Sunday, 24 October 2010

Size matters.

I’ve mentioned before that, pre-Bullshit, I didn’t spend too much time worrying about my tits. ‘I’ve always been happy with my lot boobs-wise,’ I wrote in my first ever post, ‘and reckon that the few people who’ve seen them have been bloody lucky to do so.’ Recently, though, I’ve been having other thoughts: how-about-going-a-little-bigger thoughts; thoughts prompted by the necessity for reconstructive surgery sometime early next year. Because, I figured, swapping two implants can’t be that much different from swapping one, can it? And while, yes, I remain relatively happy with my lot boobs-wise, I wonder… could I be happier?

Well, obviously. Of course I could be happier. I’d be happier if my norks had remained cancer-free and hadn’t been threatened into oblivion by a BRCA gene. I’d be happier if they were natural. I’d be happier with them if wearing bras wasn’t so uncomfortable, if I didn’t have a dint in my left boob where an inflation port used to be, and if I still had feeling in my nipples. But I’m not talking about that kind of happy. I’m talking about size-happy.

Since my first post, my boobs have been seen by far more folk than the ‘few people’ who’d looked at them prior to my diagnosis. Which isn’t just ironic, but also bloody annoying. Because these puppies have, over the last two and a half years, been flashed an awful lot – but never at a time when they’ve looked their best. On top of that, though, their increasing exposure has – naturally, I suppose – caused whoever’s looking at them to comment on their size. ‘You’re lucky to have small boobs,’ people have said, for various reasons from not being as wonky after a mastectomy, to needing less lamb’s wool to stuff inside a prosthesis, to requiring fewer appointments to inflate my tissue expander. And all of those points might indeed be right… but each time it’s been said, my immediate reaction has always been: ‘Erm, hold on a second – my boobs are small?’

See, I’d never considered myself to be small-busted. I’m definitely not big-busted, mind, but small? I dunno; I guess I’ve always just preferred ‘modest’. Would you say a 36B is small? It’s relative, ain’t it? To some of you, a B-cup will be positively tiny; to others it might seem pretty ample. I recently read that the average British bra size has jumped from 34B to 36D, and discovered – in the same article – that small-back, large-cup figures are on the increase, while false breasts are waning in popularity. It’s enough to give a bogus B-cupped bird a complex. Not least when one of those cups is currently running on empty.

The ‘you’re lucky to be small’ conversation came up again last week, in the second of my inflation appointments with Stunning Surgeon.
‘We’ll do another 60mls today,’ she said, ‘so you might start to see a little bit of shape creeping in over the next few days.’
‘Excellent,’ I said. ‘I really miss my cleavage.’ (And how! It’s only after my recent surgery that I’ve been surprised to discover that my wardrobe is made up almost entirely of low-cut dresses and tops. Which, as much as it’s a right royal pain in the arse at the moment, doesn’t half give me a sly grin every time I slide open the wardrobe door.) ‘So how many more appointments will I need until it’s fully inflated?’ I asked.
‘Another three, I’d imagine,’ she said. ‘Five altogether, 60mls each time.’
‘Hm,’ I thought. ‘I have 300ml tits. Is that a lot?’ (I’ve since discovered that the volume of each of my boobs is more than a half pint but less than a can of Coke, and equal to such household staples as a tin of Mr Sheen, a tub of crème fraiche and a bottle of Gaviscon. Make of that what you will.)

Long before the 300ml discovery, though, I’d been spending a lot of time trying to be more realistic about the size of my bust and wondering whether increasing its size – only to a C-cup, mind you – would restore the kind of sweater-puff satisfaction that I had pre-diagnosis.
‘So I’ve been thinking,’ I said to Smiley Surgeon a couple of weeks ago. ‘And I wonder whether, when I come in to have my reconstruction, I could go a little bigger.’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll make sure they match in size,’ he said, misunderstanding my request.
‘No, no, I mean both of them. You know, just a little bit bigger. So I’m, y’know, more in proportion.’
‘Oh, I see,’ he said.
‘So is that doable?’
‘Well... yes, absolutely.’
‘And do you think they’d look okay?’ I asked, in a question which might have been better directed at P.
‘I’m confident we’ll get an excellent result,’ he confirmed, quoting the reassuring mantra I’ve often heard.
‘Do many women decide to do this after a double mastectomy?’
‘Mm, some do.’
‘But most women go the other way,’ added Always-Right Cancer Nurse. ‘More women decide they’d like to go a little smaller instead.’
‘Ah,’ I said. ‘Not me.’
‘Anyway, we can discuss this nearer the time,’ concluded Smiley Surgeon who, demonstrably, knows me well enough by now to only trust decisions that I’ve spent a good chunk of time mulling over. And rightly so. Because these aren’t the kind of considerations a girl should take lightly.

Or are they? The thing is, half of me just thinks ‘fuck it; you’ve been through so much shit; why not treat yourself to a reward out of it?’ And, until the last couple of weeks, there wasn’t even another half to consider. But since being out of hospital, and all the shite that comes with it, I’ve been wondering whether such a modest potential increase would even really be worth the end result. The other worry, of course, is that my C-cup would become some kind of ‘I am my boobs’ statement, and while that has been the unavoidable case for the past couple of years – and, to some extent, remains the case even now – it’d be a shame to find myself, say, five years past diagnosis with an even more prominent reminder of what’s happened staring back at me in the mirror.

Perhaps, then, it’s my perspective – more than my pillows – that requires augmentation. Because, I suppose, with the current 300ml/120ml imbalance, I’m bound to have a bit of a skewed outlook. And maybe – not least given the clandestine cleavage-confidence behind my low-cut wardrobe – once that balance has been restored, I’ll be less inclined to present an attitude of ‘I’ve beaten breast cancer and all I got was this lousy B-cup’ and instead find myself grateful for small modest mercies.


Burly Chassis said...

Boob size? Don't they say anything more than a handful is a waste?

Margery said...

My reward after all that evil treatment is a pair of 36Bs. I love being this size - I always fancied a breast reduction and never had the nerve. I was a pair of 36Gs; then a zero and one 36G; then one 36B and one 36G; then this pair of 36Bs. And just for fun I have had a new nipple created on my reconstructed boob, and had it tattooed to match my real one in colour. This was my chance to get the chest I wanted; there has to be an up-side to cancer, doesn't there?

Paula said...

Go for it go girl. You know what life is like ... too short to worry about what people think is right or wrong. Just make sure you get what YOU want!! Big hugs ~ P xox

lilianavonk said...

O Chassis of Burlishness, I believe the expression is, "More than a mouthful's too much." ;)

But speaking as someone who contemplated getting a breast reduction (but then decided I'd rather diminish them naturally by losing weight--though I still wonder from time to time what it would be like to have actual perky smallish boobs, mind you), I've got to say that from my 34DD perspective, I can't see how a C-cup is any sort of reward whatsoever...unless a lifetime of zero eye contact and lower back pain is your idea of fun.

That being said, I did have a nose job, and I think absolutely anything that makes you feel better about yourself--which definitely includes feeling more attractive--is a great idea. If having bigger tits is going to make you feel better, then more power to ya, honey. Inflate them puppies, already!

(I'm curious to know what P's outlook on this whole issue is, though; I've never had a boyfriend who didn't adore me having ginormous bazongas, but at the same time, I suspect P's attitude may mirror what I recently said about the myriad nude scenes a certain actor I'm rather fond of has [thankfully] done: "At this point I'm much more about the owner than the equipment.")

Anonymous said...

I agree, use the opportunity to get what you really want.

I'd have gone for a breast reduction given the a chance - no option with my lumpectomy.

When I knew my hair was going to fall out, I planned fun things such as felted hats with flowers made by friends and a blue cosplay wig. Here is my shortlist and this is me with my amazing blue wig from onlywig on eBay.

It seemed right to me to have fun with and make the most of a bad situation.

Get the boobies you really want. There's no rule that says you have to replicate what you had before.


swisslet said...

I'd stick to what you know. Bigger isn't always better.(although, if you did upgrade, would you need a new wardrobe? Is that a consideration? New shoes, certainly....)

Anna Rachnel said...

For what it's worth I went from an A cup to a C cup after my reconstruction. In the beginning I was quite happy with the bigger size, as were most other people. But 7-years on, I'm finding that I miss my nice little A's. The C's just aren't me, and in fact are now just a big reminder. But everybody's different when it comes to this, and in the end you need to do whatever makes you most comfortable. It just sucks that we even have to make this decision in the first place. All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that if, god forbid, I ever needed breast reconstruction I'd downsize but then as a 32F I do have more than a handful :)

Jo said...

Yeah I finally got through the 'space age technology' to read your latest blog! I can only imagine the dilema. Based on my experience (feel free to dismiss this as I've not been negatively ravaged by the bullshit) I have grown from a B to a E in my 20's (ok maybe I neglected a few fittings along the way in favour of pretty bras in the bargain bin and suffered the bouncey boob/double boob) but I would recommend you keep to the size you know and liked. I really liked my B's - shape and cleavage were great. But as a single girl I guess I have plenty of compliments on my rack (mostly blokes and smaller cupped girls) as I have got older (and wiser with my nicely fitted over the shoulder boulder holders). Although my girlfriends tell me to hide them at dinner, when I think I am wearing a non-slut top.

What does P prefer...

Another few things to consider - writing on teeshirts stretch (and look way nicer on a B)
B cups now no longer the national size will be on sales racks
There are genuinely more B cup bra's in cute styles in most stores and you can walk out of a store satisfied rather than frustrated.
Running/skipping/jumping are all more enjoyable with smaller boobs (I think that applies to your half pints)

Good Luck with this tricky decision - you know it'll be right when you smile as you look south x