I’m going to share something very personal with you guys today because I feel like this blog may hit home with a lot of special women out there.
I have a lot of respect for women who go through breast cancer, my mom and 2 of my aunts have had it but only my mom survived. Being aware of cancer and understanding it are 2 completely different things. I’ve had doctors watching me for cancer since I was 16 years old and have had one lump removed already through biopsy.
A few months ago I went back to the doctor because the bottom of my left breast had become hard and felt like a giant solid mass. I will admit to you that I was frightened. After my exam he sat me down to discuss the possibility that some of my cells had changed, meaning they need to be examined. Because I was so young and the mass was so large he had concerns from the beginning and scheduled me to see a breast surgeon. As I sat in his office and he discussed the possibility of removing the tissue of my left breast to prevent further cell change in the event that it has not already turned to cancer I felt as if my sense of being a woman drained away. How strange is it that instead of being afraid of the ‘Big C’ or surgery I was more concerned about losing my breast and how it would make me look? My fear is that I will lose my large breasts that mark me as a woman and essentially loose a part of me.
Now I started writing this blog back in November when I first found out there were a problem and at that time I told my parents I was being scheduled for a mammogram. I kind of felt like I had to write it all down but I never exactly had the courage to post it.
Then the day after my birthday, Dec 8th, I got a call to go back to the doctor and they confirmed that there were mass’s in the bottom of my left breast that could not be properly examined due to the density of my breasts. So he told me that they were scheduling an MRI to see what was inside the fiber glandular pockets. I can’t explain to you or to anyone else the feeling that you experience in that moment when you think you’re going in for an answer but instead find out there are none to give. You feel as if your life is at a stand still, that you’re not a full person anymore.
After looking around online I’ve discovered that I am not the only woman out there that feels this way. In our culture having breasts is a basic part of womanhood and our own sexuality. Having a breast removed makes us feel like our partner will be less attracted to us or if we are single, that no one will ever want us again. It may seem illogical but it’s the only thing that consumed me after speaking to the doctor. Maybe it was my way of coping with the news, to latch on to something superficial I don’t know. What I do know is that there is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the moment your doctor looks at you and says “Miss Balboa, the cells in your breast have changed and it is most likely that you will have to have the bottom half of your left breast removed.” I won’t know for sure if its cancer for a few weeks . What I do know is that I should be concerned for my life but instead I know that every day I’m going to stop and wonder, what will I look like with half a breast? What will I look like with one breast, or no breasts?