Flat Memoir: “To Boob or Not to Boob”

NPOAS sat down with “To Boob or Not to Boob” author Liza Hernandez to learn more about her and her book.

Following a breast cancer diagnosis and bilateral mastectomy, I learned to look at life differently. I chose reconstructive surgery with implants, and my new boobs lasted 16 happy years. Then the point came when I had to replace the implants after they became hard and painful. I researched my options for removing the implants and learned about an aesthetic flat closure procedure. If I chose this option, I wouldn’t have to have any more surgeries in the future. While deciding what to do, I read a quote from the Mary Poppins movie: “Open different doors, you may find a different you there that you never knew was yours. Anything can happen.” The quote resonated with me, so I followed my heart and said, “Off with the implants!” With this book, I created a guide with practical suggestions for before and after surgery and the first year of healing. I share how I found the right look for me and my new figure, and how I dealt mentally and emotionally with the changes. I still have boobs, just in my unique way.

Tell us why you decided to write a book about your experience.

I decided to write the book because I could not find much information about women who had breast reconstruction and breast implants for numerous years and needed to explant. Also, a lot has changed, and aesthetic flat closure has become an option that I knew nothing about. I could not find much on the healing process for women like me. I walked into my boss’s office and told him I needed to remove my implants and planned to take two weeks off to recover. That was a joke; I was off for six weeks.

What was it like for you writing the book? Cathartic? Traumatic? Both?

Writing the book felt like I was living Ground Hog Day, the 1993 movie with Bill Murray, for a year and a half. It was difficult to relive the worst part of my life over and over. I have dyslexia which only compounded the problem, but as time passed, I also relived all the beautiful things that happened to me. Ultimately, it has become a part of my life, not the worst. I have no worst part because I am alive.

What do you hope people take away from reading your book?

 I want to make the experience of others easier and help them know how to plan for healing and what to expect. I want them to know they are not alone and can receive help from many unexpected places. Also, there are helpful things to know, like choices of scar patterns and essential questions to discuss with your physician before surgery. Letting people know there are websites with lots of information and support is essential.

Can you share your favorite part of the book with us?

My favorite part of the book is realizing I can wear lightweight breast forms and achieve the same look without further surgeries. Rigo’s reference that they are like a pair of heels, and I can throw them off when I want to, is a great way to think of them because being flat feels great too.

Any parting thoughts?

My parting thoughts are we are never alone. Even when we think we are, a stranger will give us a kind gesture. People from all walks of life still have kind hearts and care about others. Lastly, illnesses have a way of teaching us to love ourselves.

Order To Boob or Not to Boob on Amazon here.

Published by Not Putting on a Shirt

Founder of Not Putting on a Shirt, a mastectomy patients' rights organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for patients going flat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.