Woman C: It's hard to explain because my body changed multiple times over the three years of surgeries.
I can admit that I felt horribly ugly when my hair started to grow in.
Woman A: I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26 in October of 2015.
My family history of reoccurrence is so rich that the decision was easy.
I miss my nipples daily, but the idea of fake nipples made from my skin honestly was very weird for me.
I have a problem with things that aren't real or natural. I never wore a wig when I lost my hair [from chemo].
I got a lot of attention the past year, and the thought of having more attention because not having breasts was stressful. Woman C: I definitely wanted reconstruction since only one side was removed. However, I had so little extra skin after the mastectomy (my surgeon cut into my chest wall and couldn't get a clear margin) that I had a ridiculously painful tissue expander in my chest for a full year.
My (first) reconstruction happened almost exactly one year after the mastectomy.
To this day, I'm not sure how he still finds me beautiful!I think that's because I honestly expected the worst. I can't imagine dating again and having to tell someone new about the silicone, scars, and the jarring fact I have no nipples. I also appreciate my body so much more for what it does for me.I thought I was going to feel freakish and gross not having nipples, knowing mastectomy scars are across the whole breast. I'm less focused on how skinny I am, or how much I fit into a cookie-cutter idea of beauty, and much more on being grateful for everything I do have.I've considered getting a tattoo over the years, but the implant will need to be updated in five years, so it would just look like a mess after a fourth surgery! It really never leaves my head that a large part of my sex appeal as a woman was ruined. I also went a cup size down (from a 36DD to a 36D) and everyone thinks I lost weight ...Woman A: It was actual surprisingly easy to become accustomed to my new breasts. Luckily, my relationship helps me feel as secure as I do. But if I were ever single again, those would be out of the question because nothing would ruin the mood like explaining my cancer plight and reconstructive surgery. I've always been pretty confident, but I didn't realize how much my chest was holding me back from doing things, like running.My plastic surgeon wasn't a huge fan of nipple reconstruction and I agreed.