Tracie Cone has always been a trailblazer. This award-winning journalist is the former California Newspaper Executive of the Year. She shares a Pulitzer Prize with fellow staff members at the Miami Herald for coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and has twice been nominated individually. She has focused her writing on helping the underdog and empowering those without a strong voice of their own. Now she takes us on the fight of her life.
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Boxes O’ Boobs

My new boobs are here.

How’s that for an opening line?

They came in two blue boxes all wrapped up in a pink bag. I’m not quite sure yet if there is a right one and a left one – or if fake breasts are ambidextrous.

I want to say they look almost lifelike, but that sounds like something someone would say who also opines that people lying in coffins “have never looked better.”

My replacement breasts are smaller than my originals, and I wanted it that way. I had Cs and these are A-Bs. I wanted just a hint o’ boobs, not something weighty and cumbersome.

They are soft and squishy, and I’ll wear them tucked into a camisole – if I wear them at all. I had the option at the breast cancer lingerie store of getting an under wire bra. Can you imagine wearing one of those things if you don’t have to???!!!

I’m guessing that for now the prosthesis will be like my wig, which I’ve worn exactly twice. There will be times I want to go out incognito and take a vacation from my ordeal, and times I just want my clothes to fit better.

But most of the time I want to be comfortable. Wigs and falsies are not.

Besides, I’ve kind of gotten used to looking down at my flat chest, especially now that the pain has subsided. I still don’t have the full range of motion of my arms, but I’m working on it and getting better every day.

I’ve talked to a plastic surgeon about reconstructive surgery but haven’t decided I’ll go that route. After all I’ve been through, the prospect of a nine-hour surgery and six weeks of recovery don’t sound appealing. I want to get through radiation by the New Year’s and have all of this behind me. I miss work.

Except for the occasional person who calls me “sir,” probably because of my bald head and 6-foot stature, I’ve found that people don’t really notice my missing breasts anyway — unless I point it out.

That’s because the people I meet look me in the eyes, which are starting to sparkle again.

My new fake boobs fresh from the box.

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