The Boob Report – Back to Reality, Oops There Goes Gravity

I made it through the double mastectomy in May knowing I would soon be surrounded by beauty in some of my favorite places while eating delicious food.

Mystery photo #4

My husband Danny and I flew to Barcelona and met our daughter who studied abroad. It had been over five weeks since the surgery and I still had some lifting restrictions. Being without cancer for the first time in years, my energy level soared! We hit the ground running and didn’t stop until the cows came home at O’ dark thirty.

Oh, glorious food! I tried to watch my portions since everything was prepared with simple ingredients and lots of butter. Chocolate croissants melted in my mouth, every morning. Restaurants used seasonal fruits and vegetables. I entered food nirvana.

After driving through France, we took the train to England. What a trip.

The timing rocked. The European adventure took my mind off my health and upcoming breast reconstruction surgery on Wednesday, August 28th. Yep. I have one more step in the breast cancer journey. I am lucky. As the poster child for early detection, I don’t have to go through chemo or radiation. My treatment consists of taking a Tamoxifen pill every morning. How hard is that?

Back to reality. When I arrived home, I weighed myself, but wasn’t too surprised. I didn’t gain any weight. We had walked for hours every day while on vacation and burned off the calories from the rich food.

Two days later, I had an appointment with my reconstructive surgeon. We discussed the swapping of the hard expanders behind my pectoral muscles to the silicone implants. This is not the silicone of the 1990’s. It is the same material used in hip and knee replacements.

I was looking forward to this routine procedure, so I can sleep on my side again without pain. It seems nothing in my life is routine.

He examined my breasts and scowled.

NOTE TO SELF: It is never good when a surgeon scowls while examining your body.

He didn’t like how my boobs are spaced apart. “I’ll have to reopen your pockets and move them closer together to give you a little cleavage. (Cleavage?) I will also do a liposuction procedure on your buttocks or flank. (Liposuction? Are you kidding me? What the heck is my flank?) I’ll inject some fat around your breasts to make them look more natural.”



Do I really need cleavage? The only time I ever had cleavage was in a Victoria’s Secret push up bra.


It’s my only chance to have nice bionic boobs. Let the man do his job. I’ll never need a bra again. They will defy gravity.

I knew he would be reopening up my horizontal scar across each breast, but reopening the pocket inside was something else again. And liposuction??? I thought about my self-control when eating in France.

After he left, I asked the nurse. “Is opening me up again to move the pocket a normal part of the procedure?”

“He does it on some patients.”

Then I asked her about tennis. I had been under the impression that at 8 weeks after the double mastectomy, I could participate in any physical activity.

“I wouldn’t play. I was a tennis player too and know how much upper body motion is used. What if you fall?”

I was so bummed, but I knew deep down she was right. I can feel the plastic backing of the nylon-like cups in my chest all the time. They are sewn behind my chest wall and don’t move with my body. The  I can’t afford to tear the sutures. Sometimes the interior incisions still  hurt when I stretch when yawning let alone stretching to hit a ball.

I had a physical therapy appointment the next day. I asked the therapist if moving the pockets closer together under my skin was normal and she said, “No. It’s usually just a simple exchange from the expanders to the silicone.”

Crap! So in a week I will be opened up once again. It is supposed to be a lot less painful since the surgeon will remove the expanders and not my own tissue, but here’s the kicker. The liposuction is going to hurt like hell. I have to wear some sort of girdle for a while to help with healing and blood flow. **groan**

“What if I gain 5 or 10 pounds before the procedure?”

The therapist laughed.

“It won’t help you.”


“Because you wouldn’t be making new fat, you would be enlarging your existing fat cells.”

“Wait. I don’t get it.”

“You are born with all the fat cells you are ever going to have. They expand and contract when you gain or lose weight.”

There wouldn’t be any fat generated in a place where there isn’t fat already.

“But my flat pancake-shaped buns don’t have much fat either, so wouldn’t it help if I gained some weight before the surgery and liposuction?”


I still don’t understand except that most of the weight gain would be temporary. The fat cells would shrink again when I start playing tennis. My breasts would look horrid like those photos on Google of the 90-year-old grandma with fake-out boobs in a bikini on the beach. Yuck.

Before I left, the physical therapist admitted it wouldn’t hurt to gain five pounds. And to think I watched what I ate in France. Dang!


Homemade is just not the same…

I baked like a madwoman. Chocolate cream cheese bundt cake and oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies are within reach. I haven’t walked for more than an hour or heard a cow moo since I’ve been back. There is a week left before surgery and I won’t have any problem gaining the weight. Now I know where the expression, “It’s a piece of cake,” comes from. Packing on the pounds is a piece of cake. Too bad it’s not a chocolate croissant…

Related Articles:

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116 thoughts on “The Boob Report – Back to Reality, Oops There Goes Gravity

  1. You could have the best excuse ever for indulging, Susie! And if I had a chance to gain some cleavage, I’d definitely go for it :) Glad you had a chance to get away and enjoy yourself before Stage 2.


  2. This time next year, this will be behind you, and you will look back on the whole thing from a comfortable distance. Your positivity amazes me. Do you ever get down about anything? (Rhetorical question, don’t answer.) I look forward to hearing about what happens next. You make it all seem like a walk in the park. Love to you and your family.


    • Ohhhh! Thank you. I do have my moments. Mostly I miss my social life which revolved around tennis. That will change.
      I can’t wait for the surgery so I can move on with life in general. It shouldn’t be anything like the first one, so BRING IT ON!…..You’re right about looking back at the blur that was 2013. It will happen sooner than later!!


  3. The whole process is pretty amazing, don’t you think? I often wonder how they come up with this stuff. I kind of picture all these men in lab coats and glasses sitting around with a scotch on the rocks (my choice, maybe not theirs) discussing this like a football playbook. “Yeah, maybe we can take the fat from here and put it here. Maybe that would work”.


  4. What is with you and posting all these pics of D-lish food? I put on 3 lbs viewing them. Congrats on knocking this one out of the park! Although a trip skipping across Europe was not called for. I was happy just to go to the beach. I’ve become an apostle for early detection too. Thanks for sharing your great stories. One of my side effects from my procedure is I can’t hold my kids for 2 months. Go figure? Due to the radiation coming out of my belly. Have a great weekend and good luck on the 28th my friend!


  5. You totally rock, impress, and amaze me! So happy that you’re cancer free and ready for your last phase: reconstruction. As for you lack of fat for the liposuction, I’d like to donate fat for you. I have plenty to spare, and I bet I’m even the right blood type!

    And your trip sounds like it was fantastic. Loved all the photos along the way. Enjoying riding along!


  6. Pingback: Use Me and Abuse Me – Parisian Rave Edition | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  7. You really should ask your reconstructive surgeon if it’s too late to order a set of Nike boobs — you know, the ones with the pump. That way you can adjust your figure to fit into a fun little black dress or set them to overdrive for Valentine’s day and school reunions.

    Seriously, glad to hear things went well and keep your chin up for your next surgery… you may not have a choice!


    • I love it! Then I can, “Pump myself up!” That would be very convenient. Before tennis matches, I could deflate them a bit….I’ll pass that along next Wednesday..
      My chin will be up and these expanders will be out. The new girls will not have a plastic baking and will move with my body. I can’t wait!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!


  8. The best to you, Susie, from a stranger. But utterly sincere! I will look forward to a post that says how wonderful you feel and look and how glad you are that you had this done. And that it’s over!



    • Thanks so much Paula! I am looking forward to the 28th! These hard plastic girls are tooo tight! It will feel great to be done with the process although my doctor would like me to come back in for nipples. I am pretty happy with my Barbie boobs! I don’t have to wear a bra, so if I got them, I would have to cover them up!
      I will send out an update afterward. It should be a breeze after last time!


    • I’ll be bouncing alright! That is one thing I am very much looking forward to. The new girls will be more natural. The ones I have now are hard as rock and are like high beams!!!
      Thanks so much for the boob support!


  9. I absolutely love your humor and positive outlook on life. Hey, maybe you won’t ever have to wear a bra again!!!! Now that is worth all you are going through, right??? Good luck in your next procedure. God will be with you all the way, holding your hand


    • Thanks so much for stopping by Terry! It is the last step in the process as far as I’m concerned.
      Defying gravity is the big bionic bonus! I am looking forward to it! My doctor keeps reminding me of my nipple surgery, but I am rocking the nippless Barbie boobs. I love not having to worry about revealing anything!!!
      Thanks so much for the support and kind words!


  10. Aw, crap. I’m sorry this surgery isn’t going to be the relative walk in the (Hyde) park you were hoping for. I’d be glad to loan you some of my flank fat – I’ve got plenty to spare.

    I don’t think you’ll regret having the surgery done just right – you only have this one body and, since you work so hard to take good care of it, your medical mechanics should do so, too.


    • I just got back from preop and have made some final decisions. I am looking forward to getting this our of the way. I just want to be healthy, not the next model for Playboy! :)
      I think he’ll do a great job!


  11. Dude I had no idea we couldn’t get more fat cells, I could swear my fat cells are increasing by the minute especially on days when I’m all about chocolate Bundt cake. Susie … I know that you are a badass and you will definitely get through this next step and charge life like the Wild Rider you are … it may take a while to get your Sporty Spice back on, but rest up you’ll get there. :) I’m sending you positive vibes and good thoughts.


    • Thanks Guat! I will get it on eventually.
      This last step will be another long 8 week process, but will be nothing like the first surgery. I heard today that some women just use Motrin after the surgery! Wow! The other great news is I won’t be limited in my range of motion and since I am always flailing my arms around, that is very good news!
      Us badasses have to stick together you know!


  12. Oh my goodness Susie, you really packed it all in today! First, let me tell you that Hubby and I took the Chunnel train too, only it was from London to Paris just after it opened. But it was so much fun. And don’t they make the best pastries in France? Yes, chocolate croissants everyday! And the walking. That’s all you do. So no you wouldn’t gain any weight. I cannot believe your surgery girl. I do know somewhat of which you speak of. Hubby can feel the steel rods and screws in his back all day long because as you say, it doesn’t move with you. It drives him freaking nuts. We’re hoping it lessens because if it doesn’t, it means more surgery to take it out. And he’s still growing bone. Apparently, it’s very painful to grow bone, Who knew? Anyway…Perky boobs, aka “cleavage.” What is that? lol. I’ve heard of it, but Susie, really, I think you should flaunt it girlfriend! Playboy, here she comes! Just know that I am virtually holding you hand Susie. My heart is with you. And remember, you are #SusieStrong! {{Hugs!}} :)


    • Thanks so much Karen. You have been through so much this last year too. I hope your husband’s condition improves. Chronic pain can wear on everyone. I don’t have that. I can feel them, but they are plastic cups and not metal rods. I can’t even imagine!
      I am so Jonesing for one of those croissants. I would really put on the weight now that I am only walking 45 minutes a day instead of from morning til the wee hours of the next morning!
      Thanks so much for the support! It will be an outpatient surgery and it sounds so much less severe than the first. I’ll motor through!!!!


  13. I’ll keep sending good thoughts your way. My mother is a breast cancer survivor thanks to early detection. She was diagnosed back in 2007 and now just turned 60yrs old two days ago. Good luck with everything!


  14. You will look great with your new cleavage – ill be jealous! Haha! Hang in there, the next surgery will go great and don’t worry about the girdle. I’ve been wearing one for the last two weeks after my surgery and its really not that big of a deal. You’ll be out of it before you know it. In the meantime, enjoy the goodies 🍪 thinking of you!


    • Thanks Beth!
      I am not sold on the fat transfer. I just read the risks and its a pretty long. At this point I will look forward to having it all over with. Bring on the cleavage, but the lipo? Maybe not.
      I hope your surgery went well!
      Thanks for the encouragement!


  15. Oh, Dear. Seems like if it’s not one thing, it’s surely another. I’d let you have some of my fat but I’m not sure how that would ship in the mail. I’d have to freeze dry it, I guess.

    Try to enjoy the experience as much as you can. No pain, no gain they say. I know it’s yucky now, but when it’s all over, you’ll be the best looking Susie Lindau the world has to offer even if she never plays tennis again.

    Hang in there.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  16. Hi Susie! Stopping by while on vacation even though I am limiting my screen time! You keep eating all the cookies and cakes you want, girl! Did you ask the doctor if your blogging friends with plenty of fat in their flanks (me included) could donate some of our fat??? People donate blood and platelets all the time, why not fat?? And, remind me not to ever buy flank steaks again. Sorry that you have to have crappy stuff done to you again! x0x0x0


    • You are the coolest! Happy VACA!
      I will never look at a flank steak the same way again! Hahaha! I will opt for the healthiest alternative, so we’ll see. I really don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, I have an appointment tomorrow….Have a blast for me!
      Thank you!


  17. Wow, Susie, you never fail to deliver on the wild ride! So sorry to hear about the setback, but happy that you are dealing with competent pros who want to get this right. You will come through this just fine…hang in there, hunny! :D


    • Thanks so much Kathy! I’ll be fine. I get one chance so “the moving of the pockets” will probably happen. The fat injections, I still am up in the air about at the end of the day. I will talk to the experts tomorrow.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!


  18. I like your doctor. I’ve never had one tell me I needed to gain weight. lol.

    Seriously, I’m so proud of the way you’ve dealt with all this. I’m convinced that breast cancer is not for sissies.


    • It’s not. There are a lot of twists and turns and decision to be made. Nothing is cut and dry. I am still considering the fat issue. At this point, I am thinking about nixing it. I really don’t want the liposuction. My surgeon will have to do some fast talking tomorrow to convince me!
      Thanks David!


  19. You are a warrior Susie! Enjoy pigging out for a while. Good luck in your upcoming surgery. We are all looking forward to your future spread in Playboy showing off the new boobies! ;-)


    • Hahaha!!!
      Well that will NEVER happen! Although I did warn my landscaper that I will soon be high on drugs and may flash them this time… I think he just about died when I told him… :)


  20. Susie, you are such an inspiration – an incredible, vital woman! What you have to offer and the way you deal with life is something that I aspire to, and I admire you so much. Thank you, and all the best in your upcoming surgery. I’ll be thinking of you – and I know you’ll do just beautifully! ~ Love and hugs, Julie xoxox


    • Thanks Julie I truly appreciate that. I guess I’m just being me! The craziest things just keep on happening and I keep on writing them down. You wouldn’t believe the day I had last week. I still have to write about it.
      I am just about over the opposite side of the fence with the Liposuction. I won’t be taking any chances just to have the perfect boobies! They just aren’t that important to me. Safety and health first!


  21. You have an attitude of a true wild rider! I am sure this is helping you a lot in your recovery process. My Mom just got off of Tamoxifen after seven years. She’s fully recovered !!


  22. I never knew that about fat cells.. so mine are probably old and thin by now.
    Man.. what you are going through.. It just kills me — but watching angelo go through his 25th chemo now.. well I think I would rather take a pill. Nope not going to do any of that. Going to sit on the couch and watch bad Lifetime movies until the end.
    Love you


    • I always watch bad Lifetime movies thinking, “I could’ve written something so much better. So why don’t I???
      I am sorry to hear about Angelo’s battle. He has been through the wringer. How sweet of you to take care of him. You are one in a million Linda! Love you too!


  23. That’s interesting about the fat cells and not being able to eat to make some. I would’ve thought you could do that. I’m wishing you a successful reconstruction and super, speedy and complete recovery! Hope you are back to playing tennis asap. Thanks for sharing your wild ride and inspirational spirit, Susie!


    • Thanks so much Coleen! I am still confused about the fat exchange and at this point, I really don’t want to do it. I think they will look good enough without it. I don’t want to risk my health. We’ll see after the pre-op.


  24. I hope once all is said and done with reconstruction, you will feel totally pleased with the results. One of my friends had reconstruction and she is playing tennis all the time. You’ll get back there too, even if it takes a bit longer than expected.


    • I am going to make sure that I am completely healed before playing again. That is great news about your friend. Thanks so much! I am happy with the way these ridiculous expanders look, so I am sure I will be pleased! Fat or no fat! Still not sure about the lipo…….


  25. it just keeps coming your way, doesn’t it. Hang in there, girl. You’re one of the strongest people I know. You’ll get through this, and you will look amazing in the end. Hugs. This experience has given you the foundation to be the voice for all those who can’t speak for themselves but are in similar situations. Now you can put your talent to work in the glorious way you have already proven yourself so good at.

    Sending you tons of warm, happy thoughts.


    • Ohhhh! Thanks Debra! How are you:???
      I’ll be okay. I agree that I have been given a voice in this lifetime and I have to get the message of my journey out there. All the ups and the downs. I tend to be ridiculously optimistic which really helps given my situation.


  26. Oh, Susie! You are so brave. I have to tell you, I think of you and your example all the time and I tell others. You have really made me an early detection advocate. I have been through my two cancer screenings that I was putting off until your story! Because if you can deal with the surgery, than I can. I see so much similarity between us, although I consider you my total hero.

    I’ll be thinking of you on the 28th and beyond and doing visualization of an easy procedure, little to no pain, speedy recovery, and beautiful new breasts! Think how great your new breast profile is going to look in ski sweaters!

    I hope we get to ski together this winter. I’m putting that on my immediate bucket list. Skiing with you is a good visualization.


    • I really appreciate the support. All that positive energy will really help the process. I don’t think I’ll do the lipo so I heal up faster and have less risk of infection. The doctor will really have to talk me into it tomorrow, but I doubt it will happen at this point. I read the boatload of risks and nearly fainted! okay. I am a little dramatic, but it was a shock!
      Thanks so much Nia! I will be Wild Riding the slopes for sure this winter so let me know if you make it to Colorado!


  27. You’ve got a great support system in place starting with Danny, you’ve got a positive outlook and you have what looks like terrific cookies and cakes as I chow on salt-less peanuts at my desk here at The Grind. I have confidence that you’ll get through this next wild ride, Susie, even if you have to continue to hold off returning serve for a while longer. You know how much you love the slopes. Hopefully you’ll be ready to take them on again this next snow season. Hey, that’s an athletic venture that could be within your grasp. I hope this next phase of surgery goes well.


    • That is so true! I am trying to walk every day before my surgery. (Will typing it force me do it again today?) My legs or rear end are going to be affected this time, so I may be gimping around for a while. I love that I don’t really know. I don’t need to know everything. I may be fine!
      Yep. It has been a crazy summer and I am hoping for an early ski season. I can’t wait until I can really get in shape again. (Will typing that get my butt out of the chair to work out in a couple of months?)
      Danny and the kids are all here for me. I am a lucky girl. Go Team Lindau!
      Thanks V!
      How’s the book? I need to get over and catch up with your Lame Adventures!


  28. Sounds like there’s still some stuff you’re unclear on, like physicl activity limits after the surgery.
    Is it worth it to delay until you find answers that fit your lifestyle?

    Either way, here’s to you, and to you coming through this part with your usal grace and style!


    • I know what I am in for, I just had to adjust to reality after the trip. 3 weeks of no heavy lifting, repetitive movement, pushing, pulling, cleaning, vacuuming. etc. At 3 weeks, I can go back to 1/3 activity level. I’ll start walking a couple of blocks to a mile in the neighborhood and will build up from there. The idea is they don’t want me to raise my heart rate since it could blow blood vessels.
      I should be back to regular activity by 6-8 weeks. I will hold off on tennis for a while after they give me the go ahead, since I don’t want to take chances.
      I won’t be as foggy as the last surgery since it is an out-patient. That’s what really bothered me last time. I couldn’t concentrate. I can’t wait to have soft boobs again. It feels like I have plastic containers under my skin. Hey! That’s what they are!
      Thanks so much for the support Guapo!


  29. i think that you are a truly inspirational person and I love your positive outlook and your wonderful blog. My thoughts are with you… Enjoy gaining that five pounds!!!


  30. If you need ANY help – any help whatsoever – with that bundt cake, I’m only a phone call away.

    That trip is definitely my dream trip (and chocolate croissants should be mandatory on all vacations – they are on ours!).

    Good luck with your final surgery, Sus!


    • You better come to my house soon. The cake is going fast!
      We have croissants here in Colorado, but they don’t use real butter. And those French cows make the sweetest ooh la la butter…
      I am looking forward to the surgery now. I had a moment, just like before my first surgery, when it hit me that I will be out for three weeks and can’t motor for eight, but…. Oh yeah! My butt! Youch! I have a pre-surgery appt. tomorrow so I’ll get the deets on where my flank is located…. Soon I will be rockin’ those bionic boobs and sleeping soundly again!
      Thanks Jules!


  31. I have good news for you. My reconstruction method was different than yours and they did it at the same time as the mastectomy, however that weird feeling of otherness does go away. Twenty years later, it still feels a little different than the rest of me, but it does feel like me.


    • That is great news Jane! And I am glad to hear that you had this procedure 20 years ago.
      It finally occurred to me last night that it is the hard plastic backing that bothers me. It doesn’t move with my body. The gel prosthetic will. I can’t wait! I wake up all night since it hurts to lay on my side. Thanks for sharing!


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