Home From The Hospital – Going Flat After Surgery

Hello wonderful friends, followers and visitors.  First, I want to say thank you to all followers.  I’ve not been blogging much lately so having new followers is truly appreciated.  Because of my health issue, I’ve not been able to keep up with all the blogs that follow me, nor able to follow new followers.  Currently, there are more than 900 Word Press notifications in my in-box.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to catch-up, but after recuperation, I’ll do my best to stay current.

Today I was discharged from the hospital after having a double mastectomy and 3 lymph nodes removed.  I figured I would get this post done while the pain killers are doing their job. Sleeping is a problem because I’ve never been one to sleep on my back so whatever online time I’ll have is subject to how good I sleep.

Thanks to all of those who stayed in touch with me, gave me well wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts.  They worked and are working. 

Staying Positive and Confident

Some hospital staff was amazing!  During one shift, they said to me that they wish every patient was like me; that I was humorous, positive and confident.  The compliment about being confident is because I’m going flat.  For those unfamiliar with that term, it’s when having mastectomy that the patient does not have reconstructive surgery.  It’s a personal thing for every woman.

The way I see it is that I was little lady before reaching puberty.  My femininity is not defined by the size of my chest.   It would be superficial for me to have reconstructive surgery for several reasons, the main reason being that I would be trying to satisfy others — strangers, and the amount of importance they place on the size of women’s chests.

The surgeon and my oncologist recommended removing the right breast because that is where the tumor was located.  I opted to have the left breast also removed.  Since 1995, I’ve been cystic.  During the decades, there might have been 4 years in total that I was not bothered with cysts.  I do not want to go through the rest of my life wondering each time I have pain or feel a lump, if it’s a cyst or tumor.  Years ago I asked my physician about having a double mastectomy and was told it wasn’t a medical necessity.  Approximately 4 years thereafter, I asked another physician and was told the same thing. They also told me that cysts do not progress to breast cancer and that cancerous tumors do not hurt.   In my case, they were wrong.  The cyst in my right breast that gave me problems for decades is in the exact place where the tumor was found.   It behaved and hurt like a cyst.

Also, by having both breasts removed, there is a balance and I won’t have to worry about reconstructive surgery or wearing a prosthetic on just one side.

As it was explained to me, reconstruction might give a semblance of being “normal” but reconstructed breasts have little to no sensation. In fact, women who opt for reconstruction actually go through more surgery.  Skin is removed from another place on the body to form nipples.  Then, the women undergo tattoos to give them areolas.  While going through that for appearance sake, many women still undergo chemotherapy.

Going Flat is now a movement.


Posted on 03/02/2019, in cancer and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. I am so far behind that I didn’t realize you were in the hospital or having the surgery. I send you after-the-face well wishes, love ‘n hugs! As for going flat … it is the exact decision I would make in your situation. I am not defined by my body and wouldn’t invest the additional time, pain or money to have reconstructive surgery. I hope your recovery is quick and that you feel better very soon … like, tomorrow! Hugs, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jill,
      I had not publicly announced the planned surgery, so you would not have known. Because of time and having a hundred things to do, I only had enough time and energy to communicate via email or phone. After 6 weeks, I return to treatment with targeted drugs just in case some of the cancer cells decided to leave home and hide out. Big hugs back to you!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Breasts have significance for some men in our culture, and so we women buy into it. We should never buy into anything that diminishes us. We are so much more than any body part. I think you are brave and smart. I am so sorry, your doctors were so wrong, for so long.
    I am sending you love, prayers, and healing hopes right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cindy,
      What you say is so true. When I went to Youtube to find a video for the post, I saw numerous videos by women of all ages who had breast cancer and opted for reconstruction, to have it undone down the road. They woke-up and it’s too bad they had to go through surgery again.

      Your love, prayers and healing hopes are greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brave in so many senses of the word. I hope you’re feeling a lot better soon. I’d send a hug but maybe that’s not quite what you need right now. Take care. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Continue to be brave and strong. Reading your post and rationale it makes sense. I wish you a speedy and healthy recovery. Big big big hugs to you. Take care . We love you and wish you well every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Healing vibes & love 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Two sides to a story

    I admire your courage and all your service to others! Hope you feel tons better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m praying really hard for you and I pray that you make a full and blessed recovery. I was in tears reading this, please keep fighting the fight. My God continue to walk right by your side. Be blessed and stay strong ❤️❤️.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. alicesuearmstrong

    You are wise. I know women who had major problems healing from the reconstruction surgery. Your not letting the opinions of others dictate your choices is very admirable! Bravo! I wish you speedy healing and a cancer-free future.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Alice. Nice meeting you. Regarding major problems healing after reconstructive surgery, I agree. I read some of the experiences and it is becoming pretty well known that having reconstructive surgery takes longer to heal. It’s putting implants in raw areas.

      Thanks for your well wishes. It means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. To God be the glory for your surgery, wisdom, and healing! Praying for you! 🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are missed Xena and you are in our prayers and hearts. Many blessings to you for a wholesome recovery.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I miss not being able to come online and write blog posts daily. The other night I went online because the surgeon’s nurse asked if hospital staff showed me how to clear the lines that are installed to drain fluid from the surgical area. No, the discharge nurse did not. That came up because on Wed., I ended up in the ER bleeding from the incision sight for a line/pump. The ER doctor thought the line contained a clot and it would be a good idea to press down on my chest to see if blood was coming through to the pump. She did that without warning, and I spontaneously screamed out in pain and cried like a baby. Apparently, that ER doctor did not understand that I was raw beneath the skin. Anyway, I found the manufacturer’s website and watched the video on how to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m really sorry to hear about your medical issues. I’m glad your’e doing much better now. You were certainly missed on WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just learned that actress Katy Bates goes flat. She only wears a prosthetic bra if required for a role she is playing. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/kathy-bates-life-with-lymphedema#1


  13. Dear Xena,

    There’s no doubt in my mind that you made the right decision. I had a very dear friend who went through hell over this. She’s no longer with us but her death had nothing to do with her breast cancer history.

    When I view your posts, i see her. I wish that there weren’t so much stuff out their about women’s breasts. A woman is so much more than her body parts. You are one of God’s survivors. I thank God for you.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gronda! Sorry about your dear friend. I have some good news to share but can’t type for long without hurting. In about a week, I should be healed up where there is no pain in my right armpit. Look out! LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello! I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. I chose to have reconstruction. I wanted to look the same. While I didn’t choose to have the nipple replaced, I do feel like a woman with breast implants. I applaud your ability to see past that. Cancer was found in my lymph nodes and I had 18 nodes removed. A year and half later, I am struggling with cording under my armpit. I will continue to follow you and your journey. I wish you well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nlczarnomski, happy to meet you. I’m so sorry to hear about your journey. Currently, I’m healing from having 3 lymph nodes removed so I can’t imagine what you went and are going through with cording. I recently learned about it and lymphedema. At times these conditions do not appear until months after surgery, so I suppose that is why my surgeon hasn’t yet told me about them. On my own, I researched what to expect after mastectomy and found the information.

      Academy Award winning actress Kathy Bates had a double mastectomy and now has lymphedema. I found encouragement in things she has shared about her journey.


  15. Stay flat. We don’t have booberz so our brainz must suffice. While I only had a demand lumpectomy because people like me don’t get surgery as an option…oh yeah? Now I beg to differ. I lost mine to a horrible hormone accident and deflated the rest. Lucky I didn’t have sentinel node inclusion. Did you get your true pathology report? If you want to send me a private email slip it to me at (edited by administer to remove email address) or at Twitter @ilenealizah – I’m here day or night. And what my four years and a day with stage 4 can’t bring you I can guide you to those who can.
    Much strength love and healing -you’re now able to shoot a bow and arrow like a true warrior princess!

    Liked by 1 person

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