During October and the besiege of all things pink and about Breast Cancer, there was a commercial that really struck me. It spoke of the lifelong relationship a woman has with her breasts. Well, I beg to differ. In 28 days I will no longer have my breasts, boobs, tata’s or whatever you want to call them. Sure, it will look like it, but my boobs and I are parting ways. And I am going to miss them…alot.
I never thought too much about them when I was a little girl. It wasn’t until I started 6th grade that I realized I was lagging way behind other girls in the growth department. I was the proverbial pirate’s dream, the sunken chest to beat them all. I had nothing. And the other girls were not only developing, they wore bras. Real, cups and everything. And I was relegated to undershirts.
Then the Sears delivery truck showed up at the house. Surely my mom would have ordered me a bra, at least one for training despite I had nothing to train. But alas, more undershirts. I was too nervous to ask mom for a bra so my sister secretly donated her own training bra to me. At least I no longer felt I had to change for gym in the bathroom stall. Those undershirts were that humiliating.
Of course I still had to deal with the boys in the neighborhood that taunted me about my flat chest. “Tepless is topless” was a favorite chant. It took me a couple years until I graduated from eighth grade to actually show any signs of life. Not much, but something. And mom bought me a bra. Probably something in a AAA but there was a cup. And then there was John. His last name will forever remain a secret.
Am I the only one that remembers the first boy that copped a feel? Slick little dude. Not only my first kiss but my first official, unwanted trip to second base. I didn’t realize when he asked me “will ya go?” that he wasn’t asking me to “go steady”. It meant will ya go to second base. Next thing I knew his hand shot up my back, unsnapped my bra like a seasoned professional and grabbed what little there was of me.
Throughout high school and college much growth wasn’t seen. I also was a stick which would have made big boobs an odd look for me. I was never much into having big ones – just as long as I had something. So I was satisfied. There were times I didn’t have to wear a bra and that suited me fine as I got a bit older. An undershirt became a camisole and those were fine too.
In my early twenties I started to develop fibroids in my little boobs and it scared the crap out of me. No one talked about breast cancer much back then but I knew what a tumor was. Even back then I had to keep an eye on things. Little did I know that all along I was carrying a gene that would almost certainly guarantee I would have breast cancer not once, but twice.
Well after I had children and I turned forty something strange happened. My boobs started to grow. Not just a little bit, like crazy. Where the heck were they when I was young?? Why now?? Suddenly I found myself in the DD department. Enough to cause my male cousins to openly declare I must have had a boob job. I didn’t understand what was happening and I still don’t. Perhaps I just was getting what I wished for on super delay.
So now, after a 56 year relationship with these breasts-o- mine, it’s time to say goodbye. And let me tell you it ain’t easy. These are a part of me, my life, my history. They’re not like hands or feet; they are what helps us feel feminine, what can give you self confidence and make you feel well, like a woman.
Sure, I will have new ones. And I guarantee they are going to be perkier than the sagging ones that I now possess. I get to pick the size and I’m working with a great plastic surgeon whose life I have threatened if I don’t have the best looking boobs in Chicago. On the surface they will look real. But on the inside they will not be me. And that makes me feel that I will not be myself, emotionally.
When faced with a decision like I’ve had to make there wasn’t much deciding to do. Are my boobs more important than my life? Hell no. Do I want to risk a third round of breast cancer? Hell no. Would I ever want to go through chemo again? Hell no. Would I be so lucky a third time? Think not. Do I want to dance at my daughter’s weddings? Hell yes. Do I want to play with my grandchildren someday? Hell yes. Do I still got a lot of livin’ to do?
So, those that know me do me a favor. After they are gone, let’s not talk about it. Please don’t look right at my chest when you see me, it’s going to be hard enough to adjust to the change. I want to just be done with it and get on with the business of living my life. This is why I am doing what I’m doing. And to those of you out there that may be facing the same thing, look ahead. There will be life after boobs.
I’m counting on it.
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