Hi, I'm Katie. I'm many things: a mom, a wife, a professional, an AMR team member, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. I'll be sharing my story here on Another Mother Runner as I get back into a regular running routine and train for a half marathon. I hope you'll come along. Feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts in the comments section below.
It’s time for surgery #3 of 4.
So when most women get a bilateral mastectomy at the age of 39, most choose to get reconstruction done at the same time, if they are eligible. Perhaps it’s the boob job they always dreamed of, just in a roundabout kind of way. I guess it's a small consolation prize since insurance pays for it! Anyway, after they perform the mastectomy, they put in expanders to literally stretch your skin enough so that implants can be surgically added a few months later. In the meantime, they fill up your expanders slowly with saline until you reach the size you want. A kind of try ‘em before you buy ‘em approach.
My fills have been moving along without complications, thank goodness. When I went in for my final appointment before the implant surgery, the nurse said, “You have to go bigger.” What? I don’t want to go bigger. She said,"You have to!"
And then she brought in a few other nurses to check me out, followed by my doctor. All were there to give me their opinions. As I sat there with no top on, being paraded in front of all of these 25-year olds with their still-perky boobs, I sat there and wondered, “Is this really happening?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. This is my new normal. Modesty goes out the door when you are diagnosed with breast cancer. Everyone and her mother sees you with your top off and it is just something you have to get used to. My girls were in the room to witness the circus because they had the day off school. I can only imagine the amount of money we’re going to have to spend on therapy as they grow up.
My surgery is scheduled for April 28 and I can’t wait to get these expanders out. Running with expanders is challenging - but it really hasn’t been that bad until recently. Now that my boobs are full, they rub up against the infusion port on my arm and it's a little uncomfortable. Plus, as Coach MK recently pointed out during a run, I need to start compensating for the extra weight on top by building my core strength. Oh, and I should probably get some new bras, seeing as how I’ve never really invested in good ones before. I’ve always grabbed them at Target, along with the diapers and fruit snacks on my list.
Fellow BAMRs, do you have a favorite running bra? How have you dealt with changes to your chest size, either due to pregnancy, breast cancer, augmentation or other surgeries? Help a sister out!
Want to catch up with Katie's story? Click here.