Monday, December 17, 2012

Me and My Nipples




As much fun as it was announcing to total strangers, "You know... not everyone has nipples," eventually the game grew old and that's when I knew I was ready.


So, while some of you were busy Christmas caroling or dreidel spinning, I was strapped flat to an operating table. Hours later, I had my very own set of nipples. 

So far, this is what they look like, only double the size - HUGE by gorilla standards.


Some of you might be wondering, how do they make them?

Well first, they start with a liquified corn syrup base, then they add some dye, mold it into a gummy form and POOF, you've got DOTS.

Nipples are a bit more complicated. Different surgeons use different techniques. My surgeon extraordinaire, Dr. Sandra Margoles, used a technique called a CV flap. 

Isn't it adorable!

In the center of my reconstructed nipple is a slice of cadaver skin. This tiny morsel of cannibalistic goodness is used to prevent the nipple from flattening out. Believe me, the last thing I need are flat nipples. 

In addition to getting nipples, I also had some fat grafting. This process was a bit more involved. First, I had to grow the damn fat. That was time consuming. Then they needed to "harvest" the fat. Turns out fat taken from my thighs had the best chance of surviving since its been around the longest so they used that.

The down side is, now I look like this...


(I have no idea why I'm holding this orange)

Once Dr. Margoles harvested my fat, she injected it into areas surrounding my implants that needed tweaking. Implants under breast tissue (as in breast augmentation) typically look fabulous, but implants under pectoral muscle (as in breast reconstruction), with no breast tissue, tends to have some issues.

With issues now gone, lets focus on the orange. See how nice and round and plump it is... 

And this is me, four days post surgery.



On the top of my chest, by my collar bone, are two initials. An "M" is on my right and an "S" is on my left. I thought that meant righty is for Mark and lefty is for Shannon but it turns out that's medical jargon, for (Dr.) Sandra Margoles - her way of tagging me so there was no confusion as to who was operating on me. I for one am relieved - it tells me that, unlike my first surgeon (aka DICDOC), she really did do my surgery. 

I am going to make you wait a bit longer for the full unveiling - right now they're slathered in bacitracin and shielded behind what looks like water bottle tops but I'll tease you by saying that I am thrilled with the results! These nips have transformed lifeless mounds into titillating bosoms - something I seriously doubted would ever happen and if you've followed along from the beginning of my breast debacle, I'm certain you did too.

Once I'm healed, I'll travel to the top nipple/areola tattoo artist in the country, Vinnie Meyers, and get my areola and nipple tattooed a lovely shade of ... pink. Yes, as crazy as some of my design ideas have been, I'm beginning to think that "normal" might be the way to go. 


xOOx,MonkeyME 

To see how I got here visit CATSTIR the other "C" word that rhymes with Dancer

29 comments:

  1. Oooo how exciting!!! Nipples, aereolas and cadavar skin!!!!!! Oh MY!!!

    Congratulations on this latest enhancement to your already beautiful self!!!


    xoxoxoo


    MG

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    1. ohhhhh THANK YOU Monkey Gurl! xoxox this from a women who spent a week in a tent with me.

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  2. I just know they are going to look fabulous! What a year for you, huh? I am so glad you are happy with the results because you deserve to be happy!!

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    1. Thank you Denise. A women I know, who is considerably older than I and is also a breast cancer survivor, was just remarking how SHE WOULD NEVER and doesn't understand WHY I WOULD do any of the reconstruction. I stayed silent but so wanted to say, "because you never breastfed your son and apparently thats something he enjoys!"

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  3. So glad this is behind you. And that you are so happy with the results! yay!

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    1. I went and looked at Vinnie's page and he looks really good.

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    2. you could say that all this is premature. There is a chance that the nipple can go flat, or even fall off (yuck). There is a chance that the fat won't stay. There is a chance that my noobs will drop. BUT hell... today, lets celebrate today! Today, they look fabulous!

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  4. I am so excited for you!!! Funny, I was actually thinking "Oh, I'd never let anyone but Tony tattoo my nipples" (Tony's our tattoo guy, not my husband) but then I thought... "But that would be to weird to have him see my noobs (if I had them)"

    So yeah. I'll bookmark this... and if I ever need tattooed nips, I'll see your guy. :)

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  5. Hooray on the nipples!! I never thought I would be excited about someone elses nipples!!

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    1. Ha!!!! Thank you :)))))) can you tell your excited????

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  6. What a wild ride you've taken us on...

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    1. it's been an interesting year for sure!

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  7. Hey Shannon! Happy to hear you are healing! What a long, strange trip it's been. I am interested to see how the FG fixes everything and also if you notice the fat being gone (I know that will take time 'cause you have to be in those compression garments for a while). I am on the fence about doing anything more. I think I'm still a bit shell-shocked. Happy Holidays, my friend!

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    1. ohhhhh I don't blame you for being on the fence! I rushed it a bit to get it over with during the insurance year since all my deductibles have been met.

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  8. There is something about nipples that make tingly all over....

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    1. of course it does. I told someone... after reading this you'd either never be able to eat DOTS again, or you'd be rushing out to get some. I suspect that you, my male friend, are chewing as I type.

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  9. Sounds like the surgeon did a great job. Wooohoo for new nipples! Congratulations, and thanks for explaining how it's done. I always did wonder. ~Catherine

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    1. You're welcome! I'm already thinking I need more fat along the top. I'm crazy like that

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  10. Happy that things are working out well for u with these last surgeries. You've been through so much. Happy Holidays!!!

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    1. Thanks Stormy! Happy Merry Wintery Wonderland to you too!

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  11. I'm so glad you are happy with the results, and I fervently hope everything heals up just wonderfully.

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    1. me too!!! Thank you Blissed! and remember, if you know anyone who needs nipple advice, send them my way!

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  12. I am thinking there is a Christmas song in there somewhere. "All I want for Christmas is..." You can take it from there. Happy Healing Monkey. You go, girl.

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  13. You get to start the new year complete! I like how they look like little angels, giving themselves a hug.
    Jesse :-)

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Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

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Shannon E. Kennedy

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Photo by Joan Harrison