Breast Cancer Journey

Ode To The Boobs

I remember when you showed up. Unexpectedly of course. Some warning would have been nice. But no, there you were, all of a sudden. I’m not even sure I was the first to notice you, it might have been the 4th grade boys in my class that first pointed you out… literally… with hand over mouth giggles. To say I was embarrassed was an understatement. 

That’s the year I lived in Florida and at the time we were, by definition, homeless. Having just hightailed it back to the states from a move gone wrong to the West Indies. All we had were our suitcases and whatever was supplied to us in efficiency motels. I lived in three different motels and two apartments that year and I rode the city bus to and from school everyday by myself… In Miami Beach. Kind of makes you wonder what my parents were thinking. But apparently they had their own problems and noticing that their nine year old daughter needed to start wearing a bra wasn’t high on their priority list.

But none the less, there you were. And after a mortifyingly embarrassing conversation with my mother, I reluctantly got my first bra. After that, you were mostly ignored and I honestly didn’t have much appreciation for you. 

As I grew older, through high school and on to young adulthood, others, mostly boys, often appeared to notice you, sometimes even commenting on you. I could have cared less, but your mere existence often prompted unsolicited conversations and occasionally special treatment.

It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I learned to appreciate you a little more. You always made my dresses and sweaters look more flattering but there were also times when you weren’t so convenient. Bathing suit tops were usually a challenge and my button up shirts didn’t always stay buttoned. If I had my choice, you would have been a bit smaller, but then I might have missed out on free drinks and a place to sit in over crowded bars. It’s not a secret that women with larger breast often get unsolicited attention and in my 20’s and maybe occasionally in my 30’s, that never bothered me. Looking back now, I can see that my self esteem wasn’t so solid and sometimes that attention made me feel important, even powerful.

Remember the time I tucked my cell phone between the two of you when we went out dancing? Every time I got a text my whole blouse would light up on the dance floor!  That was pretty funny. But you got me back the next day. Apparently that phone – my 2004 Nokia flip – had some metal on it because the next morning both of you were covered with an itchy rash! 

And then there was the time that we snuck in two flasks of alcohol for my concert going friends. That’s in addition to the lipstick and chapstick you were storing for me. You were always really good at providing a great hiding place for things. 

But I’ve come a very long way since that time and I can honestly say, I don’t remember the last time I purposely showed cleavage. Of course, that might be an age thing or just maybe that I completed that stage of life.

I’ll have to give you an “E” for effort when it came to milk making. I know you both tried really hard but in the end you were much better at looking good than functioning properly. My poor children, thank goodness I could supplement with formula. 

It wasn’t all good times though, remember all those mammograms and surgeries you had to have? Luckily all the previous lumps were benign fibroadenomas, but you’d get the doctors all worked up and they’d insist on removing them. I assumed that’s what we had going on this time, but noooo… you had to shake things up a little.

This last diagnosis caused some serious havoc in my life. And even though it technically may not be entirely your fault, I feel like you guys are literally trying to kill me. I kinda thought we were on the same team but now that you’ve let yourself become possessed with cancer, I’m going to have to let you go. And I know, it might not be fair to condemn both of you even though only one of you has the issue, left unchecked you’d both be possessed and two against one just wouldn’t be fair at all! I know if you could talk back you’d remind me that a simple lumpectomy could save both of you. But I don’t want to have to worry about the two of you talking behind my back (ha, literally impossible!) and coming up with a scheme to try it again.

So with that I’m going to have to say so long and thanks for the memories, even though they were’t so great (yes, I just quoted a Fall Out Boy Song!). 

Boob Voyage!  Thanks for the mamories and Ta Ta for now!

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21 thoughts on “Ode To The Boobs

  1. Good read, Hope. Wishing you the best tomorrow and even more in the days that follow. Remember follow the doctor’s orders. 😊. If you have questions or want to chat, I’ll leave my phone number in the messenger app.

  2. You are such a great writer Hope! Your article shines through just how strong and funny you are. I’ll be thinking of you all day tomorrow. You got this lady!! You’re in the recovery home stretch to get ready for July. ❤️

  3. I love you and your attitude! Rock on, my friend! 💖💜💜💜💖💖
    Recover quickly and be well! 😘

  4. Thanks Chelle. My shimmy won’t be the same, but I’ll still be able to shake my booty!!

  5. Thank you so much for writing this. You made me, and most likely so many other women, smile, because we understand so much of your story. Two against one is not fair, and we wish you a quick recovery. Can’t wait to see you shake your booty soon.

  6. Hope, your optimism and sense of humor simply amaze me! They will serve you well during surgery and after. And remember, you have LOTS of love and support coming your way. So keep being brave and strong and know that your zumba friends will be sending you their boundless energy. Can’t wait to have you back in front of the class!

  7. Thank you Dree – I can’t wait to be back! In the meantime – tear up that dance floor for me!

  8. What a cathartic and hilarious goodbye letter to your boobs! They served you well and now it’s on to a new season of life. Praying for your surgery to go smoothly and a swift recovery. Can’t wait to have you back!

  9. Great piece of writing Hope and sorry that is the way they have to go, but want to see you on this planet for many many more years. big hugs Carol

  10. I agree – I can totally live without boobs considering the alternative! Thanks for your kind words Lyn!

  11. Wow! I hope this doesn’t sound bad but boobs gone is better than YOU gone. You are one incredible lady Hope! Your name says it all. Just know I will be saying a few prayers for you. Well let’s face it…many prayers. Please keep us all informed. We all love you you know❤️ Lyn

  12. You are an inspiration to all of us! I hope that if I am ever faced with a difficult diagnosis, I will be as brave, open and positive as you are.

  13. Call me before or after. I may have some helpful hints. 303-601-**** (number removed for privacy)

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