The Boob Report – Warning: Wild Rapids Ahead

Do you tense before being pricked by a hypodermic needle? You know it’s going to hurt, so you brace yourself. When I participated in the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day, I stood in line tense and shivering. I had imagined it would hurt to hit the icy water, but I knew I could do it.


Having been through a double mastectomy, I know what it’s like to take the needle and wake up in icy water. Wednesday, my reconstructive surgeon will remove the hard expanders, open up the interior pockets inside my chest wall and sew them closer together. Then the soft silicone implants will be stitched into place. Yes. I’ve been tense all week.

After I splashed out of the frigid water, I dressed and ran for the car. My husband Danny blasted the heat. I took a long hot shower when I got home, but it took hours before I stopped shivering.

Boulder Polar Plunge 8

This time I am prepared to hunker down in the comfort of my home. I’ve downloaded a few books. The carpets have been cleaned. My nails are painted and I had my hair colored. I washed the chandelier and windows in my office and bedroom. Everything has been scrubbed.

I opted out of the fat transfer. My reconstructive surgeon wanted to take 500 cc’s of fat from my thigh and inject it around my breasts to soften the edges.  I changed my mind after reading the eight pages of risk factors for the procedure. I also read that lumps can develop in a small number of women and can cause a cancer scare. I don’t want any more cancer scares.

A friend of mine went through a similar journey a few years ago. She decided against the liposuction as well. I am not burning any bridges. I can have the transfer later if I change my mind.

My doctor explained how the silicone implants are more natural than these stick-out boob expanders. (He did not use those exact words.) I think the new girls will be fine without the added fat.

I take hot showers and wonder what the new breasts will feel like. Will they feel like me?

This time the surgery won’t be as intrusive. They are using a general anesthetic, so I will drift around underwater for a few days.

My landscaper stopped by to inquire about the lawn. He asked how I was doing. I hadn’t spoken to him since the day I was high on Oxycodone and Nocor after the double mastectomy.

“I may have over-shared the last time I saw you.”

“That’s alright. I am glad to hear you are doing well.”

I told him I wrote a blog post about my one-sided conversation with him and his assistant. I had ended the story with, “At least I didn’t flash them.”

“I am going to be high on drugs again, so you better warn the workers. I may flash them this time.”

He looked at me and said, “Oh. I’ll tell them. They won’t mind.”


This time the eight weeks will rush by. During the first three, I’ll let the water swirl around my legs, hold me down and take me under. I hope to be released into the wild earlier than expected.

I can do this. I may wince when pierced by that first needle, but I will hit the glacial water and submerge into its icy flow until I plunge back into life. Danny will be there to hand me a towel.

Do you use the setbacks in your life as a time to regroup?

Related Articles:

The Boob Report

Breast Cancer

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Filed under Boob Reports, Humor, Life

131 responses to “The Boob Report – Warning: Wild Rapids Ahead

  1. I’m pretty pleased to find this web site. I wanted
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  3. Hope everything went well with your last procedure. A good friend is currently going through the boob expander thing, too. She flashed me her boobs and she wasn’t even on drugs! I think after a certain point those of us who’ve survived cancer lose all embarrassment about our bodies. We’ve already been cut, poked, stretched, and put back together so much, we’re proud of our scars!

    • I think the general anesthetic affected me for a full lmonth!!! I flashed a few of my friends. Now that I am nearly clear headed, I am considering flashing everyone on my blog. They’re Barbie boobs. How offended could readers get???

  4. Val

    I’m glad things are going well for you, Susie. Onwards and upwards.
    As for the icy water, my feet – which are normally icy in normal weather – would drop off, so you wouldn’t catch me taking icy dips!

    And yep, I do tend to use setbacks to regroup.

  5. We’re all sending you positive, healing thoughts over here in Stunted Adults land. The big question I have is whether you’ve found yourself a hot little number to wear when you debut the new girls after the drugs have started to wear off. After all you’ve been through, you deserve to take some time to show off and feel damn good about how strong and healthy all of your parts are now.

    • Thanks so much! It has been nearly a week and I am feeling so much better. It wasn’t very painful. I have only used Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I’ll be back to Wild Riding in no time!

  6. A shiver goes through me just looking at those pictures. You are one brave woman. I will be sending good thoughts your way and you know you will be completely surrounded by great big, WARM, blogger hugs the whole way through.

  7. Like love, surgery is more comfortable the second time around. You know what you’re in for, what’s coming, and most importantly, you know you’re going to make it. And you know that there will be crappy days that you’ll muddle through.

    Good luck!

  8. Could you be any cooler, Susie?
    Pun intended, of course!
    But seriously, you’re my hero. Period.

  9. You made the right decision as far as the transfer goes, mama. Much love and peace.

  10. Susie – I have been a little slow on the uptake this week.. I hope all is well with you. i don’t think I could have jumped into ice cold water and taken a polar plunge but we all do what we need to do, when we need to do it. Take care, get well, keep laughing… that’s what will keep you going – humor.

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  12. Hi Susie Strong – I’m a bit late and hope you are well into your recovery mode now. It sounds like you are making all the right decisions. Onward and upward … you and your boobs! <3

    • Hahaha! We are! :)
      It wasn’t anything like the mastectomy, thank the lord. I am glad it is behind me! I am looking forward to reading and writing while I rest.
      Thanks again for the very sweet shout out!

  13. Heya Sista am sorry am running late on all the blogs
    How are you?
    you know what you are such a lovely inspiration. To deal with hurdles and with such grace and fine humour. :)
    You are an amazing soul love ya ♥

  14. Susie, you have an entire army of bloggers who appreciate you, support you, are wishing you well and who love you and your work. Here’s to a fast recuperative period for you and to seeing more great posts from you soon!

  15. I read this a little late and by now you are probably slowly waking up and recovering I hope that everything went well and I’m so glad you decided against the lipo fat exchange … you totally don’t need any extra 8-pages worth of risks :) Hope all is well and good luck with not flashing the gardeners during recovery :)

  16. You are amazing, you wild wonder woman! I see that you went all out and wrote a new post. You spoil us, you do know that. Glad to hear that things went well. Please try to behave and take it easy. I know. Booorrrriinnggg! But hey, do as you’re told. You’ll be touting those beautiful new girls about in no time. I’d send you a hug, but that might hurt right now. I’ll save you one for later. Love ya! :)

  17. Congrats! I was sure I’d already posted on here via iPad, but no………. So glad everything’s gone well. Take time to fully heal before you do another wild ride!!!

    Big Hugs

  18. You’re a brave woman, Susie! Hope it all goes great xo

  19. Drift with the icy flow and and when you come out again, you’ll be an even more magnificent wild rider :) Prayers to you and Danny

  20. Something tells me you have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. Best to you on this next chapter…you are indeed amazing and an inspiration. Oh, I love that you cleaned everything in sight…somehow that always makes me feel better too.

  21. Best of luck Susie! Wendig C!

  22. What setbacks??? If it doesn’t kill ya it only makes you stronger! Hang in there, Susie, and stay strong. Will be thinking of you. Keep me posted.

  23. Best of luck to you, dear Susie! You are a rock star!!!

  24. I’ll be sending good vibes to you tomorrow, Susie! I’m glad you are choosing the easier route with the surgery. Good job getting informed and feeling confident in your decision.



  25. Sending you good thoughts (and hot showers?) You made me smile at the “I may have overshared.” You are a force, Susie. Wishing you all the best!!

  26. *hugs* and best wishes! Your outlook, humour, etc has to be therapeutic.

  27. Been thinking of you. Glad to hear that you’ll be RESTING after this surgery! I’m crossing my fingers for you and sending pink vibes your way again! Congrats on the successful polar plunge! I know you’ll do equally amazing with this next challenge.

    • Thanks so much Jess!
      I plan to rest since it is the key to recovery this time. I reeeeally want to start back and exercise so I’ll take it slow.
      I still can’t believe that I took the Plunge! It was cold, but adrenaline goes a long way!

  28. I hope this stage of the surgery goes well – and all the best for a safe and speedy recovery. You have an awesome positiveness, I’m sure all will be well!

    • Thanks so much Matthew! This is the easy part. They move some stitches and make the swap and I’m on my way! I am looking forward to sleeping on my side without pain. It has been three long months! Thanks for the support!

  29. Absolutely I use setbacks in my life to regroup. I think in some way or another we all do. Having said that, I echo everyone when I say that you are an awesome woman. You are the epitome of “Girl Power” and I’m glad I found you. You inspire me daily.

    • Oh Thank you Kitt! All of you inspire me too!
      I think we should start a group and all wear cool masks like yours! :)
      I have a list of everything I want to do while I am recovering!

  30. You’re an inspiration to all of us, Susie. I’m afraid most of us don’t measure up to you.

  31. It’s amazing how positive you have been through all of this. When all is said and done you should put together these blog posts as a series and send them to breast cancer websites so others in the same situation can read your story and have hope. I’m sure you will fly through the next stage of your recovery now.

    Also, so cool you did that polar bear plunge. Not me! As George Costanza would say – “It’s the shrinkage! It was cold!”

    • There was a lot of shrinkage that day! Hahaha!
      This is the easy part of the process. I have made it through the traumatic loss of boobage. I don’t have much feeling in there anymore, so it has got to be a lot less painful.
      I am planning to publish the Boob Report after the first year of recovery. I hope it will help others.
      Looking forward to the flight!

  32. You’ve jumped before. You’ve got a good idea what’s going to happen. A thought, a companion to accompany you while you’re on the postoperative goodies. Someone who can keep you from letting your new assets out for air. Not that you’d do that, but just in case.

    • Hahaha! I am supposed to have someone with me for the first 24 hours. Danny will be here with me. I won’t be on as many drugs as last time, although I teased the landscapers… :)
      Thanks Tom!

  33. Good luck and we will say a prayer for you

  34. You are courageous! Keep us informed about your ongoing recovery.

  35. To answer your question: absolutely!

    And also? You CAN do this! We’ll all be here cheering you back into the wild again.

    • Yay! It won’t be long and it will be a blur. I can’t wait! I am looking forward to a Wild Winter! Thanks Darla! I hope your husband’s surgery is a success as well. You don’t want to go through it again!

  36. At least, the sooner it is done the sooner you are wading towards a towel and a car heater, shower, and the high of knowing it is behind you. ‘Done!’ *tick*
    Give the landscapers ‘before’ and ‘after’ scoresheets for the flashing? :)

    • Great idea! Hahaha! :)
      I agree and am anxious to get it over with. I dreamt I drank some water in the morning before surgery and they had to reschedule me. Now that would be a nightmare!!!
      Thanks so much!

  37. I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery… I’d tell you to try not to flash anyone but who knows what strange things feel good drugs will make one do! ;-)

  38. Julie Catherine

    As always Susie, sending out lots of positive thoughts and energies to you and keeping you in my prayers. Much love and lots of gentle hugs, my incredible, wild, amazing friend! xoxox

  39. Good luck Susie. I know you have had plenty of experiences of bracing yourself for the unexpected. Its just another polar plunge and then on to your next wild ride. Good luck mi amiga!

    • That’s right! You got the message. I will be fine. This will be nothing like the first surgery. The same down time, but a loss less pain… I am looking forward to lots of wild riding soon!
      Thanks so much!

  40. I think you were smart to forget about the liposuction. You’ll be fine!

    • I think so too. I at least want to see what they are like first. The ones I have now are supposed to be pretty ridiculous and I think they look okay, so I am sure they will be fine. I am really looking forward to getting these plastic things out of my body. They always feel uncomfortable…. Tomorrow! :)

  41. Wonderful as always Susie. Tell Danny to be careful with the towel, the “girls” may be tender for awhile. ;) All the best tomorrow and good thinking on warning the landscaper.

  42. RC Cat wapped me on the head this morning to remind me to check on you today. She insists enough rain has fallen and declared only rainbows and sunshine are to visit your realm.
    She obviously “controls” everything. We humor her, but this time believe she’s on the right track.
    One more grueling step on the trail and then a bright beautiful view.
    Lots of warmth and energy sent your way.

    • Thank you so much Phil and RC! Wow! You’ve got me all teared up! I am looking forward to those rainbows and lots of sunshine. I will be checking out that view really soon!

  43. I cried while i read this.. I don’t want you to have to go through anymore.. I want to wish it all away–I wish my ex’s cancer away too.. we all need our lives back.. You do it with such calmness and poise.. You are my hero

  44. Good luck on the surgery and may your boobs be awesome! At least you’ll have some to flash the workers ;-)

  45. All the very best for your “finishing touches” surgery – I hope all goes perfectly and that you are back and blogging on form before long. I am in the process of arranging a “finishing touches” surgery myself – the second half of a hysterectomy that couldn’t be done in one hit at the time.

    Looking forwards to the next Boob report :D

    • Well good luck to you as well! That must be a painful process. It is amazing what surgeons can do.
      Thank you so much! I will have to introduce the new bionic boobs somehow! Hahaha! :)

  46. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to many I’m sure Suzie. God bless you and your wonderful husband. :)

  47. I join the chorus, Susie: you are a force of life.

    My beloved Dad died weeks ago. I dreaded it for a long time. But the power of his being, his love and mine has filled me with a new-found strength and calm. Love is the drug!

    While I abstained from sharing the process of his illness on my blog, I have written a bit about the above and would love to share it with you.

    Have a great surgery and enjoy your new boobs. Life is change!

    • It really is the drug and life is change! Just when you get all those scrappy ducks in a row, they go flying all over the place!
      I am sorry to hear about your dad. That must be a painful loss. I will have a lot of time on my hands for reading and will look forward to checking out your tribute.
      Thanks so much!

  48. My setbacks tend to be mental rather than physical, but with my latest bout my career suffered, my finances suffered, my health suffered… and coming out the other side, I have to say that the fresh start it has allowed me is one of the best things to ever happen to me. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. And with your landscape crew.

    • Thank you so much! My landscape crew rang the doorbell to leave me a bill today. Too funny!
      You obviously grew from the setback! How cool is that??? I am always trying to figure out what the heck kind of lesson I am supposed to learn.


    • Thanks so much Maria! What you did last time created a miracle. This time, I’ll be fine! It is an out patient surgery and only an 90 minutes. I will be loopy on the general anesthetic for a while, but this is not supposed to be anything like last time. For one thing, I don’t have any feeling in my boobs anymore!
      You are so sweet! Don’t you have a birthday coming up????

  50. You’re breasts do more in a week than most breasts do all month!

    When I have a setback, I just get stubborn and barrel along.

    • I can’t believe how much I use them when I type! My pectoral muscles are on the outside of my boobs now so I can really feel them flex. Crazy…
      Stubbornness and barreling are what I do best in a crisis. It takes a lot for me to slow down.

  51. cerrosolo

    Best of luck with the surgery.

    • Thank you! This one is promised to be less painful and limiting. I am supposed to keep my heart rate down for the first three weeks and gradually add more exercise, then all bets are off…

  52. May everything go flawlessly and may your new boobs be wonderful!

  53. Though its validity is apparently in some doubt, I really like the idea of the Chinese terms “wei ji” which means both ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity.’ I don’t always successfully follow through, but I try to think that way.

    • It’s the only way to roll through an obstacle. I was born an optimist and that has really helped me get through this craziness. I am looking forward to finishing up a bunch of writing projects while I hunker down. I shouldn’t be in such a fog this time. Thanks for stopping by B-man!

  54. Susie, you certainly have a great outlook about this and, of course, Danny rocks. If anyone can get through this stronger, and find the humor in this situation, it’s you. I’ll keep my fingers, legs and eyes crossed that all goes well. Hey, I’ll look like a a freak on your behalf. It’s the least I can do.

  55. Of course. I feel like I’m constantly regrouping lately, though. Stay tough, I keep praying for you…

  56. Thinking of you- maybe you can do anything!

  57. Yes! For me, setbacks are life’s detours. I recently experienced a medium-sized setback, and it gave me the chance to sit down and think about what it is I want in my life and what I need to work toward. If we allow ourselves the chance to regroup, we grow through the experience instead of against it. Still praying for you, Susie!

  58. Sending positive thoughts your way Susie.

  59. Your humor and your positivity through all this amazes me Susie. When is the op? Hope this is the last. We will all be thinking of you, along with the Lawnmower Man.

  60. Amazing is the right word. My thoughts are with you. Lucky landscapers.

    • Oh thank you. I am looking forward to getting these tight pinching expanders out of my body. This time tomorrow, I will be receiving the good drugs by IV and will be drifting off while the last huge step takes place.

  61. I just want you to know, Susie, that I adore your attitude and you are amazing – AMAZING!

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