I Miss My Breast

Let’s see…which emotional issues should I bury under deep layers of sarcasm today?

After my breast cancer diagnosis, everything got to rolling so fast and I didn’t get time to grieve for my sacrificed breasts. Both were amputated (at my request)! Now they are but a distant a memory seen in pictures. Gone forever. And OMG, you wouldn’t believe the COST of having my boobies removed! Wowza! I mean really. You could purchase a house!

As a breast cancer survivor, who underwent a bilateral mastectomy, I am not sure I am supposed to say I miss the boobies. I probably shouldn’t be thinking about it the way I do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed to have found that ugly, nasty, crappy cancer early and gotten rid of it. I’m glad to be alive. But if I’m honest, I’m miss my breast. (Yes, I had reconstruction…it is not the same) My breast fed my babies. And they are gone! They gave my husband and I both pleasure. And they are gone! I’m sure my hubby misses them too, even though he’s been fantastic. (And think for a minute how he might be unfairly criticized if he were to openly admit that). There seems to be a certain amount of guilt involved when a breast cancer patient says she misses her breasts.

This may be a sensitive subject…the size of a woman’s mammary glands. Clothes are made to fit us with boobage, everything fits different after reconstruction than the real boobs. Who cares? Actually, it seems, everybody! Marketing uses boobs to sell almost everything from motorcycles to viagra.

As a young girl in Jr. High, our P.E Coach had us girls chanting “We must, we must, we must increase our bust” out loud. So, she was telling us girls how important our size was while we were all still in training bras! I hated those dang bras. I wasn’t excited or proud to get one and didn’t want it. There were always those who developed early and wore mascara and lip gloss before I did. Of course, I grew into a B cup by high school (not much but more than none) and before crappy cancer took them, I was a D cup. (‘Generous sized’ according to my surgeon.)

Shopping for bras (have you noticed there are 4+ aisles to choose from) is not fun. So many choices! Satin, damask, cotton, padded, underwire, pink, white, tiger print, leather and lace. We want to look curvy, but be comfortable. There’s no such thing with booby straps or over the shoulder boulder holders!!!

But I still miss them. There, I said it, (or wrote it) for posterity. It’s out there in cyberspace for all to read and digest. I miss the girls. I grieve for them. Losing them was a BIG deal after all. My hugs are different…now the padding between me and whomever I’m hugging is just not the same. They are either afraid of hurting me, or they do hurt me.

I’m ok with that, are you?

1 Comment

  1. I Understand these sentiments all too well. I’m 7 years post op (bilateral mastectomy with Reconstruction). I went to a hot springs resort last week, and couldn’t help but feel a gut sucking wrench turn in my belly when I was in the women’s dressing room. Most of the women were my age, (middle age) with their healthy normal nipples and breasts. I was shocked by the very real response I had to seeing breast tissue, unscarred by the ravages of breast cancer survivor marks. My scars are deep purple red, and wide, as wide as my pinkie finger, and long, longer than my longest finger. I MISS my silver dollar sized areolas. My high beam headlight nipples that led the way when I went running. I MISS my beautiful sensual nerve tingling breasts. I miss the pain free days before surgery. Yay I’m alive. Yay I have a husband (the ex needed real boobs in his life, he never recovered from the physical changes I went through) who loves me for me and not only the body I inhabit. I explant the implants the end of this month. One implant has gone flat tire and bottomed out. The other feels too heavy too firm too painful to bother with. I want function over form. I want health over ‘visually appealing healthy looking’ fake tits. After 2721 days of 24/7 post mastectomy pain, these cold lifeless blobs of silicone that may be contributing to my recently arrived health challenges (breast implant illness is a thing), I’m readying my self for a second bilateral surgery. Explanting. Woot. I miss the original ping and pong, Jean and Jane, the girls. I miss the carefree traveling around the world me. I hope to be able to stop the practice of gauging each day’s activities by how much effort it takes to pretend to be healthy and well. Or thinking of how many days it will take after a full day of ‘normal activity’ to recover before I appear in the world again. I pray to regain Health, Joy, and Fun. Ugh. Cancer. Yay I’m alive. I’ve survived. For 2,721 days. I still miss them, and probably always will.


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