I had dinner last night with two women friends - dear friends who have been in my corner every step of the way since I was diagnosed with DCIS.
Somewhere between the fresh organic pear/strawberry/goat cheese/spinach salad and the vegetable/saffron risotto, the conversation turned to my breasts. Now, this really isn’t too unusual, given that I have surgeries and scars and seeming asymmetry always on the tip of my tongue these days. After we discussed the current state of my health, we veered into a dialogue about women who have chosen to complete their reconstruction with the application of a nipple and women who have chosen to do nothing about getting a nipple and women who have chosen to get a bright, bold tattoo instead of the standard circular, tan fare that would (if the plastic surgeon had his/her way) become the areola.
They told me they knew of women who had gone for roses, even stars in lieu of the status quo.
My son had actually mentioned this possibility to me when I first told him how reconstruction works. I included the gory details about nipple building, and he jokingly (?) suggested I act like the rebel I really am and get an anchor (with the words “I love Ed”) in place of the more normal, spherical option. I have had a few good laughs relaying this to various people over the last few months. But, according to my two dinner pals, it seems some women really do it!
Would my plastic surgeon drive me to the tattoo parlor on Main Street and oversee the procedure? Or would he agree to let the young, well pierced and well decorated tattoo artist join him and let her put on scrubs to do the deed under the bright lights of the chilly, operating room? Or, maybe, to my surprise, he’ll pull out a book of tattoo samples from the top drawer of his desk and act like it’s no big deal.
Do you think he’d recommend a dragon or a phoenix? Perhaps he’d settle for a more simple but elegant Chinese symbol.
Ooh, maybe I should opt for something in Hebrew.