Re: Nipple-gazing.

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i never could understand why people get irritated with getting advices, if you don't want any sympathetic feedback/advice then just don't bring the topic into conversation is my thinking
and i usually do that, i mean do not share what troubles me out of superstition partly too
but if i shared i would just listen to whatever people say


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:23 PM
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My grandmother also can't understand why anyone would be irritated with getting advice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:26 PM
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1: Maybe you should consider the different intended functions of communication; not every utterance is an invitation to pedagogy; idle bitching is a valuable form of expression. If I were you, I'd reexamine what I need from conversations, and try to understand what my partners need from me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:30 PM
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Nosy question (which means please don't answer if it's too nosy) -- have they given you a clear set of odds, and if so, what are they? I'm not exactly phobic about surgery, but I'm pretty firmly on the no thanks bench (the thought of cosmetic surgery is entirely bizarre to me), and I'm seriously unsure of what sort of odds it would take to talk me into having preventive surgery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:32 PM
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50% chance of breast cancer before menopause; 80% lifetime risk. (IIRC.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:35 PM
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I think there's a style clash between the people who view the mere voicing of an issue as an implicit request for advice, and the people who think that their conversational partners should be able to glean from context and background knowledge whether or not the comment is a request for advice.

If you're in the second group, interactions with the first can be especially irritating because it feels as though they are displaying their ignorance and disinterest in you. Nancy's known me five years and she still doesn't know that when I say jokingly that my husband's snoring keeps me awake, I'm not really asking whether he should be tested for sleep apnea? This guy has been talking to me for the whole of dinner and he can't figure out that when I mention an issue at work I'm not inviting a total stranger to tell me how to manage my staff?

Further complicated by: a) the people who use advice as additional ammunition in their ongoing power displays, and b) people who don't feel comfortable coming straight out and asking for advice, and prefer that other people deduce that their simple statement of an issue is an implicit request for ideas.

Then again, I was taught to explicitly ask, which weirds a lot of people out.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:35 PM
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I also found Twisty's post about the country club's insistence that she wear a bikini top pretty through provoking.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:37 PM
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I have a similarly hard time deciding what I'd do; I never thought I was particularly attached to my breasts until I thought about losing them. (Occasioned by my grandmother's mastectomies). I understand that some procedures reconstruct at the same time as removing the tissue, but I think I'd prefer to try it out without normal breasts for awhile and try to come to terms with my new body.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:37 PM
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If I were you, I'd reexamine what I need from conversations, and try to understand what my partners need from me.
no use, i wouldn't just converse with that idly bitching person i guess and would avoid them altogether
i mean i offer my advices not to everyone


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:40 PM
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6: I wasn't really serious...


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:41 PM
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10: I though 3 was funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:42 PM
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I think there's a style clash between the people who view the mere voicing of an issue as an implicit request for advice, and the people who think that their conversational partners should be able to glean from context and background knowledge whether or not the comment is a request for advice.

Obvious solution: texting.


Posted by: American Telephone and Telegraph | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:45 PM
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What struck me about the article was the pressure to increase breast size when doing reconstructive surgery. I knew that deciding whether or not to have reconstructive surgery in the first place was a fraught decision, but to have your doctor pushing you to go up a size is just absurd. Not that plastic surgeons are generally known for their compassionate and caring manner, but still.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:49 PM
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12: Ben, it's a little unseemly to fish for more after you got 108 comments, don't you thnk?

7: Wow. I didn't see that. Do you have a link?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:49 PM
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But seriously, folks, it's an aesthetic choice that few get(?) to make: how shall I structure my body? Advice is the wrong word; it would be more akin to criticism. I'd go for a modernist plane, but I'm artistically autistic.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:52 PM
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I didn't post 12!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:52 PM
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14: Fine, I'll admit it was me and let Ben off the hook.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:52 PM
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You're a mensch, eb.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:53 PM
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14b: The rant against shelf bras and the country club is here.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:55 PM
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but to have your doctor pushing you to go up a size is just absurd.

Indeed; a friend who had a breast reduction found herself having to constantly argue with her doctor about the fact that she wanted a B-cup, not a C-cup. He seemed incapable of understanding. She was a tiny, tiny person; B-cups look huge on her as it is.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:55 PM
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14, 19, ...and in the original post.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:56 PM
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If I lost the boys to prostrate cancer or something I'd totally spring for some Neuticals.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:56 PM
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22: The canine or feline variety?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:57 PM
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I can't even imagine having to contemplate a mastectomy. And I think personally I'd lean towards no reconstruction.

But it's hard to say. Plenty of women opt for reconstruction, and I wonder if it's not merely a desire to look acceptable and attractive, but a desire to feel normal post-surgery.

My aunt-in-law is in her sixites, and recently had a melanoma removed from her face. She is not someone who could be fairly described as a vain woman at all; but the fifty-some stitches and scarring bother her deeply, and her fear now is that the mole on her lip will turn out to be cancerous and that post-removal she will be disfigured and will have to wait for reconstruction. Fear of disfigurement seems to encompass more than just fear of not being acceptable to the patriarchy, boob-wise.

So I could see someone wanting reconstruction just to try to put mastectomy behind them. Intensely personal decision, though, and I hope the people at Twisty's pool slip.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 6:59 PM
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21: Oops, my bad. I had assumed it was some other Twistypost.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:00 PM
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For the record, I think my decision is emotionally light-years easier than the case of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. I can't possibly say what I'd do in that situation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:02 PM
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22: I dated a guy with a post-cancer falsie. He sort of wished they'd just left it out, but they seemed to insist that he'd want it. He didn't. It was not less distracting to have a fake hard thing there instead of nothing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:02 PM
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22: The canine or feline variety?

Might as well go for Equine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:03 PM
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21: Oops.

Thanks, Blume. For people who haven't yet clicked through:

'Mastectomy swimwear',? see, doesn't mean "no-boobs swimwear."? It means "swimwear that maintains, for the comfort of the entire community, the illusion that you never had a socially awkward deadly cancer, and could still turn dudes on if you wern't so old and pruney."

On the reconstruction discussion, I have no idea how I'd feel. I do know that when I started wearing a (very large) back brace at age 14, it was a pretty big adjustment. I hadn't previously spent a lot of time thinking about my body in a non-utilitarian way and it was jarring to realize how much of the cultural messaging I had picked up regardless.

Eventually I settled on a kind of aggressively matter-of-fact respons to inquiries, although interestingly enough a lot of people were scared to ask. Gave me about .01% of a taste of what it must be like to be in a wheelchair or have another obvious permanent disability, I think.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:05 PM
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It was not less distracting to have a fake hard thing there instead of nothing.

He should get the silicone "Natural soft" from the good people at Neuticals.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:06 PM
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I can imagine someone developing a nice false testicle, like a weighted, squishy thing. That would be useful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:06 PM
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22: I wouldn't. If I lost Herman and the Hermits I'd either go clean or wear an elaborate codpiece with a political allegory on it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:07 PM
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but a desire to feel normal post-surgery.

That seems to be the perspective of the author in the linked piece; the superficial "normalness" that the outside world sees helps make up for the ways in which she feels abnormal.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:07 PM
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30: OMG. Why anyone needs to make sure their dog's balls squish when they squeeze them, I'd rather not know.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:07 PM
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"Hey there! Looks like you forgot to neuter Fido like a good citizen!"
"Nope, did it a long time ago. But then I purchased a $1000 set of fake balls with real squishing action!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:12 PM
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prostrate cancer

Entirely worse than prone cancer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:15 PM
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I can't wait till Fido runs away and gets picked up by the humane society, who go to neuter him and find the falsies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:15 PM
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If there's one thing I took away from the Cyborg Manifesto it's that there can be some real human value in accepting the artificial---or the unnatural, or the augmentation, or the lack, or the supplément. We don't have to accept Düaut;rer's ideal form, the averaged and perfected human. I, for one, plan to embrace a giant clunky hearing aid when the time comes.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:16 PM
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Oh, heebs. Why must you make me contemplate these things? I don't doubt that if I were to actually see a specialist like my PCPs keep urging me to do they would tell me I have similar odds. But I hate thinking about it. And it seems stupid.

I have a cousin who did the preventive double mastectomy thing and got relatively small implants. Then I think she got ovarian cancer. She's fine now, but goddamn.

I really can not imagine doing the preventive thing. I feel so attached to my breasts, it's like.. I can't even imagine getting a reduction, although all kinds of people like to suggest it to me. I really don't know why, though, b/c I don't have back problems or anything. It's a pain in the ass to find clothes and bras, but isn't that true for almost every woman?

Sigh.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:17 PM
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Then I think she got ovarian cancer.

Yeah, I plan on getting an oophorectomy, too. That's the one that scares me more, even though the risk is lower, because it's so much harder to detect.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:19 PM
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39: Do you get mammograms?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:21 PM
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You seem so much saner than me. It seems like the sane thing to do when, if having boobs has a decent chance of killing you, to get rid of 'em. Why I'd be willing to risk that to hang on to these body parts I don't need is beyond my understanding.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:22 PM
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Have you blogged about this?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:22 PM
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41: Haven't gotten one yet. My doctor says I'm too young. But that I should get the genetic testing.

Other sources say you should get your first mammogram 10 yrs before the earliest familial onset. Which, for me, was 2 years ago.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:23 PM
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42: I think part of it is that I found out at age 20, and was very much guided through the process by my worried parents. So in the sense that it's easier to make these decisions about someone else than it is about yourself, I was imprinted with their clear, clear opinion of what I should do. (They weren't dominating about it or anything. It was a very emotionally healthy process.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:27 PM
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43: Me or M. Leblanc?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:28 PM
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My doctor says I'm too young.

I'm no doctor, but this sounds crazy. If you have any incidence in your family, better to get into the habit of scheduling mammograms early.

(Says the woman who had a panicked mammogram at 20, in France, over what turned out to be a harmless cyst, and has absolutely no family history of breast cancer. I was and am really lucky.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:29 PM
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I'm a little confused about the backstory, heebie. When you say I found out at age 20, did you find out about a genetic predisposition or about an actual cancerous growth?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:30 PM
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Genetic predisposition.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:31 PM
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In general, I feel incredibly lucky that there happens to be a genetic test for my what'll-kill-me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:32 PM
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That's in part why I don't want to do the genetic test, b/c I feel like the people who love me will completely freak out. Whereas I feel like, well, I've known I'm likely to have a predisposition my whole life, as my mother was diagnosed before I was even born (fucked up, huh?) and died 7 years later. No news to me.

I guess I didn't know that they quantify it for you. I thought it was just like "yup.. you've got the gene." The percentages kind of make it seem like it'd be even more likely to prompt a freakout.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:34 PM
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There is definitely a freak-out. I console my mom periodically by telling her that for her 70th birthday, I'll give her my breasts in a formaldyhyde jar. Then Jammies is like, "But I want them!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:37 PM
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I'm completely talking out my hat here, so please anybody jump in and correct me, but I was under the impression that:

1. There are several different potential genetic markers for breast cancer, some of which are more conclusive/easier to quantify than others. So a genetic test will not give you a simple yes/no answer.

2. One reason NOT to start getting mammograms early is that it is an increased exposure to radiation, and there is speculation (and even research??) that the radiaion itself may increase the growth of precancerous or cancerous cells.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:39 PM
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As geneticists say, genetics loads the gun, but environment and behavior pull the trigger. Knowing the odds---and being equipped emotionally to handle the problem---should help you, I hope. My response to my probable fate of degenerative deafness has not been so mature: fatalistic acceptance and loud music. I'm not being quite so responsible with my family history of blood clots either, come to think of it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:40 PM
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I also read that some researchers are trying to reduce the focus on mammograms because mammograms can lead to false positives and unnecessary biopsies. Having had a biopsy already for a mole which, just happened to be on my breast, I can say that the biopsy sucked considerably more than I expected it to. And that was for something on the surface that was pretty goddamned small.

Reading the linked piece is almost enough to make me decide for no reconstruction NOW. God, that sounds awful. So not worth it. To have to deal with that shit after getting over fucking cancer? No fucking way.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:42 PM
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environment and behavior pull the trigger

Is behavior supposed to have anything to do with breast cancer? Is there something I'm supposed to be doing or not doing?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:44 PM
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Is there something I'm supposed to be doing or not doing?

I don't believe the eat-right-and-exercise hype when people try to apply it to breast cancer. But there are some significant differences between the genetic mutation version and the randomly striking version, most notably that birth control pills and pregnancy decrease your risk of the randomly striking kind, but increase your risk if you've got the mutation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:46 PM
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I also console myself that the breast-cancer incidence rate is much lower in Egypt, the county whose gene pool half my genes come from. Egypt's is about 50 (per 100,000) while the US' is twice that.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:49 PM
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Is there something I'm supposed to be doing or not doing?

Don't work the night shift if you can avoid it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:52 PM
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Behavioral Risk Factors: Breast Cancer


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:54 PM
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The third kid has definitely changed things. Time was, 60 would have been a lot saltier, even with the same link.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 7:56 PM
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@52:

BUT THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ARCHAEOLOGIST | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 8:00 PM
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It's the breasts of Coronado!

In general, I feel incredibly lucky that there happens to be a genetic test for my what'll-kill-me.

Funny, I was thinking earlier that I was glad that the what'll-kill-me that runs in my family is not something testable with a test that gives a percentage. It would drive me nuts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 9:44 PM
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It would drive me nuts.

For me, if it were testicular cancer, it would drive me nuts right off my body!

(Yes, I'm a terrible person.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 9:48 PM
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43: Me or M. Leblanc?

It was a lame joke. Like "have you considered talking to an oncologist?" "Have you considered twittering about it?"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:28 PM
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I'm speaking from complete ignorance here, so forgive me if I offend. Is there really a condition that the probability of having breast cancer is greater than 50%? And is it really common or somewhat rare? That seems amazing (and really unfortunate) to me. It's like familial hypercholesterolemia. Much more frightening than the 5-10% risk of many diseases that most people worry about.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:30 PM
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And to follow one stupid question with another: How common is a preventative mastectomy? Can you really predict breast cancer with so much accuracy that it's worth removing breasts before cancer shows up?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:35 PM
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66, 67: yes, and yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:37 PM
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My husband, for the record, never tried to talk me into augmenting. He is a very intelligent man.

I am perhaps being overly critical here, but I was bit put off by the repeated accolades her husband got for letting her make her own decision on what she would do with her own freaking body. I have no illusions about my own world historical ranking as a thoughtful, caring husband, but my God, talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:55 PM
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69: I took that more to be contrast with the plastic surgeon than anything else.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 10:57 PM
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Yeah, my take-away from that article is that big implants are being marketed on the following fronts:

(1) It gives you something to think about other than cancer.
(2) Men will like you better.

When really, I'm sure it has more to do with the fact that the longer you are doing all the stretching and stuff, the more the surgeon gets paid. Right?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:01 PM
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71: I kinda figure it's more that plastic surgeons are used to women coming to them to augment their breasts, so they tend to assume that *every* woman would augment her breasts if given the chance. Not that the profit motive isn't there, but I'd expect that they make the vast majority of their money on the surgery itself, not on the other stuff.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:06 PM
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I have a friend who had a single mastectomy decades ago, and her solution is to stuff a few gym socks in the ol' bra when it's time to go out. I assume heebie's thought of that option.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:08 PM
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Plus, I imagine the process of choosing plastic surgery as a specialization selects for people who have issues with the normal variety of human bodies.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:09 PM
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74: if that show about Miami plastic surgeons is to be believed, you got that one right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:10 PM
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I don't think Nip/Tuck is fact-based, Tweety.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:12 PM
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Just like there are good people who are lawyers, I know of some good people who do plastic surgery and do things like giving a kid with a severe cleft palate more of a "normal" face or whatever. But whoever's advising all those cheek implants and lip-plumpings on previously "beautiful" people... It has got to stop.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:13 PM
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First do no harm, &c.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:14 PM
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76: smartass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-09 11:17 PM
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FWIW, when I figure out that someone I know is the kind of person who reacts to my sharing a problem/issue/catastrophe with advice, that's the point when I try to remember to quit sharing anything like that with that person until whatever-it-is is over. Especially if it's painful. There are people I wouldn't tell I'd got cancer.

But my reaction - which is usually to nod and share something equivalent back at them - is probably just as irritating.

I think that if I found out I had a genetic predisposition to breast cancer I'd just make the deal to lose my breasts. What would annoy me more than anything else isn't losing the shape of them, but the nipple and nerves, which I'm really rather fond of, and which even surgeons who specialise in ftm trans surgery have difficulty with.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:03 AM
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i understand when the topic is sensitive and the sharer of whatever is kinda defensive, but if from the beginning one starts to sound agressive, i just think who cares and tempted to say it, but don't of course
i second F's opinion


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 4:59 AM
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There is definitely a freak-out. I console my mom periodically by telling her that for her 70th birthday, I'll give her my breasts in a formaldyhyde jar. Then Jammies is like, "But I want them!"

That made me laugh.

Maybe you could auction them off for charity?



Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 5:15 AM
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82 was me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 5:17 AM
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60:That linked article includes one of my major medical term jargon pet peeves. They don't want to talk about childhood obesity, so they've turned "overweight" into a noun.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 5:29 AM
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I don't have breast cancer risks particularly--my aunt had the random kind, but I have thought about breast reduction. It's just that it's such a major surgery. I'd be much more inclined to have it done if I turned out to be a good candidate for the liposuction-only procedure.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 5:31 AM
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re: 67

Someone I know was talking about having it done. She knows with some accuracy that she is at risk. She may have had it done [I haven't seen her for a year, and she was talking about it getting it done soon].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 6:02 AM
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Wow, this is more affecting (maybe "moving" is a better word?) than I would have expected. It's partly just for the obvious reason that it's not fun to read about the specter of a horrible disease, whether we're talking about an imaginary Internet person or not - stay healthy, Heebie!

But also, this reminds me that I take a very utilitarian attitude towards my body. My concern for fitness goes up and down in very mild cycles. I used to practice martial arts, but not for years. My only (known) physical problems are a bad knee that I've long since learned how to deal with, and sebaceous cysts, which are annoying but ultimately harmless. But this thread is a reminder that I my body is for more than just walking around and manipulating books and computers, etc. Use it or lose it - I shouldn't take it for granted.

50: Maybe that's the big difference. Judging by what my grandparents died of (Alzheimer's in my father's father's case), the really scary what'll-kill-me is genetically influenced but there isn't any test for your chances of developing it. And it's a mental thing, so it's a different kind of attack on the sense of self from what I'd imagine a cancer causes. There's not a lot you can do about it, other than make deadpan jokes whenever my dad shows the slightest forgetfulness and use it as an excuse for unhealthy behavior. ("So what if I smoke? Lung cancer doesn't seem as bad as Alzheimer's.")

57
birth control pills and pregnancy decrease your risk of the randomly striking kind, but increase your risk if you've got the mutation.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this observation, but this seems like a really cruel Catch-22. I guess it isn't really because you know based on family history whether or not you have the mutation, but still.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:22 AM
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For the record, I think my decision is emotionally light-years easier than the case of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. I can't possibly say what I'd do in that situation.

Why, heebs? To me, it seems like a much easier decision once you know you've got it, though I also completely understand your decision.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 11:07 AM
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Re: the genetic testing issue, only 5-10% of cases of either breast or ovarian cancer are hereditary, so for the vast majority of women, testing won't tell you much.

Warning: Advice ahead. If you have a living relative who's had breast or ovarian cancer, you may want to ask them to get tested, because that will give all her female relatives useful information.

The BRAC mutation hadn't been linked to ovarian cancer before my mom died, so she wasn't tested. If she had been and were negative, we would know that I, my sisters, and my nieces weren't at increased risk. (We could also theoretically have inherited it from my father, but there are no known cases of breast or ovarian cancer on his side.)

As it is, I'm the only one who's been tested so far. It was negative, which is a huge relief, of course, but doesn't change anyone else's statistical chances. (One of the reasons I decided to get tested is that I have better health insurance than my sisters and am more likely to stay in the same job, and so am less concerned about discrimination based on the test. Which is so fucked up.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 11:24 AM
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90

Huh. That's clever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 11:27 AM
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88: Because I wasn't under time pressure, and wasn't reeling from the shock of having a possibly fatal disease. I was contemplating something that was still 10-15 years in the future, so I could be very removed and academic about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 11:31 AM
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91: Gotcha. I've had enough friends and family with cancer that (I believe) I'd have no hesitation, but a diagnosis is overwhelming even before you have to make any decisions.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 11:43 AM
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Cosmetic Surgery The small number of longitudinal studies of people who have received cosmetic surgery have generally not observed adaptation to increased attractiveness. The vast majority of patients report satisfaction with the results of cosmetic operations (Wengle 1986),29 which does not appear to decrease over time. In a study of nine hundred cosmetic and plastic surgery patients, Reich (1982) found that satisfaction increased from 70 percent at three months after the operation to 85 percent four years later. Young, Nemecek, and Nemecek (1994) found that reported satisfaction remained constant. Beale and his colleagues (1985) did, however, observe a slight decrease.30
In addition to satisfaction with the surgery itself, several studies have indicated an overall improvement in psychological health or life satisfaction as a whole. Ohlsen, Ponten, and Hamburt (1978) noted that twenty-five of seventy-one women in their study were receiving psychiatric treatment prior to a breast augmentation procedure, whereas only three continued to do so after the operation. Klassen and his colleagues (1996) also found substantial reductions in psychiatric symptomatology among people receiving plastic surgery. Cole and his colleagues (1994) reported that 73 percent of their patients reported a higher quality of life after cosmetic surgery, compared to only 6 percent who reported a lower quality of life. The largest gains were for cosmetic breast surgery (both reductions and enlargements), with slightly smaller gains for ab-dominoplasty (tummy tucks) and only slight gains for rhinoplasty (nose jobs). All of these studies should be treated with caution, however, because of the likelihood of strong demand effects in reporting satisfaction with cosmetic surgery.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:07 PM
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I messed up that comment. I just wanted to say acoording to these guys cosmetic surgery is one of the few things that is apparently not subject to hedonic adaptation.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:11 PM
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Huh. Guess I should go get some work done to cheer myself up.

I want stereo FM installed in my teeth
And take this mole off my back
and put it on my cheek.
And uh...while I'm here, why don't you give me
some of those high-heeled feet?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:17 PM
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93
The largest gains were for cosmetic breast surgery (both reductions and enlargements),

That made me think of the discussion upthread about doctors assuming that women replacing breasts due to a mastectomy would want the falsies bigger than the original. And now that I think of it, a friend of my sister has had breast reduction surgery. So, given that there is a market of women who do want their breasts shrunk, why would cosmetic surgeons assume that the default is to make the new ones bigger?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:19 PM
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96: If I were going to guess, it's that very few women want breast reductions unless their breasts are significantly bigger than average, but that a non-negligible number of average-sized women get theirs enlarged. So a cosmetic surgeon can visually identify those likely to want reductions, and then baselessly assume that everyone else wants enlargements (forgetting that the majority of women don't want either, because those women don't end up in a cosmetic surgeon's office unless they have breast cancer.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:27 PM
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95: Cheers for the Laurie Anderson reference.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:42 PM
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98: How many cheers? The standard three? More? Less? We want to make sure we achieve the right level of exuberance.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:45 PM
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Three cheers seems a little much, how about e cheers?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:46 PM
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Since we're talking about breasts, maybe two is more appropriate?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:51 PM
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Speaking of which, don't forget to celebrate a week from Saturday.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:54 PM
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How many cheers?

I thought he was calling for 95 cheers, which could take a while.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:56 PM
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Or perhaps a more traditional cheer is in order.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:57 PM
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103: Distributed cheering would take care of it in no time.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 12:58 PM
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I must have read about Ogged's really fucked up bachelor party ten times by now.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:12 PM
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106: The classics are indeed timeless.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:16 PM
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105: Moral support via bit torrent? You're a genius, M/lls.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:18 PM
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You're a genius, M/lls.

I need to hear that from several thousand more users before I really start to believe it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:21 PM
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Oh neat, another unpleasant thing to think about. If I understand the situation correctly, my wife is at a risk level high enough that the docs offer up prophylactic mastectomy as an option but not so high that it seems to make much sense. Which means she gets the pleasure and privilege of reconsidering the possibilities of surgery, cancer, and the like every time she goes in for a mammogram. Thanks, modern medicine!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 1:30 PM
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What are her risk factors, NPH?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 4:54 PM
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109: The leeches support Jesus in email.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 6:46 PM
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56: You should be having babies be breastfeeding them.

Which btw, Heebie, have you considered that?

(Am disappointed in the rest of you not taking the CLEAR INVITATION to irritate the Heebster.)


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 7:28 PM
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113: she should be having babies... be... breastfeeding... her breasts?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 7:36 PM
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B is trying to sound street.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 7:47 PM
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YOU BE DA BREAST FEEDAH! BUT DON'T DO DAT IN PUBLIC, FO SHIZZLE!


Posted by: OPINIONATED REPUBLICAN CONGRESSWOMAN | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 7:49 PM
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B is typing on an iphone bc her laptop has a dead logic board, apparently.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 7:59 PM
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"and the sharer of whatever is kinda defensive,"

I really don't think this is an appropriate way to frame the issue (SHUT UP I AM NOT DEFENSIVE).

People who have whatever X scary medical condition have almost for guaranteed super sure thought about it a lot and are well aware of all of the basic options, guidelines, etc. You should assume that you know much less about the issue than they do, and that unless you also have personal experience with whatever X scary medical condition, you are ONLY qualified to ask questions and provide sympathetic support. Not give advice. Not suggest diets. Not dismiss fears as hypochondria.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 8:39 PM
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111: I don't remember the full analysis, but I think it was mostly coming from a history of her breasts growing some non-malignant but abnormal bits plus some family history of cancer (not breast) plus her breast tissue being hard to image effectively.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 8:45 PM
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118 whatever
i'm not interested in asking questions or otherwise interacting with shouting people in whatever condition
please be advised to mind yourself


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 3-09 3:46 AM
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If I had to have my nuts off like Lance Armstrong, I'd invest considerable effort in getting the doctors to fashion my scrotum into a little purse so I could carry things in it. The obvious thing would be condoms, but perhaps I could take up a sideline in smuggling small egg-shaped things of high value.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03- 3-09 7:51 AM
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My former roommate's mother had a mastectomy before reconstructive surgery was available. She used inserts in her bras and used those as pin cushions when she sewed. This would freak out random visitors as Ellen stabbed a pin into what looked like her left boob.

My neighbour had a double mastectomy last year. After she healed, the surgeon used tissue from her butt to make boobs. She likes the fact that her faux breasts are smaller than her previous set, as that has relieved some back pain.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 03- 3-09 8:00 AM
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The obvious thing would be condoms, but perhaps I could take up a sideline in smuggling small egg-shaped things of high value.

Specifically, Faberge Eggs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-09 8:29 AM
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usually if someone mentions a problem, i'm curous what they did about it. i don't really think of that as 'offering advice' unless it is in the form "You should do X". But lots of people are very sensitive and so i try to avoid conveying any information whatsoever that could be helpful. i think its less about 'offering advice' and more that the person just wants to talk about the problem, not listen to me talk about the problem. which is really the point: listening to someone else talk abotu problems is boring. so don't bring it up to begin with. its just fact-conversation, and hearing people give wrong facts is irritating as hell.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-09 1:19 PM
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usually if someone mentions a problem, i'm curous what they did about it. i don't really think of that as 'offering advice' unless it is in the form "You should do X". But lots of people are very sensitive and so i try to avoid conveying any information whatsoever that could be helpful. i think its less about 'offering advice' and more that the person just wants to talk about the problem, not listen to me talk about the problem. which is really the point: listening to someone else talk abotu problems is boring. so don't bring it up to begin with. its just fact-conversation, and hearing people give wrong facts is irritating as hell.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-09 1:22 PM
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121-123: With just a little expansion, you could have room for d4, d6, d8, d10 and d20.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-09 1:37 PM
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Wow, yoyo, you must be an awesome friend to someone in crisis.

I can't decide if yoyo's and read's shared non-capitalizing is a cause or a symptom of their shared lack of empathy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 4-09 1:40 PM
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