I've gone out in public several times and didn't really think much about the fact that I only have one breast...at least not until I realized everyone else was paying attention. The other day I was sitting at the kitchen counter in sweats and a cami tank top. My drain tube and the bottle that collects all the fluid still draining from my chest (I know it's gross) are pinned to the medical bra underneath the cami and making me look as if I have a strange growth coming out of my ribs underneath my missing breast. My dad got a phone call and informed me his long time friend was coming over to pick up a tool. I looked down at myself and back up at my dad and then stupidly asked, "Do I need to go put on something else so he's not uncomfortable?" The answer was obviously yes. Duh! But even putting on a sweatshirt didn't help the awkwardness.
I know what it's like to be around someone who is suffering from an illness or some kind of trauma. It's awkward...especially if it's something physical...something that you have to prevent yourself from staring at. I remember what it was like to be that person, so curious but afraid to look or to ask or to do anything that could possibly be offensive. It's painfully uncomfortable and awkward. Now that I find myself on the other end of this exchange...I'm feeling sorry for those who are exposed to my one breasted presence. Not that my one breasted presence is unpleasant or anything. I actually find myself to be quite pleasant. My point is that I understand what it is like to be in the awkward situation other's are finding themselves in when around me....and it's only going to get worse. Right now I only have one breast. In a couple weeks after I've healed a little more from the surgery, the plastic surgeon will begin filling the expander implant with saline and I won't be missing a breast anymore. That new breast will not look normal though. It will be quite high on my chest...considerably higher than my other breast. That'll be kinda awkward but possibly something that can be overlooked by the average person. It's going to get really interesting when I lose my hair and begin to look obviously pregnant. I'm trying to picture myself looking this way and I just can't envision it. I bet people will wonder if I'm just bloated and sickly or if I'm actually a pregnant cancer patient.
The other night my husband said to me, "It's a good thing you were such a freak in high school and didn't care what anyone thought about you. It's probably going to make it easier for you now. You know like when old people would walk past you and look at you like you were a freak?" I just laughed after this comment from my husband because I wasn't really a freak. He's right about me not caring what people thought about me. It was a good effort on his part to give me a compliment...I think.