Boob surgery smells bad. Well, I smell bad. But there’s a very distinct, funky-human odor that comes from having been operated on. Showering is a nightmare because of all the contraptions wired to you and the searing pain from water tapping your boo-boo. Plus, when you have your breast lopped off, it’s difficult to raise your arm to shave. So I’m a hairy, smelly jungle woman with half a pair of tater-tots.
That’s something no one talks about, but I just want you to know. Surgery literally stinks, and part of the “feeling bad” part is feeling bad about your appearance. And just… hygiene. You have to really learn to let that go. And I don’t mean “Oh, I went camping for a few days and smell like campfire.” I mean goopy, drippy, disgusting human. Like, actually make yourself faint (true story) kind of gross.
I’ve always been a bit of a germaphobe. I take a deep breath before pushing buttons on the ATM. I don’t want to do it. Tell me that I have a malignant tumor, and you’re basically telling me that my somewhat neurotic fear of being dirty/catching something has now quadrupled into Bubble-Boy proportions.
Although, if you put me in a bubble at this point, I would probably asphyxiate from my own pollution. I’m a one-boobed smog factory.
So, if you see me around in the next few weeks, and I’m wearing heels, perfume, and full makeup, it’s because I want to look better than I feel. Or smell. There is no right way to cope with a serious diagnosis. I choose lipstick.
You know what I did when I first heard the news that it was malignant?
Well, first I held it together in front of my doctor, and said something like, “Ok, I was prepared for that,” which was a lie. As soon as I got to the car I started bawling, then I apologized to Z for always crying. He shook his head with one of those “there, there,” expressions and asked me what I wanted to do. “I want to go to JCPenney’s and call my mom.” So, in usual graceful form, Z took me to Penney’s so I could be around clothes while I updated my family.
A lot of people call me things like “strong.” They tell me how tough I am and how gracefully I’m handling all of this. They tell me how positive I am and how inspirational it is to see me “fighting” so aggressively. That I’m coming out on top. That this will make my relationship stronger. That I have a good attitude and they’re proud of me.
Even if I don’t believe them, I will accept those compliments.
So no one can smell me.