For as long as I can remember, since I was 10 or 11, my chest has been the interest of others.
From staring to envy, even jokes by our mother …. my hourglass shape has drawn attention. Unwanted attention.
In turn, I developed an unhealthy relationship with my body, most notably, my ‘girls’ – always wanting to hide them or wishing them away. I have been resentful of and embarrassed by my chest. I know, I know… the grass is always greener. I get it.
Recently, though… things changed. Almost imperceptibly at first, but growing as the days passed.
You see, my baby sister’s newly diagnosed breast cancer has created a new perspective in me, one that’s been absent for 35+ years….
With the quickness of a diagnosis and the realization that comes from doctors’ visits, I’ve come to see the girls as something not to resent, but as they are – appendages like any other body part, that can become sick, diseased, capable of derailing you.
What a startling discovery for me. No longer just an object of unwanted attention, these parts that define women, are objectified by many, and nurture babies, are so much more. Or, maybe so much less. They are just a body part – to be aware of, taken care of, kept healthy.
In my search to understand, I ran across this blog post as I was writing mine. Seems my evolving feelings about the ta-tas aren’t that different from others when BC comes knocking. In my case, though… I’m the outsider. The sister. Looking in. Trying to understand.
I’m not sure I’ve done an adequate job explaining my changing feelings here, but it’s a start. As I talked with the tech yesterday before my annual mammography, I found myself trying to explain it to her. Give her credit – she said she understood. Did she? I’m not sure I did. Or do.
I just know my perspective is changed…. Altered. Transformed. Adapted.
This is what Cancer does.