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  • Debbie Kerr

What a Boob!

Prosthetic breast with duct tape

If you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking at, you’re not alone.  Believe it or not, you are looking at my prosthetic breast (aka, my fake boob). Don’t be shy. When you have breast cancer, so many people look at your breasts that you wonder if there is anyone who hasn’t looked at them. By comparison, showing my boob (albeit a fake one) on the internet takes things to a whole new level.  Luckily, this is the back of my boob so there is no nipple showing; it is internet and Facebook friendly. It’s also sort of dressed up for Christmas with some bright red Tuck tape.  

When this adventure occurred, this boob had been with me for almost six years. I bought this boob about six months after my last radiation treatment, which was in November 2011. Until this point, I knew that each boob I wore (a variety of foam ones in different shapes and sizes) was only short term. We never formed a bond, quite literally; however, my fake boob and I have been through a lot together. 

Fond memories of my prosthetic breast (fake boob)

Here are a few special memories:

  • This boob has taken me outside my comfort zone (from a temperature perspective. In the summer, it makes me hot and sweaty. In the winter, it gives me a quick wake-up call in the morning. The temperature in my bedroom is a little cool, which means my boob is cool too. It’s a little bit of a shock treatment when I put it on in the morning. Perhaps a boob warmer or boob cozy would be good.

  • I have played hide and seek with this boob. When people come home from work, they kick off their shoes to get comfortable. I go one step further and take off my bra/boob and toss it somewhere. Sometimes I can’t remember where I tossed it. Sometimes, when I’m trying to be discreet, I might put it on a dining-room chair and push the chair in. In one instance, I found it again, when I tried to sit down for dinner....with company.

  • This boob was one for a right side that I wore on my left.  This happened for two reasons. When I went boob shopping, they were all out of left boobs in my size. This was okay. When I had my mastectomy, with tissue and lymph nodes removed, I pretty much became flat under my left arm. The hope was, if I wore a right boob on my left side then there would be a wee bit of rounding on the outside (towards my arm) rather than being on the inside, closer to my other breast.  

Bad news

And now, my most recent memory is of my boob starting to leak. I had tossed it on my bed (without the bra) and when I went to pick it up, my boob felt sticky. I mean really sticky. I did a quick check and I could see a small hole in the seam at the bottom of my boob. Well wasn’t that great? Luckily, I had a collection of temporary boobs that I could use until I bought a new one. Until then, I put my boob in a plastic bag and went looking for one of my temporary boobs. You don't hear that ever day.

Good news / bad news

This was a good-news –bad-news situation. The bad news was that I was going to have part ways with something that had been part of my life for six years. The good news was that I was going to have to buy a new one, which meant I would see the woman who did my original fitting. Far from being a sad and uncomfortable situation when I bought my first boob, my fitter (Faith) and I discovered that we had the same sense of humour and spent most of our time laughing. She told me that I was the hardest person that she ever had to fit, and I could tell that she wasn’t lying as I looked at the boxes of boobs and bounty of bras. They were everywhere.  You couldn’t help but laugh.

I knew that this time would be even better. I was about the same weight, so my boob size hadn’t changed. There wouldn’t be any hit or miss trying to figure out my size. It was not only stamped on my boob, but it was also recorded in my file.  Now that’s a statement you don’t read every day.  

The other good news was that I could buy some new bras. As it turned out, this was even better news. The cost of my bras had actually dropped in price by about $30 a bra. Since I bought two, I actually saved $60. There’s nothing like saving money to put a smile on your face.


The good news kept coming. Faith told me that I didn’t have to throw out my old boob. She suggested that I put duct tape on it to cover the leaking seam and then I could use it in my bathing suit when I went swimming. I had worried about going in the water with one of my sponge boobs and worried that I would absorb all the water in the pool. With this silicone number, that danger was gone.

The fix is in/on

The day after making my new purchases, I reminded my husband that we had to fix my boob before it leaked any more. I carried my injured boob into the garage where my husband pulled out Tuck tape. He asked me if I wanted clear or red. Since it is so close to Christmas and my favourite colour is red, there really wasn’t any choice.

I held the end of the tape as my husband cut it and carefully covered the seam. He tried to get the tape to stick to the silicone and it didn’t like the silicone either. My husband persevered and once he got one piece to stick the other strips of tape quickly followed.  My boob is now leak-free, festive, and has a new purpose in life.

This pretty much sums up what I want to be. Just swap out leak-free for cancer-free and it is a perfect match. I want to be happy (my equivalent to festive) and, now that I have survived my cancer treatments, I feel like I have a new purpose in life.

With this in mind, I would be okay with you calling me a boob.


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