As the youngest in my class in 5th grade, I watched a few of my friends get their first bras. One afternoon, I stuffed tissues down my shirt and giggled with my friends about what I would look like with boobs.
In 7th grade, I missed over a month of school due to health issues. When I returned to a reduced schedule, I was 5’3” and 75 pounds.
In 9th grade, I started filling out. I went from wearing a training bra to a C-cup seemingly overnight. I wasn't self-conscious about my curves, but I didn't fit in socially either.
When I moved overseas in my sophomore year in high school, I vowed to reinvent myself. My braces were off, my hair was longer, and I began to embrace my body. I wanted attention from the boys and invites to all the parties, and that’s exactly what I got!
Through that time, I began to associate my boobs and long hair with my power and sexuality. As my breast got bigger and bigger and my hair got longer and longer, that increased exponentially.
I wear between a 34F and a 34G bra right now. I am very attached to my tits. (If I could write that sentence 500 times in all capitals and bold letters, it still wouldn’t do my attachment justice.)
When I come to after surgery on April 25th, I will be an A-cup for the first time in 26 years.
I an angry at cancer.
I'm disappointed that I’m not eligible for immediate reconstruction.
I am sad that I have to go through this all without my mom. (She passed away from cancer in 1997.)
I am heartbroken that through chemotherapy and this upcoming surgery, I will have lost the physical attributes that I’m most attached to. My hair and my tits were my signatures. Cancer will have taken both of them from me.
I’m slightly concerned that even after mastectomies, I will still have a 5% chance of developing breast cancer in the left breast and 12% in the right breast.
And, I’m very disappointed that so much misinformation is out there for women wanting to learn about the process.
Do I have faith that I will get through this experience? Of course.
Will I live my life as though cancer is never returning? Yes.
Do I take comfort in making this experience about more than just me? Definitely.
Do I stress less, cry less and put up with less crap than I did before cancer? Sure.
Do I laugh less than I did before cancer? Yes…unfortunately.
Do I know that my worth and my identity are more than the sum of my physical parts? Deep down, I do.
Do I look forward to the day when this experience is a distant memory? Every. Single. Day.
What are you attached to?