Listen to Susan as she explains what it's like not to have breasts.
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Coping with a Mastectomy - Susan's Story It is kind of a weird feeling when you wake, you know, when I woke up from the surgery and I had, you know, ACE bandages across my chest. I was really small chested before. So it was not like a huge dramatic change and I chose to have my reconstruction started at the time of mastectomy and not everybody chooses to do that. But what that means is while one doctor, so you have a team of doctors, you have two doctors in there, while one doctor is removing the breast, he moves to the next side. Then the other doctor puts an expander under the muscle and starts the reconstruction process as the other doctor is taking the other one off. So when I woke up, I had just a tiny bit of saving in there but pretty much flat. It was pretty scary taking off the ACE bandage for the first time; you know, you still do not know what you are going to feel like when you look in the mirror. It is a little shocking. Something that most people do not think of or do not know is that your nipples are gone. So it is not just the mound that is missing, but the nipple, and you are left with a scar. It is about this long and was going across the middle of your breasts. So, yes, it kind of takes some getting used to at the beginning, and then you kind of get used to it, but it is never, I think the part you do not get used to is just the lack of a nipple as kind of, you know, it is odd. They do not feel like breasts. So after I went through reconstruction and was finished with the reconstruction process, I felt like when I was dressed, you know, I looked very normal. I look normal now, but when I was undressing, they did not feel like breasts to me, you know, felt like, just like your elbow or any other body part, you know, they did not feel normal to me.