"Have you decided if you are going to keep your nipples?"
I can’t tell you what month it was but I can tell you what I was wearing when I heard this question come at me from the seemingly nice doctor with cold hands who just examined my breasts. (It was a new cream sweater with the abstract line drawing of a naked woman, fitting I thought for my appointment, with jeans and a pair of green Poppy Barley boots that made the most perfect clacking noise in the hospital hallways by the way.)
Back to the nipple question. As I sat wrapped in the hospital gown asking again for data on the chances of getting cancer by keeping my nipples versus removing them, I already knew the answer to his question. I was letting them go. The nipples that is. I knew I wouldn’t keep them because why go through all of this to even have a minimal, decimal, percentage chance of getting cancer when everything that I am about to do is to prevent it?
The what I am about to do is a double mastectomy with reconstruction using my own body in what’s called diep flap and this is all happening on January 12th.
As a carrier of the BRCA2 gene, the one made famous by Angelina Jolie, and to make it kind of political, a former Trump press secretary, the recommended course of action is what I am about to do along with removing my fallopian tubes (✔️ 2020) and the removal of my ovaries which will put me into menopause. All of this is happening in the year I turn 40. I’m calling it The Year of Me because of the focus on reshaping myself not only surgically to hopefully prevent the cancer that I am genetically likely to get but also emotionally and mentally.
I’m sharing this with all of you now because it’s not only going to impact me but Madame Premier. I will be away from the store until February at the earliest. The recovery from this surgery is challenging and will take time. For a small business and advocacy community like Madame Premier it’s going to take a toll on what you see and hear here. Orders will take slightly longer to get out, emails will take longer to be replied to and the store will be closed for more days during the week and open slightly less hours outside of weekends. It’s not ideal but it’s the best I can do given the circumstances.
I am hopeful that my recovery will be fast, or at least faster than whatever normal is, and I will be back in the store working up to what my life is like as I write this. Minus my nipples of course.
Politics, humour, love, friendship, kindness and community will get me, my family and Madame Premier through this and so I want to say a very heartfelt thank you in advance for your patience, support, friendship and love.