I Must Increase My Bust

By Kristen Knott

Written July 20, 2014

I have that childhood chant in my head “I must, I must, I must increase my bust”. I have been living that chant since my March 21 bi-lateral reconstruction surgery.

I now have two breasts, or as I refer to them…I have two misshapen balloons under my skin. They are nipple free and have extensive scarring and are much wider than the final boobs will be, but in clothes you would never know. Most people are familiar with an expanding waistline but I am living the expanding bust-line.

I have had 5 injections done at my plastic surgeons office between April and June. Each injection added another 60 cc’s of saline to the tissue expanders that are slowly stretching my scars and skin to accommodate my future final breast inserts. The saline is injected by needle through the skin to the expanders via an invisible magnetic port in each expander. I felt like I was an active participant in a science experiment every time the procedure was done.

Chatting about travel, kids or my final implant surgery my doctor used a magnet to locate the ports, and then drew dots all around the port with a pen. Then [...] continue the story

Reconstruction: Not for the Faint of Heart

By Kristen Knott

Written April 3, 2014

It was 13 days ago that I underwent surgery again, a left prophylactic mastectomy and the beginning of bi-lateral reconstruction surgery. It has been a very long two weeks filled with pain, discomfort, and a lot of focused breathing and stillness.

The day before my surgery I felt like the old me, running around getting last minute errands done. Trying to organize the house and my work in a way that would ensure order without my involvement over the coming weeks. You know – doing those jobs you never want to do, filing the mail, cleaning out the crisper, organizing the house clutter – thankless jobs.

On top of the Cinderella chores I had an appointment at Juravinski with my oncologist. This appointment was my three-month check in on my response to Tamoxifen. When my Dad and I walked into Juravinski that morning I didn’t feel like a patient anymore. I felt different.  What I did feel though was dread deep in the pit of my belly. I knew the following day I was going back into patient mode. My strength and health that I had fought so hard to get back was well on the way, and now I was [...] continue the story

As Useless As a Tit

By Kristen Knott

Written Saturday October 19 2013 @ 11:30 pm

I now realize that I need to refrain from using the phrase “as useless as a tit.” The words seemed harmless on the occasions that I uttered the sarcastic phrase, as I believed it rang true. Outside of breast-feeding, boobs seemed to be a non-essential body part, almost a luxury from my perspective. This viewpoint was fueled by my envy to have big boobs, as boobs although useless seemed to embody feminine power.

I understand that a boob is not required to walk or pick up things or used to communicate with other humans (well that one you could argue). It is easy for people to say, ”you would never know you had a breast removed” yet the reality is I have. When I stand in front of the mirror naked, it is blatantly obvious to me that I am missing a key part of my body. Breasts are one of the first visual indicators to a female body. Like an Adams apple on a man, breasts are fundamental to the female shape

I am feeling now as if people think I am crazy for wanting to pursue reconstruction surgery, although they do [...] continue the story

An Ode to Wonder Woman

By Kristen Knott

Written September 21, 2013 @ 3:30 am

As a child of the 70’s, I like many other girls religiously watched Wonder Women on television. She was beautiful, intelligent, and strong and seemed invincible. I realize now that I have always been drawn to strong women through out my life and my desire to be a Wonder Women.

This past spring I felt a lump in my right breast that simply felt different than others I had felt in the past. I had learned three years prior at 39 that I had fibroids in both breasts and the surgeon stressed the need for me to be diligent about doing self-breast examinations as with dense breasts it could be more challenging to detect a tumor.

Fast-forward through to May 2013, where I underwent two mammograms, an initial ultrasound, followed by an ultrasound guided biopsy of the lump, and then an appointment with the surgeon June 6, to receive the biopsy results. As I sat in the surgeon’s office looking out the window at the pouring rain, he called for my pathology; he hung the phone up and professionally informed me I had a cancerous tumor in my right breast, and that he could [...] continue the story

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John, Diagnosed at age 44 Treatment: Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radical Mastectomy, Reconstruction

Breast cancer does not discriminate—just ask mother, actress and singer Olivia Newton-John. Here, she shares her story of facing fear and winning.

Q: Did you ever think about breast cancer before your own diagnosis in 1992?

A: A dear friend of mine was diagnosed only three months before I was, and our little circle immediately said, “Oh my God! She’s got cancer!” There’s something about the word itself that’s so scary. So when I got it, I had to come to the realization—and it took awhile—that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence. Millions of women go through it and then lead productive, healthy lives. But at the time it felt overwhelming.

Q: So, you and your friend were facing it together.

A: Yes. She’d had surgery and was already going through chemo when I was diagnosed. Then, a few years later, a third girlfriend got it—three women from my immediate group—all in their 40s. A housewife, a flight attendant and me. Unbelievable.

Q: Did you friend’s diagnosis motivate you to conduct self-exams?

A: I’ve always had regular exams, because I’ve had a few [benign] lumps before—you know, cysts—so I went periodically to my surgeon for check-ups. [...] continue the story