I recently underwent a bilateral mastectomy as part of my treatment for Stage II breast cancer, which was diagnosed in October 2019. This journey has been both physically and emotionally challenging – to say the least.
Coming to terms with losing my breasts…It’s hard to put into words how difficult that has been.
I’ve found that creating a ritual for any life transition can be extremely helpful. A release of sorts. Saying goodbye and preparing to start fresh.
So I wrote a letter to my boobs before my surgery. It has helped me accept and let go.
I’d like to share it with you:
I got my first bra when I was 10 after reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
It was a thing of beauty. Bright white with a tiny pink rosebud in the center. I looked at it in the mirror every time I went to the bathroom.
I was so flat you see the bump of the rose under my shirt.
I prayed for you to grow. I wrote it in my diary.
I got my first period two days before my thirteenth birthday. I thought: My boobs are still completely flat. When I have a baby how will I possibly breast feed??
You did FINALLY “blossom.” A nice proportion. Bathing suits held up but I could run without too much bouncing.
Breastfeeding my babies was one of the exquisite joys of my life. Giving life from my own body. The closest you can be to another human.
Miraculous. Practically orgasmic. The pull like the scratching of a deep itch.
Mammary. Mother. Primal.
My premature little boy had gallons and gallons more than he could drink. A whole freezer full.
For this I thank you most of all.
My coming-of-age. My femininity. My babies’ beautiful, happy fat rolls.
I used to describe you as “fine, but nothing to write home about.”
I’ve changed my mind. YOU ARE SPECTACULAR!
The “reconstruction” (as if we’re talking about cement and metal), all silicone and a patchwork of skin grafts. Some real Frankenstein shit.
Mostly numb. No longer erogenous.
Goodbye. Thank you. I love you. We had a good run.