In my previous post, I shared part 1 of my upcoming new book’s introduction. As promised, here’s part 2. As always, your thoughts are welcome. And it looks like my book is on schedule to be out next week, or very soon after that. Check back here for updates. Now here’s part 2…
Introduction, Part 2
Like many teenagers, I wasn’t entirely happy with my new, emerging shape. I always felt a bit small in the bosom and a few times stuffed my bra with Kleenex for a little oomph. That worked fine until I started going steady and couldn’t fool my boyfriend’s groping hands with Kleenex.
In college I even went so far as to secretly order a “bust enhancing” exercise contraption I discovered in a magazine. The ad promised to significantly increase my measurements if I followed the directions for mere minutes a day. The device was a piece of pink plastic with a tight spring of some sort in the middle. You held the device in front of you and squeezed the two sides together. I stood in my dorm room with the door tightly shut squeezing away, but I never noticed anything happening, except for a growing realization I had been duped.
Shortly after graduating from college, my high school sweetheart David and I got married and I came to accept my body, at least most of the time. I became confident, comfortable and just plain more mature about how I looked at myself. The days of wanting to change my body were over, well, mostly over. Later came three babies and I proudly breastfed all three. Suddenly, my breasts were truly functioning as nature intended and I grew to appreciate them during that special time (except for the sore nipples and painful case of mastitis). After that period, I didn’t think much about breasts. Life was too busy. Years passed and mammograms entered into my now more mature routine. I patted myself on the back for entering this new watchdog phase of breast awareness.
Then one day out of the blue it seemed, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and suddenly breasts were back in life’s spotlight, now as potential betrayers and messengers of doom. After her diagnosis and death four years later from the wretched disease, I naively believed I could not be stricken for at least a while. Some reasonable period of time would have to pass. No family could be inflicted with back-to-back cancers. That would be too cruel. There must be quotas on misery allotments. Surely I would be spared, or at least given a fair amount of time to prepare. I was wrong. Cancer sticks to its own protocol, which means it doesn’t follow any. It strikes whenever it damn pleases. My cancer diagnosis came in April 2010 and my personal cancer domino effect was set in motion. It continues to this day.
A few weeks later on an ordinary day in late spring, or early summer, depending on your seasonal vantage point, I said goodbye to my breasts. I miss them. I miss a lot of things about my pre-cancer life. This does not mean I’m trying to rewind my life. I’m not. My life now is good, very good. I have much to be grateful for and I am, but cancer changes everything. It just does. Cancer is a string of losses and I will certainly never be calling it a gift. And just for the record, it didn’t make me a better person either.
So that’s most of my intro. Hopefully it makes you want to read more!
Have you ever felt dissatisfied with your breasts or any other body part(s)?
Have you ever tried to make your breasts appear bigger, smaller or non-existent?
If you’ve had a mastectomy or a lumpectomy for any reason, do you miss your old breast(s)?
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