My defective boobs

Those of you who have read much of my blog now know that I had a double mastectomy in 2006. Having cancer at 38 put me in a place of feeling like my body was rebelling, misbehaving, acting out, whatever we want to call it. I initially thought I would be having immediate reconstruction but for a variety of reasons that did not happen. Of course I also thought I was going to come out of this experience a size 8 and that hasn’t happened either. (Gaining weight during chemo, are you freaking kidding me?) I did concurrent chemotherapy with weekly Taxol and radiation. I wound up with a pretty bad second degree burn on the left side of my chest. It wasn’t until February of 2007 that I went shopping for prostheses.

I don’t know about anyone else but there were times during the process that I felt like I knew what I was doing and what was going on and then there were others that I felt like I was walking through a fog. Anyway, I was thrilled to find out that my insurance covered prostheses as “Durable Medical Equipment”. Now, I have spent my career working with people with special needs of all ages and to me durable medical equipment has meant wheelchairs, hospital beds and other assorted items. I went to my local durable medical equipment provider and got all that I needed, bras, prosthesis, the works. The funny thing is I had to walk through the wheelchairs and equipment to go the the fitting area for the boobs, DME indeed.

Physical therapy has been an ongoing process for me. I started initially and then because of the burn I had to stop for a while because it just hurt too much and my therapist didn’t want to risk doing any additional damage. Within a week of getting the bras and my falsies I am talking to my physical therapist asking if I need to call my doctor because of back pain, headaches, etc. I am informed that this is just the adjustment to the new tatas.

Time moves on and the seasons change. I don’t know about anyone else but since I’ve had my surgery I am 10 degrees warmer than everyone else in the world. We’re talking short sleeve shirts while my colleagues are in long sleeves and have heaters under their desks. My scars are pretty high so I have to be careful about what I wear as well. There are some cute tank tops available through ACS that you can put your falsies in so I bought one and tried it.

Failure to plan on my part. I should have tried this on a day that I was going to be at home but I didn’t think. The falsies are too heavy and keep pulling the tank top away from my chest wall and down, Not a pretty picture let me tell you. I give that idea up and after a few days I start thinking that maybe there is another option I’ve not thought of. I call my local durable medical equipment dealer and am informed that they are “not really doing the prosthetics part of the business anymore” but they are sure “Someone here can help me”…..or maybe not.

Turns out we have a new falsie shop in town that accepts my insurance so I make an appointment and I’m off. Well these ladies are wonderful and help me figure out the problem with the tank top (it’s made for a pull and nothing like the silicone prosthetics I have). Then, they take a look at my prosthesis and start asking questions.

  • “How long have you had these hon?”
  • “Where did you buy them?”
  • “You’ve only had these for a year?

Well it turns out that they are defective. That’s right, the fake boobs that I bought to replace the real defective boobs are defective. You have got to be freaking kidding me! Well the ladies at the shop were wonderful, explained everything and informed me that they would be able to replace them under warranty, which they did quickly and kindly.

I’m not sure what they next step is if these are defective as well. It’s almost as if the universe is trying to send me a tata message. If you know what it is please let me know, otherwise I’ll just have to try to figure it out as we go along.

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