I think someone should write an open letter to people who write open letters. Just a thought.
Since I am having my double mastectomy tomorrow, I decided I needed to write an open letter to my boobies. I am never going to see them again. Like ever. I'm sad, I'm anxious, I'm still in shock about the whole thing, even after all this cancer nonsense. Yes, it's still shocking and I often feel like I'm talking about someone else when I talk about my cancer journey. Some fucking journey!
Here goes nothing.....
You and I have known each other for a LONG time. It took a while for you to grow. In fact, I don't think you ever truly reached your full potential, but that's ok. When I was a little girl, I used to pretend I had boobs by putting these under my shirt, one on each side, perky as can be.
I would prance around the house with my L'eggs eggs, hands on hips, feeling really lady like. And one was always bigger than the other because that's how the L'eggs people made them; uneven, just like real life boobies.
I finally started growing the real versions of you around 5th grade. There were no "pre-teen" bras back then so I just went au naturale. This didn't really cause a problem until the city wide spelling bee when I was up on stage wearing a blue terry cloth shirt. The air conditioning was on full blast and you suddenly perked up and out, standing at attention. To this day, I blame you for my dashed dreams of winning the spelling bee crown. Well, screw you because now we have spell check.
Then there was the time during softball in the 6th grade when I was pitching and a line drive hit me square in the boobage. It knocked me right to the ground and my male coach did not know how to handle such an injury. Those painful moments on the mound were the first time you let me down and I realized you could actually bring me grief and so much pain.
My teenage years were sort of uneventful in the booby department. You didn't grow very much AT ALL and bra shopping was depressing. You were like 2 outcasts, trying to fit in but never quite making it into the cool crowd.
And then came my junior prom night. I wore a dress that required a strapless bra but in true Becky form, I was either too cheap to buy one, or just didn't want you to be strapped in. I thought you should enjoy yourself that night so instead, I placed 2 of these over you and it worked beautifully. That is, until I had to tear them off at the end of the night.
When I was engaged to be married at the age of 24, I found a lump on you. It scared the shit out of me. I had my first mammogram then. The technician squeezed you and your lump so hard, I fainted right there on the cold hard floor. She redid the mammo 3 more times and you and I were both not very happy. It turned out to be nothing, but now I wonder if that was really true or was it just the beginning of this whole mess?
Moving right along. I had my first baby at the ripe old age of 35. I desperately wanted to breast feed and my mother would always mock you and ask, "Are you sure you can, you don't have much there. The baby might starve!"
Then there were the hours I tortured you like a poor cow, hooked up to the breast pump. I can still hear that repetitive humming motor sound it made. And remember that one time it took me close to an hour to pump 2 measly ounces of milk and then, in my sleep deprived haze, dumped it down the drain?
I sobbed like a baby. Don't cry over spilled milk I thought. Sorry you went through all that work my little boobies!
For the most part, you had a good life. You were often the butt of many jokes but you were strong and confident and I'm so proud of you for staying true to yourself. You never asked for one of those crazy water bras from Victoria Secrets, or the Wonder Bra, or the Push Up bra. You were content and so was I. We grew to like each other over the years and I'm grateful that you nourished 2 wonderful little boys who often clawed at you when they were hungry and one of them even bit you a few times. You took a lot of abuse over the years, both physical and emotional.
You did your best and that is all any girl could ask for. I'd really like to thank you for your service and mostly, I'd like to thank you for telling me there was something wrong. When you started looking different with your little dimple, I knew something was up. You saved my life!
Since then, you've endured a lot between mammos, biopsies, MRIs, surgery, and tomorrow you're going bye bye for good. After all you've been through, you look very different. One of you looks the other way now and is scarred, like it's giving the healthy one the cold shoulder. Well, listen Lefty, don't be mad at Righty because you are both traveling the same road tomorrow It's ok though. Well, not really, but it has to be. Making this decision was not easy, but I know you will understand.
And in a few more months, the final surgery will be completed and the New Boobs on the Block will start making their own mammaries with Becky.