“I never thought I would be married to someone with fake boobs.”
It cracked me up when my husband said this a few weeks ago. I never thought he would be married to someone with breast implants either. I also didn’t think I would get botox. I certainly never thought I would get botox in my rectum. But that happened today. Yikes. Hopefully my poops will be far less excruciating and the fissure can heal. I never thought I would have a blog, and I certainly never thought I would talk about my rectum on my blog. The lines are blurred between what is and should remain private.
Over the last few years my relationship to my breasts have changed. In pregnancy and childbirth you become accustomed to exposing your body, your “private parts” to doctors, ultrasound technicians, nurses, and midwives. Your body becomes a vessel for growing, delivering, and feeding a new person.
I was hoping for 2 natural births and ended up with 2 emergency c-sections after 24+ hours of labor. After each delivery our midwife would bring the babies to me for skin to skin contact and help guide the babies onto my breast for their first feed. Nursing a baby is both mind-blowingly bizarre and the most primal and natural thing we can do. My boobs became their boobs and they were voracious eaters. When they were hungry, I fed them, which was every 3 hours for the first 6 months. If you were around me and my babies, you probably saw my boobs (their boobs). When I was a teenager, and the boys I knew were obsessed with boobs, I remember wondering what the big deal is. Nursing a baby makes sense, oh that’s what these are for! Breastfeeding isn’t easy but it is something that I loved doing, and I’m grateful that I was able to put these boobs to good use before losing them.
My supply dwindled and eventually ran out in May; in June I noticed that one breast still felt like it had milk in it, and in July I was diagnosed. I am still in the mode of thinking of my breasts as utilitarian milk makers. I ask every single doctor if my children are at risk for being fed through a tumor, the answer is always NO but they squirm in their seat at the thought.
I’m grappling with the thought that perhaps pregnancy, breastfeeding, or the accompanying hormonal changes provided the environment that my body needed to grow this cancer. I’m considered a pregnancy case because I was diagnosed within a year of having a baby. The tumor is large at 10cm, and the type is slow growing, so it has been there for a while, probably through both pregnancies and nursing both babies for almost a year each.
Tig Notaro is a comedian that had breast cancer. In one of her stand up routines she says that she made so many jokes about her tiny titties that they tried to kill her. I have always loved my B boobs–they were just right for me–big enough to be there but not big enough to draw any unwanted attention. They have served me well (except for the time they tried to kill me), and I will miss them.