Doctor Magic, that’s what!
I just stopped by to see what condition my reconstruction was in. Turns out my reconstruction needed reconstructing.
As most of you know, I am a breast-cancer survivor of many years. I was one of the lucky ones who caught it early, had the mastectomy and reconstruction, which gave me a fine set of perky boobies. In clothes, even a bikini, nobody would ever know. Naked – well that’s a different story. I had sort of a Barbie-Doll boob, smooth with no nipple. The plastic surgeon tried to save my nipple way back when, but alas, there was not enough living breast tissue left to nourish it. It dried up, fell off and went down the shower drain. Sigh…it was worth a try.
So, I went along happily for a good ten years. The story was, breast implants should be replaced every ten years. It was thought that after ten years the plastic would start breaking down and seep into one’s system. It had been almost twenty since my last redo. I later learned from Dr. Imahara that this is no longer strictly observed. An MRI will determine if there is leakage. The truth is, I wanted the surgery for the cosmetic result leakage or not, and decided to forego the MRI.
“Insurance will cover it, you say?” I expressed my fear that insurance would only cover the cancer-affected side. “Oh, no. They abandoned that rule years ago. They cover both sides now.” He grinned.
Let the operation commence!
I was a proportional size at the time I was first reconstructed, in 1983. As gravity took its course, the left side, which has natural breast tissue, started to droop while the reconstructed right side would never droop as it was made of the pectoral muscle. The implant is placed behind the muscle and pushed out into a “pocket” under which the implant is placed. It is truly a remarkable process!
At the time of my second redo, I was dating a booby-obsessed guy who convinced me to get Double Ds. My friend, Emily, said she found a plastic surgeon in Utah who did all the showgirls and beauty queens in Vegas. Plus he was cheaper than the Bay Area docs so, off we went to the Harline Clinic in Ogden, Utah. That is a whole nother story. We were picked up from the airport in a hearse, then driven to the surgery “mansion” which housed the patients and their caregivers for up to five days. The entry set the stage with its flocked red velvet wallpaper and the shiny black Baby-Grand piano. Oh, Boy! We lived to tell about it. Looking back, well, I’m happy to be looking back!
When I explained to Dr. Imahara, who is a respected member of the PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) network in Santa Cruz, California and operates at the exquisite Sutter Surgery Center, that I needed a new perky set for my Ring-Girl Playboy Bunny outfit, he stopped short. He wrinkled his brow. “I thought I’d heard everything…your whaaat? Playboy Bunny suit? Okaaayyy, let the surgery begin!”
From the moment I met Dr. Scott D. Imajara, I knew I was in excellent hands. He explained everything in layman’s terms, had a professional yet approachable manner and was up on all the latest technologies.
On the day of surgery my devoted and wonderful new beau, Marcos, drove me to the hospital at the designated hour – 5:30 A.M. He did not flinch at the hour! It was only when I was filling out the required check-in paperwork that the enormity of his role hit me! The nurse questioned me as she input the answers onto her computer (no more actual paperwork). She typed as I spoke.
“Not at the moment.”
She turned her face toward the handsome man standing beside me. And her voice lowered an octave as she looked at me over her glasses. “Significant other?”
“Oh, ah, ah, yes! Significant other…ummm…Mark Cooper! I sputtered.
And so it was written. And what a significant other he is! He did not leave my side. He cooked for me. He administered my medication. He kept my water bottle full. He brought me flowers. He rubbed my feet. Ahhhhhh…the best.
The morning after surgery – yes, I spent the night which was like staying at a five-star hotel. The food was great! Okay, no wine, but there were painkillers. After all, it was surgery…there were cuts involved. Anyway, the morning after surgery, Dr. Imahara came to check on me and send me on my way. He was delightful, concerned, positive, and professional. I was free to go!
My post-ops have been good. No problems whatsoever. I will say, that is partially because I follow doctor’s orders precisely. He says, “no lifting.” I do not lift. He says “do not raise your arms above your head.” I do not raise my arms above my head, He says “Tuck your arms into your sides and use your forearms like a T-Rex.” I AM the T-Rex!
It has now been five weeks since the operation. I feel good. I look good. And I am ready to rumble. But. Doc says NO BOXING for another month. I have been cleared for light jogging with double sports bras…so I will start training for the July 4th Firecracker 10K and the Wharf-to-Wharf coming up on the fourth Sunday of July.
Meanwhile, if you know anyone looking for the BEST plastic surgeon ever, contact me! Dr. Scott Imahara is your guy. I should know. I’ve been to enough of them. Plus, at the post-op visit today, he glanced at the chair holding my stuff, smiled, and said, “I am not surprised you have a Wonder Woman bag!”
That special bag was a birthday gift from my special friend, Linda, of Lake Havasu City. I love the directives!
I will do my best. Rock on!