Monday, August 25, 2008

Transgender with Breast Cancer

Yesterday I met a good friend (I hope that I am) at a church meeting who I will only name as “M”. I have known that she is and has been battling cancer for a few years and is on her way to a good recovery; anyway she looked real good yesterday. I had met her a few months ago in the Cancer Clinic while we were both waiting for treatments; I believe she was there for her chemo and I only had to get an injection. As I have said my lump was small enough that I would not be doing radiation or chemo but only would have to take tamoxifen; and the shot was for something else. As we were just chatting about how we were doing, I started talking about the prosthesis’ that I had and where I had bought them, but she was quite insistent that she would be doing breast reconstruction after her double mastectomy; which make me begin to rethink about my options.

Anyway I learned that she has been going to one of the surgeons in town for her reconstruction and was describing the high levels of pain and discomfort she was experiencing from her tissue expanders. How she was having so much pressure on the chest wall and it was affecting her comfort levels for breaths. I was a little embarrassed to relate the low levels of discomforts from my tissue expander and that I was finished with my expansion and just waiting for my final surgery.

I can remember my surgeon discussing the skin and physiological differences between male and female bodies during my initial surgery assessment. And we talked about how my larger bone structure and muscle and skin structure were different than a females and that I would get better results from my reconstruction than that of the ‘normal’ female. So as I listened to “M” describe what she was going through, it just confirmed what I had been hearing about other women’s reconstruction stories being so painful.

I hope that my blog descriptions of my reconstruction process and how it’s not being so painful has not angered other cancer survivors because of their having experienced a great deal of pain; I did not intend to seem flippant or callous with my description. But these descriptions was of my experience nonetheless.

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