Saturday, April 26, 2008

Arresting Development

It was almost three years ago that my dream to become Sarah would likely become true. I had delayed stepping across the gender line for many reasons, which did not know how I would transition. After I found a doctor who was familiar with helping people transition, I started on my long awaited path junction to become Sarah. Starting with the “T” blocker in June and then adding the estrogen the next, my body slowly began to change. I finally could put away all those items I used to stuff my bra; because, my breasts were beginning to bud and grow very nicely, thank you. Sarah was becoming real for me because I was developing what I thought would be very nice boobs after 14 months on HRT.

Until one morning in late August I found a small lump during a routine self-breast exam. I was stunned, unbelieving, and wouldn’t tell Kay for several days for fear of the worst. When I did tell her and put her hand on the spot, she tried to convince me that it didn’t feel like a cancerous lump, but that I should call my doctor and get a referral to have it checked.

To make a long story short, the biopsy that was taken was 100% invasive ductile carcinoma; and we didn’t get a clean margin. So, my Dr. didn’t know how much the cancer had spread, and because the cancer was quite aggressive he took several lymph nodes as well as much of the breast tissue and nipple to prevent the cancer from spreading. As another insult, my receptors were estrogen positive which meant that I could never take estrogen again, ever. This was a kick in the groin, a huge slap in the face kind of insult. I felt anger and sadness about something I had no control over. I knew my mother had had a double mastectomy years ago any she had talked about her mother dying with breast cancer, but I ignored these signs as I began my HRT. It was only a few months after my surgery that I learned my youngest sister had the same type of breast cancer I developed just a few years before; and just a year ago another sister was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cell, the same type. So among our family of six children, four of us have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Ouch, not the best stats have when considering to jump into transitioning to female; but I didn’t know all that when I started.

My breast development came to a screeching halt and I was back to wearing silicone breast form; which looked much better than anything I had ever used before. Even though they were wonderful products, I still felt like I was playing dress-up; because they weren’t mine, not of my flesh; just some things that I stuff in my pocket bra and sling on. I had begun to be embarrassed at myself when I tried to wear a top that showed more than it should. When I looked down, I only saw my stuffed bras and I would flinch at what I ‘knew’ others saw. I began to desire something more real, more substantial than just large forms that caused my tops and dresses to gap between the buttons.

Today, after two and ½ years of teetering between staying with breast forms and having breast reconstruction; I had my pre-op appointment to have breast reconstruction. The Dr. that I finally found and was comfortable with doing the surgery will start with tissue expanders; then in three week he will start pumping up the breast. So by mid August, I will have a pair of new healthy size breast.

Will keep everyone updated as to how I manage with the new developments.

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