In defense of boob jobs

The unparalleled Sofia Loren

I am a feminist, single mother, hard-working self-employed attorney and owner of two rescued pets that yearns to someday become a professional writer. I have lived to corroborate that the better you present yourself, the better people treat you.

Twenty years ago, I was pregnant with my first and only son. I was doing the opposite of what the doctor recommended: leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

To make things worse, at the time I was also in the process of restoring a colonial building in Old San Juan while working as a full-time attorney in a firm. I lived in a constant state of stress.

By the time my seventh month of pregnancy came around, I had gained 60 lbs. Unbeknownst to me, I developed a high blood pressure condition that went undiagnosed for two weeks. During a routine checkup on the 35th week, the Ob-Gyn discovered that preeclampsia had kicked in and sent me straight to the emergency room. On December 1st, 1998, my beloved son Luis Enrique was born.

By the time my son was two I wanted out of my marriage. Three years later, I could not bear being married any more.

During all those years after Luis was born and my marriage was a wreck, I continued to take refuge in food. I perpetuated the obesity I developed during my pregnancy. High blood pressure stalked me.

Then my mother got cancer.

Six months after an oncologist sent my mother home with a hypochondriac diagnosis, she got a second opinion at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In less than 48 hours after receiving her samples, they diagnosed her with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The exceptional staff there somberly expressed that they could have bought her five years of life they had she come in six months before.

Weeks thereafter, she was constantly in and out of the emergency room. On one occasion, I saw a man bound to a wheelchair with what looked like two antennas coming out of his neck. A nurse completely oblivious to the provisions of HIPPA volunteered that the needles on his neck were for his dialysis treatment. She explained that his high blood pressure had destroyed his kidneys.

That wakeup call had me in the gym the next day. I was going to beat the first culprit of HBP: obesity.

I divided my time between the hospital and the gym.

During that harrowing time that my mom was in and out of the hospital, I realized she had never chased her dreams. She had lived for others, unselfishly sacrificing herself for her daughters, husband, extended family and friends.

On July 2004, my mom succumbed to cancer. By then, I had lost 70 lbs.

Seeing my mother agonize for weeks, I vowed to live my life every day as if it was my last.

I pondered over the fact that although my mother was a beautiful woman, she never got the nose job that would have made her happier every time she looked in the mirror.

Losing weight while exercising allowed me to reach the desired size 6 and look good in my new wardrobe. However, the substantial weight loss I sustained, coupled with a pregnancy followed by 11 months of breastfeeding, compelled a surgeon’s urgent intervention on my breasts.

In 2006 I underwent a mastopexy and a year later an augmentation mammoplasty. In layman terms, a lift and a boob job.

Being a 34B all my life, two saline-filled implants converted me to a happy braless 34C-D. A whole new perspective on life unveiled before my eyes.

Those that have been blessed with a natural ‘nice rack’, already knew what my breast implants allowed me to discover:

BOOBS RULE THE WORLD.

My boobs have reaped me rewards of over 1000 times what they cost. Getting freebies without asking for them; allowed into restaurants or offices ready to close; parking where no one else is permitted; getting attention from unexpected, dazzling suitors.

My friends named my boobs as “the girls”. To me, they became my “Problem Solvers”.

No better person like bombshell Sofia Vergara to depict what the power of beautiful breasts is really about. This clip pretty much sums it up:

Courtesy of: Modern Family

Throughout the years, I have discovered how much power a nice ‘rack’ can exert over men. Regardless of age, social status, or educational level, it is difficult for a man to resist a pair of pretty boobs.

It surprised me to discover that there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

Then one day after years of proudly enjoying my Problem Solvers, my life fell apart.

After a routine mammogram that recommended a biopsy, the findings resulted in a positive diagnosis. My right breast was compromised with an aggressive form of estrogen-positive invasive ductal carcinoma.

I was an unlikely candidate for breast cancer. There is no breast cancer family history on my mother’s side, I was in good physical condition, I breastfed my only son for 11 months and my BRCA test came out negative.

I was doing what the doctor prescribed.

I am no scientist, but some things seem obvious. Going through the mammogram films with the radiologist, oncologist and surgeon, one thought kept popping into my mind:

It was those very implants that had become such an intrinsic part of me that could have saved my life.

Even though I am not a scientist, I hold no doubt today that the implants that had given me so much pride and happiness had protected me. As I will explain, had it not been for them it is not likely that I would have detected and beat breast cancer as promptly as I did.

For one, there’s the routine checkups that implants require. Women after age 40 with breast implants are more likely to be punctual about getting annual mammograms. Since small lumps or tumors can be ‘camouflaged’ by the implants, you become meticulous about getting annual mammograms for early detection of any anomaly.

Early detection makes the difference between radiotherapy and chemo. A game-changer in the battle against cancer.

According to my surgeon, if the cancerous tissue extracted during surgery exceeds .5 cm, chemo is the way to go. In my case, he only found .4 cm of compromised tissue. No cancer cells had reached my lymph nodes.

The clusters of micro calcifications that required surgery were so microscopic that they could only be detected through a mammogram. Given the aggressive nature of the cancer, six more months without detecting them could have allowed to grow into life-threatening tumors.

Breast implants have a reputation of limiting a woman’s ability to detect tumors. For me, this fear became a blessing in disguise. Because of this preoccupation, I made a point of getting routine annual checkups on time. Because of them, I was able to discover the aggressive cancerous tumors growing inside of me, undetectable to the bare touch in a self-examination.

The scientific community is confident that “most epidemiological studies have not supported a delay in diagnosis or impaired survival among women with breast implants.”[1]

The advances in imaging provide a huge benefit as well. Test results’ precision should reduce any prior concern regarding the risks associated with difficulty in detecting lesions in women with breast implants.[2] Looking at them you realize it is very hard for any minute malicious critter to go undetected.

There is yet another logical reason why I believe that my implants saved me from a more difficult journey in the battle against breast cancer.

Staring at the film of my breasts, the tiny tumors seemed as intimidated predators set back by the huge plastic-and-saline wall that stood on their way. Those contraptions that had become part of my body commandingly prevented the tumors in my breasts from spreading as quickly as their nature would have otherwise allowed them to.

Common sense dictates that the disparity in terms of might between those plastic walls and the malignant tumors, had to have played a crucial role in protecting my life. The frantic Pac Man Blinkies, Pinkies, Inkies and Clydes seeking to invade my organs had to travel great distances to go around them to invade other tissues.

This week I was grateful to celebrate my second cancer-free anniversary and having being able to preserve my girls.

It has been a while since scientists reached the same conclusion I came to regarding implants’ ability to delay the spread of cancerous cells. A British Journal of Cancer article asserts that “several reports document that women with cosmetic breast implants seem to be at a lower risk of developing breast cancer.”[3]

In an article published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery, the author concluded that “[i]t appeared that the [fibrous] capsule [that surrounded a silicone implant] presented a barrier to the invading ductal carcinoma.”[4]

The jury is still out on whether or not implants per se (not a specific brand) affect women’s health. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration is looking into the possibility that breast implants may be linked to a rare form of lymphoma.[5]

In my case, the implants became a life preserver for which I am grateful.

My ‘girls’ have not only solved many problems. Maybe they saved my life.

In honor of their POWER, I had two t-shirts made with the purpose of creating awareness of what a precious gift they are.

©problemsolvers. All rights reserved.

To all the women considering getting a boob job, already had it done or were genetically blessed with a beautiful set of breasts at birth, I say:

FLAUNT THEM, empowering yourself knowing that the ‘weaker sex’ is but the most powerful one;

PROTECT THEM: go for the routine mammograms your physician recommends;

BE GRATEFUL FOR THEM: They will come to your rescue when you least expect it.

Thank you for reading.

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2833868#

[3]http://fortune.com/2019/02/07/fda-breast-implants-linked-to-cancer-lymphoma-alcl/

[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377078/#bib3 Citing (Birdsell et al, 1993; Deapen et al, 2000)

[5]However, recently breast implants have been in the receiving end of a backlash by the FDA stating that statistics “suggest” that silicone or silicone-covered implants couldbe associated” to a rare type of lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). What calls my attention is that although silicone implants have been around since 1962, the first case of ALCL was diagnosed in 1997.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25490535

Puerto Rican warrior & survivor; fighting for equal environmental rights, one pipe at a time”. “Mi nada, a nadie se lo debo.” Julia de Burgos.