Back To B-Cup: The New Breast Arises

With my beautiful friend Shabnam. My breasts look nearly normal now!

The past week has been an emotionally exhausting one. And the reason it took 6 days for me to write a new post, is because I’ve had insurance agents (mostly friends) talking to me endlessly about my case… and I’m, frankly, tired of it.

I just want to know that my case can be used by agents and policy-buyers alike, that both sides realise the loopholes that must be addressed, and that more women get comprehensive (and I MEAN comprehensive, not “comprehensive” as per my 1992 Prudential policy booklet, haha) coverage and safeguard themselves financially in the face of tragedy. I really believe my sharing my insurance story is win-win for both agents and policyholders — knowledge is power (and “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, as evidenced by me).

Because, honestly, after you have been through the shock of getting cancer, and the devastating psychological trauma of losing a breast, and the painful physical recovery, and the mental stress of realising you are no longer the “Superwoman” you thought you were, the absolute last thing you want to deal with is not being able to claim on your insurance. Do yourself a favour, please, while you are in good health.

Okay nuff nagging. NEXT!

Today marks 74 days since my surgery. Seems like a long time… but every morning I continue to wake up feeling like I am wearing a seat belt in bed. The tautness across my chest hasn’t gone away yet, but I am happy to report that the swelling has gone down.

Last fortnight, due to the stress (I think) of the New Paper story coming out and the mass hysteria that followed on my mobile and email, I developed a hard 5, 6-inch lump on the inner curve of my new breast. It felt like someone put a bumper under my skin. It was slightly inflamed, and felt tender.

I made an appointment to see Dr Andrew Khoo. It’s good to have a surgeon who is truthful and reassuring at the same time. He took a look at the hardening and said, “Hmm, that’s necrosis of this part of the flesh, which means I trimmed off some of the blood supply to create this slope here to match your left side.”

What I needed to do was to massage it with some moisturiser or to sit in the bath and massage it.

Today, after about six days of massaging the lump is just 2 inches long. Also, I realised with great delight this past weekend, that the swelling has gone down about 80 percent!

Looking at my chest, Mr Threez nodded his approval. “They look equal now.” Dr Khoo seems still a little put out that my new breast is 10-15% smaller than my right but it’s barely noticeable. Provided it doesn’t shrink anymore, so that’s my prayer of vanity this season.

So now when I wear my bras, I don’t look like I forgot to take the padding out of the right side. Thank God!

This was taken about 8 weeks ago (mirror image). My new breast (left in this photo) was very outsized.

I have a lot to thank God for — that I am alive is the number one thing. That I still get to enjoy my children, that I get to wake up next to the man I love, that I still get to go to church, that I get to bake biscotti to destress, that I get to write… all the things I love to do, I still get to do (except maybe eat barbecued food but that’s a small sacrifice).

And so when I look at my nearly normal breast, it is one more thing to thank God for. It seems like a promise from Him to me that, though I am still feeling the physical effects and complete healing seems so far away now, I am slowly returning to normal. I’ll get there one day.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Yvonne Yeoh
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 04:46:00

    Hi Theresa,
    I got to know of your situation through our common link, David Chua. I sincerely wish for your speedy recovery and continued faith in God above. He knows and will continue to watch over you.
    Thanks so much for sharing. Maybe one day I will share with you my own health issues and my battle with God on ‘Why me?’



    • threezframe
      Sep 10, 2010 @ 16:23:07

      Thank you Yvonne! One thing I am grateful for, it is that God has brought so many great people into my path who have walked this road before, or who are about to, and we have been able to strengthen one another. Look forward to your sharing.


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