Now I hear it's that time of year again, some call it BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. A time of year when folk all over the world focus on defeating this beast we call Breast Cancer. She's a real menace you see. Scratching and clawing her way from one boobie to the next. She takes what's not hers and flees without so much as a please or a thank you.
I have given this a lot of thought and so if you don't mind my dear I would like to ask you for just a small favor ? One is all I really need for just one has gone missing. Oh please oh please just one wish I need? Just a little bit of pink fairy dust sprinkled over me today if you please? For you see I woke up this morning and realized the breast cancer feign had snatched my left boobie away.
Now I stand here looking into a not so magical mirror with only one breast staring back at me. Oh it's not so pretty with wrinkled up skin and an ugly scar spread across the place where my breast used to be.
I have thought this through a time or two you see. If the tooth fairy named Larry can leave coins for old teeth why can't a Boobie Fairy named Shirley sprinkle some pink fairy dust and swap the old boobie out for a new one?
I need a makeover you see. Why can't you just wave your magic wand around a bit and sprinkle some of your special boobie dust over me? Maybe if I wish really hard and concentrate on pink power my breast will re appear?
OK OK, so it isn't as easy as all that. No there isn't a Boobie Fairy and there isn't such a thing as special pink fairy dust waiting for me somewhere behind the curtains. But there is HOPE. I know because I live in her presence every day. Hope is the glue holding my life together in the absence of a lost breast and in the wake of the cancer which took it from me.
Last week I went for my six month mammogram. I walked by the pretty in pink tree in their waiting area. I read through some of the names of those lost and those who now celebrate new life. I picked up a tag and wrote down Kim's name and tied it on. My heart stopped to remember her as I said a prayer. Then it was time to change for my mammogram. As I was undressing and slipping into one of the facilities robes I did something I rarely do: I noticed my missing breast. It just sort of happened. I looked into the mirror and before I could look away my half reformed breast had just slipped out. I stood there for a moment or two , maybe three just staring.
After all this time you would think I would find it easier to see but the truth is even though I have accepted my new body I rarely take the time to take inventory of this feigns handy work. I know it is gone and I know it has not been completely reconstructed yet. I suppose I seem to fall somewhere in between. Kinda like a boobie limbo of sorts if such a place exists.
I wasn't appalled nor I did I reach to quickly cover myself up. No, I stood there for a bit and took it all in. This is who I am now. I am stronger, more confident, even if I still hide behind my layered looks and baggie T shirts. It's not about the glitter or the cleavage, no it's about life and the living of it. I don't need a Boobie Fairy to lighten my load or to bring me a brand new breast to be seen as beautiful. I am in no need of magical pink dust to enhance who I am or a breast to define who I have become as a woman. No. What I need is everything I already have: A second lease on life. I am grateful for the family who loves me, good friends who surround me with support and a sisterhood I am now a part of.
Would I say breast cancer has defined me as a woman? No not at all. I am still Christina, the very same little girl who grew up with diabetes , became a breast cancer survivor and lived to tell her story. What I would say is this: My Battle with breast cancer definitely has defined me as a woman. All I have been through since 2006 has deepened my character, pruned my soul and in the process smoothed away all the rough ideas of who the world said I should be.
I heard Eunice Kennedy Shriver used to say "Use adversity for a purpose" Well I believe this is my new motto Shirley, the Boobie Fairy. So I am off without any pink fairy dust or a boobie swap. You see sweet Boobie Fairy of mine I think it's about time I let my real beauty out to sing. Life as a survivor is a miracle in and of itself even if my miracle is a work in progress.