino film. (Is he still relevant enough to mention in a blog post?) My point is … “tits” is harmless word. It sounds like a skin condition a dog gets or, as my friend George said, even a snack food. New from Frito-Lay!

‘Pass the cheese tits, please.”

Tit. It’s a cute little word.  A palindrome. And it’s only three letters.  How bad can it be? Right? … RIGHT???

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It’s Tuesday and that means I should have been flashing my boobs at a specialist somewhere around town today. I mean, that’s how I spent my last two Tuesdays, right? And, for the record, it’s how I was supposed to be spending today until ‘something suddenly came up.’ (Did anyone see The Brady Bunch movie besides me? Gratuitous movie poster pic below.)

 

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But never fear. Consultation number four is taking place this Friday. And I will again be accompanied by my trusty sidekick, Vanessa. (V, wear another stretchy top so we can compare ‘notes’ again. Or maybe you should be wearing a cape and tights this time … since you’re a sidekick and all.)

Anyway, if you’ve been keeping up … and you really should be as there are boobs at stake here … you know I’ve now been to three different doctors. And I’ve gotten three pretty different opinions on the subject … or subjects, as it were. I’m looking forward to seeing if this specialist locks in his vote anywhere near the previous three. How many more freakin’ opinions can there be? Aren’t there only so many options available?

Maybe this doctor will try to talk me into adding a third boob somewhere … or maybe he’ll want to just move everything to my back since I am a steadfast stomach sleeper. Or maybe he’ll incorporate an air pump into the implant so I can size up a little for special occasions like weddings, beach trips, class reunions, bar mitzvahs, parent/teacher conferences, dental appointments, jury duty, laundry days, oil changes, tax audits and stuff like that.

Just remember, I am neither a doctor nor a scientist/boob engineer of any kind so, until these innovations are made available by the real professionals, we’ll just have to wait.

So, I just wanted to let everyone know I have not forgotten about boobs here. I enjoy writing about both of them (one more than the other really) as well as all of the other half-baked, screwball eccentricities that occur in my life … and I’m betting yours, too … every day.

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Saints  40   ……………………   Texans  33

I spent the afternoon at the Superdome today watching a pretty exciting game with my friend, Holly.  (Thanks again for bringing me.  I’m glad to see I broke my bad luck streak with you.)  Of course, the fun started before we even entered the stadium as we navigated ourselves through the throngs of Black-and-Gold-bedecked fans to get to our gate.  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of the six-inch gold glittery stilettos that prevented one woman from walking with straightened knees.  And I am not exaggerating.

We were both pretty hot by the time we reached our entrance and … although I knew it would open the floodgates (almost literally) for me with bathroom trips … I was really glad I had chosen to make a drink at the tailgate stop we made on the way in.  Seriously, I think I went six times today … and that was with me trying to be good for the men in the aisle seats.  They’re going to really appreciate Holly’s one-pee-per-event husband in my stead at the next game.  (Maybe I should really be pursuing a bladder augmentation. Hey … I might be on to something.  Anyone?)

But back to outside the stadium.

When we finally got to our gate, we got threaded into different lines to get in. It only took a minute for the guys in front of us to point out that there were separate lines for men and women to enter.  I mindlessly complied with their instructions, assuming the segregation was due to the fact that women took longer because of purse checks.

Little did I know.

If you think the pat down at the airport is a big deal, you really need to go to an NFL football game this year.   Your constitutional rights are NOTwhat’s violated here.  And that’s why I needed to have a female employee.  This poor woman left no boob, armpit, stomach, back, butt, or inner thigh (yep, all the way up) untouched.  And remember, everyone was sweating from the heat.

There’s just not enough Purell in the world for me.

Of course, the upside is, unlike the airport where you have to submit to all of this crap without uttering a syllable, this experience allows you to make all the comments you want. I think these unfortunate individuals were either complained to or hit on (by “hilarious” fans) the entire day.

I sure hope they’re paid well.

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I woke up this morning to my alarm slapping me in the face and telling me to get out of bed. My daughter had choir practice and needed to be at school extra early today. Never mind the fact that the rain and my husband, hit hard with a headache again, kept waking me throughout the night. It was time to get up, throw everyone together and out the door so my day could begin.

Yesterday morning couldn’t have been smoother but this morning was a little … bumpy. (Sooo not the ‘explevatory’ word I want to use here.) Nobody was in an especially good mood, with my daughter being the real star of that dark and dramatic show. So, once they were all off and on their way, I was left to get myself, now really not in the best of moods, ready for appointment number two. Remember to wear a two-piece ensemble again, Michele. (If I ever forget and wear a damned dress, I will have to stand there completely naked for the examination. Topless is demeaning enough.)

Fortunately for me, my upbeat friend, Vanessa, was my appointment buddy for today. And, even more fortunately, she offered to drive … enabling us to get there on time today … unlike last week when I was in charge of the driving. I googled the address from the car and we got there without incident. All improvements from last week.

After finishing the elephantine amount of paperwork a second time, Vanessa and I were left to peruse the waiting room and all that it had to offer. The TV in the corner blared ‘The View’ for anyone interested in hearing about Danny DeVito’s latest exploits. The requisite glass cabinet of upscale Obaji skin products was on display on the wall near the exit. There was an additional glass case featuring all of the doctor’s Mardi Gras memorabilia. Clearly, he had been this organization’s king at some point in the past. And his membership was probably paid for by the many sets of beautiful new breasts that may have, ironically, been flashed at his very float for that parade.

Vanessa and I flipped through his ‘Breast Book’ – filled with page after page of impressive before and after shots. True, there were some women who either had no business being befores or were fairly disappointing afters … but most had made significant improvements in their areas of interest. There was even a before and after picture of a man who had reduction surgery. And, yes, we both thought he had made the right decision. All of the pictures were headless, including his, except for one. One beautiful blonde woman with a smile as wide as Texas wanted to be sure she got credit for her efforts. And did she ever look happy!

We were just finishing up the book when the nurse called my name and we went to the examination room. She handed me a gown and told me to put it on facing forward. Oh, and I want to mention that this room had some nude Venus de Milo-y statuettes here and there as well as a plastic resin cross-section of a boob.

Isn’t this exactly what I was looking for last time???

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And, as I was undressing and putting on my gown, Vanessa took her top off … just for me to see a comparison. She promised before, remember? First of all, I want to compliment my friend (who I will point out is six years younger than me!) and say she has great boobs. Everything looked to be very much in the right place to me. Did I have that six years ago? Of course, I didn’t get to look at them long because, about two minutes after she unhooked her bra and pulled down her strapless spandex dress, the doctor walked in without warning … forcing her to throw her sweater around her chest and sit there throughout the entire appointment with her bra in her hand and her dress at her waist. Our little secret.

The doctor wasted no time with me. I kind of expected a man to be different. He got right down to the examination and was fairly physical with my breasts. He immediately said that the first thing he would recommend was a Bilateral Supra Areolar Mastopexy, which is sort of like a mini-lift. It wouldn’t lift as much as the full lift suggested at my first doctor visit but it also wouldn’t leave the anchor scar (line from the nipple to the breast base with a perpendicular c-shaped scar under the breast). The only incision needed would be made around the nipple and the implant could actually be inserted through that opening. Unlike the last doctor, he said the two surgeries could be done at the same time and that, since the only incisions made would be around the nipple (rather than the full lift’s anchor incision), scarring would not be an issue. And he seemed very confident with his answers.

When I asked about implants, he said he uses both kinds but much prefers silicone over saline. (I know. Again, different, right?) He said the silicone implants feel much more real and less invasive to the patient.

When I asked about the recovery period after the surgery, he said there would be some pain but that I could exercise after two weeks. (Woohoo!) He said the breasts are taped down a few weeks during the healing process anyway. (Sounds awesome.)

When he asked me how big I wanted to go, I looked at Vanessa and we came up with the same conservative “Not too big” (me) and “Small C?” (Vanessa). He seemed surprised with our answers and said that you want to go big C or small D to really get your money’s worth and have others notice the difference. I think he mentioned something about my husband at this point. (I really wasn’t wild about this conversation.) And then he asked to take my headless picture for my file. (Please let me know if my pictures hit the internet so I know when to file for free boobs!) Perfectly nice man. Seemed to really know his stuff. Just sort of felt a little like a number. Two lifted boobs, D, silicone, check.

Of course, he did leave us to play with his sample silicone implants – the 330cc, the 420cc and the whopping 450cc – which would translate to me being a full D. With my small frame and my just under 5’4” ‘stature,’ I looked like I was about to topple over. I might just need to take it down a notch.

They say everything happens for a reason. And I mentioned earlier in this post that he was pretty physical with the examination. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, of course. But without that literal manhandling, he would never have found the lump he found today in my left breast. Yes, lump. Which was also what I got in my throat when he told me. Remember that scene in Sex and the City with Samantha? Damn.

(I love you, Vanessa, and am so glad you were there with me today.)

So now, in the middle of this whole thing, I need to go get a mammogram to determine what the hell he found today. I would have had to do it for any of these surgeries anyway, but now I’m just going with a little more urgency … and anxiety. And I have another consultation appointment tomorrow. Sigh.

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 As promised, here is the original appeal I made to my girlfriends for help with the project … and their wonderfully supportive responses.

Q:

 Hi, ladies.

If you’re receiving this email, it’s because I consider you a close friend and wanted to include you in a project I’m getting ready to take on.  Before I go any further, please look above at the ‘send to’ line.  You have all been blind copied on this message for your own benefit. Why?  Because it’s about boob jobs … and I consider you all experts on the subject but know that most, if not all, of you will not want to be outed.  I totally respect that.  Personally, I’m planning to take a different route.

 As a 42-year-old mother of two who basically exercises and eats right every day, I’m tired of looking at the deflated version of what I used to have up there.  Some of you have even had the honor of seeing them in person.  Those of who have know where I’m coming from.

So … I’m now looking into the possibility of an upgrade … but that’s not all. In the interest of keeping my promise to myself to return to writing when my school job ended, I’ve decided to go public … very public… about this whole project.  Blog-style.  (I still can’t admit I’m planning to write a blog without feeling a little dorky. When, oh when, will I get over that?)

Those of you who have seen the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ will know just what I mean.  The difference here is that, instead of writing a blog about cooking 500+ French recipes created by Julia Child inside of a year, I will be documenting the full process of what women go through when pursuing a boob job, first-hand. Every detail of the project will be included in the journal …. from arriving at the decision and telling my family … to interviewing doctors and maybe buying some new bras. And everything in between.

And I want you all to be a part of the whole process.  I will fully respect your anonymity and give you another name (of your choosing) and would love to be able to tap your brains and use your insight for me personally as well as in the blog with your permission.

 What do you say?  Care to be my personal consultants?  Any thoughts to share with me already? I can’t wait to hear from you all.  Love you guys.

 Michele

A:

I’d love to do it, and I’m fine with using my real name.  I’ve been pretty open about my ‘enhancements.’ I hope you enjoy yours as much as I’ve enjoyed mine. – Anne

What a cool idea! I’ve always suspected you had a writer’s soul. You are probably like me, in that you analyze, soul-search, etc. before you make this kind of decision, but you ultimately decided to do it for yourself — not because of external pressure. I think there are a lot of women who have grappled with the same thing, and would appreciate some candid blogging on the subject. You can feel free to pick my brain! – Cindy

I love mine … thrilled that I did it! Where are you in your decision-making process? You can see and/or feel mine (after a few glasses of wine … haha!) if you’d like! I did that with a friend to see what I thought before I saw her doctor. – Elizabeth

Ha!!! I absolutely LOVE this. I would love to be a part of your boob journey. My first piece of advice is to think long and hard about what size you would like. Everyone, including the docs, will tell you that you will wish you had gone bigger. I totally disagree!!! I actually wish I would have gone smaller. Big boobs can give the illusion of extra weight. Put a lot of thought into your size. Good luck.  I’m here for you whenever you need me. – Hannah

I’m definitely on board and you can use my real name.  I’m very comfortable with my decision, so ask away.  I’d happy to answer anything that you or anything else wants to know. – Kelly

(A friend) suggested I do a boob blog last year.  Unfortunately, I am not a skilled writer.  Glad to see that you are doing it.  And, yes, I am your best source for information. – Mary

Awesome!!! I am 3 years post boob job and have zero regrets. I’ll be happy to have you pick my brain. I clearly remember deciding between 3 doctors and picked the one who wanted to be smallest. The buying new bras was funny because in the beginning I bought bras that minimized my look and now I buy push-up bras with padding. Haha! Look forward to talking to you. – Megan

You can officially count me in to be a part of The Expert Panel, The Dream Team, Babes with Boobs, Not So Itsy Bitsy, Lifted with Love, The Boobilicious Society, etc.  You can use my real name. I don’t mind talking about my journey and how it relates to your boob case. And, if anyone learns a little more about breast cancer awareness from my comments, then that’s a bonus. – Melissa

Nothing to hide!!! Real name is fine by me.  The “girls” have been up front all these years, so why not me? You will love the new additions!  Any questions I might be able to answer, just ask. – Paige

I have lived through the roller coaster of emotions and know the feeling of excitement when the ride finally stops and you take a deep breath, give sneaky grin and say– God, I am glad I did it!! I am here to support you and the girls until they are able to support themselves. And, oh, what a wonderful day to know they can be out there on their own, not drooping over a wire that I never completely understood. – Red

Of course! And I got a mini-lift at the same time – look into it. I don’t care who knows.  My name is fine. Good luck, Michele.  I love your idea.  You will be thrilled and will probably wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. - Vineen

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{September 15, 2011}   I am the boob girl

I am the boob girl.

I almost went with boob lady, but I like the ability to sing my version to the tune of ‘I am the Walrus.’ (For my pop culture-challenged friends, that’s an old Beatles song.)

Last night, I had a meeting at my kids’ school for the women’s half of the parents association. We’re a pretty tight-knit community. Everyone knows you … or at least everyone knows someone who knows you. And the fact that I was co-president of this organization last year with my dear friend, Ashley, pretty much prevents me from flying under the radar there at all anyway.

(Note: you’ll be meeting Ashley better next week as I’ve added her as an Appointment Buddy.  And she’s up for the Wednesday appointment.)

Anyway, this was the first big meeting of the school year. And, more importantly, the first one I wasn’t running (I know, Ashley … CO-running!)  in a while … which left me available to visit with other moms before and after the meeting a bit.  The topic of conversation initiated with me over and over again? Boobs, of course.

Specifically MY boobs.

I was a little surprised it (they) kept coming up as this was the circle in which I had chosen to lay low the most … assuming some of these women would think I was nuts. I’m friends with so many of the parents there … and the teachers … and the principal, for Pete’s sake! I wasn’t sure I wanted to unleash everything so close to home.

Worlds colliding, you know?

The funny thing is, that although I hadn’t directly contacted most of these ladies about the blog, many of them had already seen it. And read it.  And liked it.

I really do need to get over myself, don’t I?

Anyway, I spent the night jumping from circle to circle, talking about my boobs with the kind of enthusiasm that allows you to know the subject of my conversation from across the noisy room. (Hand gestures and repeat grabbings of your own boobs will always give you away, FYI.)

I even got the opportunity to see and feel another mom’s implants in the bathroom before the night was over.  Seriously, it was her idea and she pulled me into the ladies room.  I guess it seems only fair considering how many friends I’ve been flashing lately.  And, by the way, Kelly … they were spectacular! (Yes, of course, I have her permission to use her name.  Never mind the fact that I got it over drinks later that night!)

After the meeting ended … and I talked to no less than a dozen people about my boobs … we all went out for drinks and the discussions only deepened.  Again, I found myself surprised by the women (and men, apparently) who had been tuning in and were regularly keeping abreast (how many times can I use that one really?) with ODNT.   There were two women there I had never met before who have already taken the big plunge.  And these ladies were more than happy to have the opportunity to discuss ‘all things boob’ with everyone and learn even more with me during my research process.

The bottom line is I think I’ve created a bit of a new identity for myself … as ODNT or perhaps just Old Dog, which I can live with.  But, you know, it’s kind of nice having my own identity after all these years as my kids’ mom, the school’s president, my mother’s daughter or any of the other familial connections linked to me. (Wink.)  And, hey, my boobs actually scored me lunch today at one of my favorite local burrito joints.  (Thanks, Alyson, Robby and Izzo’s for a great meal!)

And these are still my ‘befores!’  Think … of the possibilities!

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So, we went into the examination room, still tasteful and completely boob-less in décor, and waited for the doctor.  My stupid phone rang again but, this time, I ignored it.  Not going to fall for that one again, iPhone.  I wanted to be mentally prepared for her when she came in.  So, I started trying to organize my thoughts.  Virginia wanted to throw her gum away and we joked about what she might see in the ‘Biohazard’ bin in the room with us.   She screwed up her courage, lifted the lid and tossed in her wad of gum.  Of course, we saw no used saline bags or spare nipples (sorry to my friend who can’t stand the sound of that word).  Too bad though.  That would’ve been a cool addition to this story, wouldn’t it?

It wasn’t long until the doctor came in.  She was very down to earth and Virginia and I both felt immediately at ease with her.  Score for the introductory appointment! The first thing she did was have the two of us switch places so I’d be across from her for the consultation.  I can’t imagine how she was able to determine so quickly that the patient was me and not my ‘gifted’ friend, Virginia. (Um, yes, I’m totally being sarcastic.  You don’t really know me that well yet so I thought I’d clue you in.)

The doctor interviewed me first.  I think that’s standard protocol, or at least it should be so they can get to know you and therefore know what best suits you boob-wise.  She listened to me explain that I was a 42-year-old mom of two who nursed nearly four years between the two of my children.  She laughed and said that, with most moms nursing an average of six months per child, it’s like I’ve nursed eight kids.  Damn.  Kate Gosselin I am not.  But maybe my boobs are.

And just as we were laughing and feeling very comfortable about the whole thing, she called for my top to come off. (My brain was racing. She had complimented it when she first came in.  Maybe she just wanted to try it on.  Geez … wake up, Michele!)  The moment of truth was here.  I think I actually looked at Virginia at that point and apologized. She offered to leave but I said no.  I’m supposed to be public here.  I mean … not webcam-for-the-blog public … but public in the sense that I wanted other opinions.  I wanted another set of ears hearing everything from the doctor.  Helping me remember everything. And digest everything, for that matter.

With me now topless, we started to get into the nitty gritty of it all.  She measured me to determine where my nipples fell (Again, sorry to my nipple-fearing friend.  You might just need to skip this chapter) and get the whole lay of the land, if you will.  The long and the short of it is that my breasts weren’t the worst things she’s ever seen.  And my nipples weren’t ridiculously low or anything like that. We then proceeded to discuss a worst case scenario or two that made me feel a little better about myself.

So, after seeing my ‘presentation’ and getting to know me a bit, she said she would recommend a lift for me personally.  She explained that, by grabbing everything that had spread out (and down) over the years and clustering it up back together in a higher place on my chest, I was likely to get exactly what I was looking for in boob-wear. My nipples would also be moved up and slightly reduced in size. (FYI to nursing mothers, this procedure does not impede your ability to breastfeed in the future. No nerves or anything else are cut here.) My breasts, now higher and more compact, would in fact appear larger.  She added that, if at a later date I decided I wanted a more substantial size, I could always go back there and slip a pair of implants into the higher, fully healed breasts.

I cannot stress enough how much she encouraged having these two procedures (the lift and the implants) done separately for the sake of healing and minimal scarring. She explained that the incisions made from the lift (described as anchor scars) would be nominal if you don’t overfill the breast at the same time with an implant.  They would only serve to push out against the healing incisions and thus create a more visible scar. And I saw several before and after pictures testifying to this fact.  She further added, as it’s the first place many of us go in our minds, that her costs for doing the two surgeries individually or together are nearly the exact same (as she gives discounts to repeat clients) … but she said many of her patients are so satisfied with the lift that they don’t always return for the additional implant surgery.

We talked a little about implants as well and she said she preferred saline to silicone. I mentioned that I’ve heard silicone seems to be coming back into vogue now but, after so many years of being removed from the market due links to cancer and other health issues, I had no interest in being a guinea pig for the new and improved version. Especially since they’ve only been made available again as an option for the last few years. She agreed.

She also said the exact same thing that I have heard from woman after woman with whom I’ve spoken about this project.

“Don’t go too big!

She said that, particularly on a smaller person like myself, oversized breasts will actually create a look of added weight overall on a woman’s frame.  Yeah, not really what I’m looking for here at all. I already enjoy cheese enough that I don’t need my boobs helping to make me look fat.

So, armed with more knowledge than I knew what to do with … and scared shitless that I needed to go through this process three or four more times …. I left the office with Virginia.  But not before telling the doctor about my online journal.  She loved the idea and its name and encouraged me to come back to visit again if I had more questions or needed explanations about anything.  I’m a big fan of this doctor so far. Of course, I’m not sure what I’m going to decide in the end … but she was a very good place to begin.

My next consultation appointment is Tuesday, September 20.  And I feel like I need to start getting organized already!

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et cetera
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