Hey, they are just a couple of boobs. We refer to them as mammaries, breasts, TaTa’s, the girls, boobs, boobies, breasts, baby pacifiers, baby bottles, hooters, knockers, chest bumps, crumb catchers, pillows, jugs, melons, puppies, air bags, tittie’s, the twins, headlamps, muchacas…and a few not so nice words that some man probably came up with. Who knew they had so many names?
Mine are gone. But I feel them…It’s what is called ‘phantom’ pain. Of course, I hurt. Who wouldn’t. It’s a good thing God made us women so strong! I swear they must’ve slapped me around after they drug behind a truck l, and all while I was asleep. Because I felt like hell in a hand basket when I woke up seven hours after being rolled into the operating room for my mastectomy.
I donated the ‘suicidal bitches’ to science…even tho I did consider (for less than 1 minute) bringing them home in a jar (when my mother-in-law passed, we inherited a jar with my husband’s appendix. We could have displayed them together). Can you just imagine the conversations we would be having around the dinner table? My boobies in a jar, on a shelf, next to an appendix in a jar for all the world to see. My family would have been mortified! So, I figured we might as well get some useful research from them. Not that I believe they’ll find a cure using my boobies but hey, they stood a better chance of living beyond their 54 years in a research lab than in a jar or the trash!
So, carry on old girls! Make yourself useful as you travel beyond my chest wall. I’m not mourning your loss yet.
When I was told I had breast cancer, I charged my way through a bilateral mastectomy, the reconstruction process, fear, loss of self, and loss of confidence. I had the scars, both emotional and physical. I had the appearance of a woman in limbo between illness and health.
With Tamoxifen weight gain and sensitive, stiff implants, my wardrobe became my nightmare. As a woman, it sucked. I wanted to wear my button-down shirts, my sweetheart necklines and, most of all, my delicate, underwire bras. But, my God-given breasts had been replaced by my McDreamy Boob Whisperer given breasts, and I felt as though I was 13 again – and I am trying to figure out how to dress these foreign objects.
Some may think this sort of vanity is a selfish and silly emotion. I had come out of cancer with clear margins, a loving husband and a great job. I was luckier than most. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be re-living the fashion angst experienced by a teenager, but I was. And getting angry with myself for feeling so stupid wasn’t making things easier. Every morning, getting dressed became moments I so stressed over. I couldn’t sleep. Something had to give.
I told myself that I could continue to try stuffing my square breasts into my formerly circular life, or I could just change my perspective. I said goodbye to button-downs, to shift dresses, to restricting waistbands. I packed up my unwearable, but beloved bras and donated them. I started embracing maxi dresses and pieces made from modal or jersey fabric. I thanked Lularoe for making oversized, comfortable garments fashionable. I found myself wearing more long and oversized shirts and super soft leggings. I began playing with necklines and clothing without structure – and discovered my love for belting and long necklaces. I turned my eye toward bohemian and billowy cuts, knowing I could dress them up and create my own tailoring with the right accessories. I learned power comes from within, not pencil skirts and four-inch pumps.