Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hiya Dermatologist, Yup They're Boobs

That morning I had to giggle as I was getting ready.  I was taking a half day at work so that I could visit the dermatologist.  What had me giggling was thinking back to a day, oh so long ago, that I was worried about wearing women's underwear to the doctor's office.  I mean, what if they found out?  What if they were to somehow find out that I was wearing women's underwear!  Oh the horror, the horror!!  At one point in my life I actually felt that way, and yet on this day, I had to laugh.  Pretty much everything I chose to wear was purchased in the women's department.

Oh and let's not forget that I am growing breasts.  Yeah, that is kind of a difficult thing to hide when one is going to the dermatologist for a full-body mole check!  Ha! Err, there is also the little thing of my dermatologist having updated information about which medications I am taking, which happens automatically!  So, uh, yeah, there's that.

Okay then..... onward!

I made it to the dermatologist that afternoon and after being led into the room, and being asked to disrobe for the doctor, I found myself pondering what sort of lovely paper garment the nurse had set out for me.  Would she give me the standard paper blanket, or now that I am obviously showing my transgender status, will I have been promoted to the breast covering, backwards opening, lovely paper robe?

Alas, I received the paper blanket.  I briefly pondered wrapping myself up in the blanket and then thought, no, that would be a bit too over the top.  Besides, I really don't have a problem with nudity, even with my newly forming friends.  Though I did sit there, with my boobs out, getting a bit irritated at the growing thought that they surely would not have a cisgender woman sitting there with her breasts out.  I've spoken to my wife about these things and she has assured me that this sort of thing has never happened to her.

The doctor came in and we chatted for a bit about the little things in life.  She performed her exam and I asked her about a spot on my breast.  It was a red spot that appeared to be a bit like an ingrown hair.  It was something that I spoke to her about a couple of years prior and she kind of dismissed it.  Well, now that I happen to posses an actual thinking brain, I was determined to stand up for myself and not allow her to blow me off.  I calmly, but insistently, explained my concern for this spot.

Okay, brief interlude - if you do not already know, back about 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with a level 2 melanoma on my right breast.  I had plastic surgery to remove it and to make sure my nipples stayed aligned, ha!  Thanks Kaiser!  I did everything I was supposed to do, and have continued since as well.  I have had more moles removed than I can count, and most of the scars have faded away, and thankfully, I have never had any signs of cancer since.

All that to say, yeah, no, the spot on my left breast was not of the cancerous, scary kind, it was of the hey this stupid red spot is really annoying and bugging me, can't we please do something about it kind.  Which the dermatologist heard and quickly said, "okay then, let's do a small punch and remove it."  Which, if you don't know, is where she uses a device to cut a small circle in and down a bit.

She explained the procedure to me and why she thought it was appropriate.  I immediately asked her about scarring.  She sort of blew me off and said, "oh well it won't be anywhere near as bad as that scar."  I know that she had no idea of how badly she made me just feel as she motioned to the scar above my right breast.  The scar from the cancer removal, the scar that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, directly above my right nipple.  Thanks doc!

With my mind spinning while contemplating this, I calmly said to her, "I want you to know that I am transgender.  As well, I have been taking estrogen since last July.  I am telling you this, as I want you to know that this area,"  I motioned to my breasts, "is very important to me."

It is in these types of moments that show the really important difference in me since starting to take estrogen.  In the past I never seemed to be able to articulate myself well in times of stress.  I would always sort of short circuit and unfortunately often all I would feel was a rising sense of frustration and anger.  Now though, it is as if the world has slowed and I have all the time in the world to calmly, rationally, converse with clarity.  Ha! That's funny, me with clarity!  I know that to many it often does not come off that way, but trust me the shit that is rattling around up in that noggin of mine is far more clear than it ever has been!

Anywho..... After giving my doctor the "official transgender speech,"  I watched as she slowed down and began absentmindedly repeating her previous examination of the area she was contemplating cutting into.  Then it all clicked for her.  She wasn't talking to a man about his manly chest, and his manly scars, she was talking to a woman about her breasts.  Not just that, but talking with a woman, about cutting into her newly forming breasts and leaving her with stitches and a potential for a scar.

It was then that her entire demeanor changed.  She took many more looks at the area she was examining.  She looked at it from more angles.  And she told me that she was sure that I would be happier with the outcome than I was in trying to live with it.  Now that I knew she understood the gravity of the situation for me, and she reassured me that the scar would be very minimal, and look far better than the slow growing red blemish did now, I agreed to do the it. 

She began taking things out and prepping for the procedure.  I knew exactly what she was going to do.  I have already had it done numerous times to remove those pesky little moles I mentioned earlier.  She was pulling things out and seemed to be checking a mental list of needed items.  I didn't want to disturb her while she trying to get ready, but I knew I had to speak to her about the stupid little blanket they gave to me.

As she wrote a few notes down, I tried to come up with exactly when and what I should say, but she beat me to it and asked "Being as you are transgender, is there anything that we could be doing to make you more comfortable?"

I like my dermatologist.  She's a keeper!  I asked her if it was standard policy to give everyone the little paper blanket.  And she said yes.  Which kind of surprised me actually.  I was really thinking they had a shelf with folded up paper clothing items and one was labeled MALE and the other FEMALE.  Okay, so maybe not, but I still kind of assumed that they would give a robe version to women.

Apparently not!  My dermatologist explained that was the standard item given, but that anybody could request a robe if they prefer that.  She went on to say that there are many women who will only disrobe down to their underwear and bra, but that makes it a bit difficult to do a proper full body check.  Furthermore she explained that there are some men who refuse to undress, and will sit in the family member chair, fully clothed.  She then asked if there was something that I would prefer.  I explained that no, I am quite comfortable with my body, I would simply like to be offered the same thing as any other human.  Ultimately, both she and I think of humans as just that, humans.

She did understand though that I am a human who cares about the overall appearance of her breasts!  Taking that into consideration she deftly performed the procedure, removing the offender, and neatly places two tiny stitches into the incision.  She then said, "let's see what's in there....... yup, it's what I suspected, a sebaceous cyst."

This was the second removal of this nature, though the previous one was on my back, which my wife used to loving refer to as my volcano.  Lovely, huh?  Oh boy, the joys of being human!  These are things we don't really mention to kids.  Who wants to know this stuff???  Not I!

So.... there ya go!  I told her I am transgender, she understood the gravity of the situation, asked if she could be doing better, removed a cyst, and now it's healing.  Badda bing, badda boom, there ya go!  And I used to be afraid about wearing women's underwear!  Ha!  Silly little human!

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love dermatologists!

Photo credits:


  1. I feel for you - especially in the breast area... Oh wait, that uh didn't sound right.. ;-) I've reaped the results of almost forty years of hiking in the Sierra in short sleeves and no sunscreen! How stupid I was so I have been going to the Dermatologist fairly regularly getting Keratoses and other suspect items frozen off.

    When you met me, I had a lump in the middle of my forehead (my unicorn horn...) which had been getting larger and larger over the course of several years to the point where it was worrying. I had it removed a few months ago and they cut out a Lipoma the size of the first joint of my little finger and put seven large stitches in my forehead. I was EXTREMELY worried about the cosmetic results in addition to the worry about cancer (none, thank goodness) but the appearance isn't too terrible. Just an indentation in the center of my forehead and a small bump at one edge of it. It may eventually need a bit of touch up. I would be equally horrified to have scars on my breasts!

    Your story about the Dermatologist's dawning realization about the importance of your breasts to you tickled me. I'm sure my Dermatologist and nurse noted that my body was completely clean-shaven this last visit (the first time I had to take off my top) but to their credit, said nothing :-) Wishing you the best.



    1. I never noticed the forehead lump! Glad that it turned out okay! Thanks for writing Tanit! Hope you are well!

    2. Hi Nadine. Just my crappy luck with the Lipoma since the vast majority appear elsewhere on the body. In the middle of my forehead - can you imagine? Aaargh... I am doing OK as I hope you are. Wishing you the breast. ;-) Take care.



  2. Wow. Good for you, standing up for yourself and making it very clear who you are and what you want. I'm so glad it clicked for her, and that she was able to so quickly change her attitude and her approach. She's a keeper indeed.

    Best luck with the healing!

    1. I was super happy that it clicked for her as well!! Thanks Sally!

  3. Go you. I love it when health professionals get it.

  4. I love this post, Nadine, and I'm so glad it worked out OK with your doctor. I was also shocked to hear about the melanoma at such a young age and in such a critical spot.

    I did a post once on a visit to the dermatologist. Other than focusing on T-Central, I haven't done anything with my own blog in a couple of years. The dermatologist story was kind of funny. You can read it here:

    If this post comes up as anonymous it's because my ISP blocks your blog for some reason. Only yours and Femulate are blocked. I need to tunnel in to see it.

    Calie xx

    1. How weird with the blocking thing, huh? Your story was funny, and I am jealous of your high arches! Thanks for always being so kind to me and my blog Calie!!!

  5. What a wonderful story! I also well remember those days, contemplating shaving my legs and underarms, or a pedicure, and then OMG they'd "know" at the doctor's office! Obviously (at that time) that was something that could never be allowed.

    I've been on HRT since September so only a couple of months behind you. I've never felt so good in my skin in 60+ years on this planet. It's not a euphoria, it's a peace of mind.

    Anyway good on you for coming out to your dermatologist, and perhaps equally so to her for coming around to your valid reality. Thank goodness too that your bump wasn't a melanoma. I've had a couple of squamish cell skin cancers removed, and well remember waiting to hear the biopsy result.