The Art of Camouflage After Breast Cancer Surgery

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Recently, while walking through a sporting goods store, I was intrigued by all of the camouflaged garments. I listened as my daughter’s boyfriend explained about the importance of hiding from the deer.

“In order to be in position for a kill,” he said, “you have to hide in plain sight.” He told us about how hunters used camouflaged clothing and blinds to be near the deer without exposing themselves. There was an art to hunting and it took great skill to get close to a wild animal, especially one with a keen sense of smell. I continued listening as he talked, and that’s what got me to thinking about the art of camouflage.

Since having both breasts removed, I was in the minority of the post-breast cancer world. Most of the women I talked to had chosen to go the route of reconstruction. They were young and wanted to keep their breasts. Instead of just having their breasts lopped off and being forever flat, they went through the complicated process of reconstruction. After having breasts removed, tissue expanders were inserted for those choosing to have silicone or saline implants. For those choosing to use their own body fat to make new breasts, the choice between DIEP flap or TRAM flap had to be made. Surgeries were complicated and painful, but each woman chose what worked best for her. My choice was pretty cut and dry. I wanted them taken off and wanted to be done with cancer forever. I wanted a once-and-done kind of surgery.  

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