To B or not to B

I’ve spent the last two hours scrolling through photos of naked breasts. It’s not nearly as exciting as it sounds. 

I found out the other day that I’ll be needing a double mastectomy. The long process of getting to the bottom of things has led us here, to the bottom of things.

I’ve processed the information, and I’m doing fine with it. As of now it seems that once I have the surgery I’ll be clear. I shouldn’t need chemotherapy or radiation. So, there’s the good news! 

Now I have to make a few decisions about how I will live my life after surgery. To reconstruct or not to reconstruct? To B-cup or not to B-cup?

I imagine a life with perky little boobs. Saline implants that stay in place so well that I don’t even need to wear a bra unless I’m running. There are of course, possible complications, and the implants may need to be replaced more than once in my lifetime. 

I imagine a flat chested life. No bras at all, skipping through the streets, jumping on trampolines with reckless abandon. Perhaps I’ll get one of those awesome tattoos across my chest, empowered by the ownership of my decision. There may be, of course, moments of disgust and terror when I look in the mirror.

But what do I need breasts for anyway? They did their job. They attracted a few fine partners. They fed two children. Their work here is done.  

My identity as a person is not bound to any one body part. I could lose fingers, toes, arms, legs. I would still be me. Remove my kidney, my appendix, my gall bladder, half a lung, I’m still me. 

Take away my boobs. Am I still me? Of course. 

I’ve been deconstructing my life for years now, peeling away the layers. I’ve been letting go of all things unhealthy, of all things unkind, of all things ego. 

I will simply continue along this path, this obstacle/challenge ridden path. I will continue releasing everything I can, tearing it all down. And I will reconstruct if necessary. 

But it may not be necessary. 

*****
I can’t really ask other women for advice because ultimately, I know this is very personal decision. I am, however open to listening to all of their stories, reading as much as I can, and trying to process it all.

If you have a deconstruction/reconsruction story to share, please do.

*****

This entry was posted in It's All Yoga, The C word and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to To B or not to B

  1. Kathy says:

    Beautifully written. I too went through this process 2.5 years ago. It is very personal and I wish you the best with your decision, your life and your recovery. You will b – anything and everything you want. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Good for you, and thank you for putting your story out there. My friend made exactly the same decision 12 years ago following similar reasoning. She doesn’t have that fabulous t-shirt, but immediately created a solo dance work called “Off my chest” and danced up and down the country. Now she leads our dance group and also writes and performs for the stage. That first mastectomy was the start of a full-on new career of self expression and leadership. I don’t know why I told you her story — but there it is! Things are looking good for you too.

  3. Kathy L says:

    Oh, Kim… I was hoping for a different outcome for you. I believe it’s no coincidence you are at this point in your life where you are embracing mindfulness. Your yoga journey has been perfectly timed to get you through this struggle. My cousin’s husband’s niece is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at age 26. She founded a non-profit company called Fighting Pretty https://www.facebook.com/FightingPretty/. Here’s a link to her blog which she wrote from 2009 – 2013 http://lovingkara.blogspot.com/. Maybe you will find some inspiration from it. XOXO

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