15. It's D day, or as my husband affectionately calls it "Double D Day"

15. It's D day, or as my husband affectionately calls it "Double D Day"

It's 4:30 am, and the alarm has gone off just like it usually does to wake me up to go teach class.

Only today is different.

Today the surgeons cut off my breasts. I haven't spent much time contemplating how losing them will effect me. They are more than adequate, but I have never defined my femininity by them. I was a late bloomer, not really needing a bra until I reached high school, but getting one in junior high because all of my classmates had one. With the  exception of working in a NYC dive bar where I mastered the art of pushups and "cutlets" to create an appealing array of cleavage, the practical side of me is often thankful they do not get in the way of teaching fitness classes. Plus, if need be, the good architecture of modern undergarments can create whatever effect maybe desired for whatever role I tend to go out for. But frankly, there isn't alot of call for cops and firefighters to be "busty".

Drying off post shower, I take a long look in the mirror. Standing naked, knowing that today my body will be forever altered... it's sad, but fuck it, I choose life. 

I view my breasts as housing an invader that can do far more damage if left alone.

Collin does a quick check of everything we've packed, then double checking because you have to do something.  For the last few days, we've been treating this like a camping trip, making sure everything is where we need it before our big adventure. Maybe its denial, or maybe it's because it's something we have control over, and there's not a lot of that going around right now. 

As a parting goodbye, I don my favorite "sassy" bra as a way of sending the "ladies" off in style, ruefully watch my husband drink coffee which I am not allowed to have, and go down and get in the car. 

My favorite thing about teaching in the early am is that there is virtually no traffic, the highway is laid out before you - the endless possibility of taking you wherever you want to go. This a.m. the 405 was actually behaving like a normal freeway, some cars but no complete jams.  There's usually not a whole lot of chattering when we travel this early in the morning, and today is no different. We're both dead dog tired, and what else can we say?  

We get to Ronald Reagan, and Collin drops me off at Valet and goes to park next door.  I love the semi ostentaciousness of having a "valet" at the hospital, it's sooo Hollywood.

There is a bit of comfort in the routine of checking in.  I am much less anxious because I did it six weeks ago for the other surgery. Granted, a different operation this time, but the process is the same.  The waiting room in registration is always interesting. Last time there was a large man who was snoring loud enough to draw glares from everyone else. This time there was a woman with her lap dog, and a super chatty man with a tracheotomy and a voice box who introduced himself to one and all as "Steven."   

Seconds after Collin walks into the  registration/waiting room, my name is called and we are moved to intake, then promptly upstairs to pre-op. Hospital bands are placed on my wrist and ankle, and I am asked countless times my name and birthdate to confirm I am who I say I am.  (Like someone's gonna sneak in a have their boobs lopped off instead of mine?)

   It's like getting your class schedule the first day of High School...

   It's like getting your class schedule the first day of High School...

 

Some of the staff I recognize from last time, and immediately I am much calmer.  The doctors come one after the other talking about what questions I should direct to them post op. Seeing their faces I am reminded I am in brilliant hands.  

Although I secretly hope like hell none of them had late night or just broke up with their spouse.

Collin says I love you, and jokes about not heading toward the light while I'm under, and goes. 

In the operating room now. The anesthesiologist, who looks like she walked off set of Grey's Anatomy, comes in and injects a muscle relaxant into my IV to start the whole process...

I close my eyes and think "Please let me live through this..." and everything goes black.

 

16. I'm alive, boobless, and in recovery

16. I'm alive, boobless, and in recovery

14. Meeting your new "tribe"

14. Meeting your new "tribe"