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I’ve always been happy with my body, even in the last few years when I started to gain some weight. As a young teen and into my adult years, I had an athletic body with small breasts and that was fine with me. Big breasts in my mind just got in the way. I would see large breasted women struggling with bras to support their breasts and feeling the weight on their shoulders. And running with large breasts is definitely a problem. I will have to admit that there was one positive aspect to having larger breasts; men were attracted to them. But the men those women attracted didn’t always have their best interest at heart. So I always said to myself  that if they didn’t like my body so be it; hopefully they were attracted to my mind and my fun loving personality.

Now that I only have one breast, I am constantly looking at other women, thinking how fortunate they are to have two. I notice how they fill out their tight knit tops with a little cleavage showing. They bounce a little when they walk and look so feminine.  The human female breast is symbolic of femininity in our society. The larger breasted woman is looked upon as being more sexy, and also more nurturing and motherly.

I admit, I must have a jealous streak in me because I recall when I was going through chemo and I was pretty sick, I would see healthy women on television and wish that I could be healthy like they were. I looked at their hair and wished I had that healthy head of hair again and longed to have eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails that weren’t multicolored with black and yellow streaks and misshapen from the chemo treatments. But I did know that much of this was temporary; my hair would grow back and my body would become healthy and vibrant again. It would take some time, but it would happen.  My breast, however is gone forever. As much I will it to happen it will never return to my body.

Then I have to remember there are thousands of women who have had mastectomies, some losing both of their breasts; I am not alone in this. And if I have to choose my between my breast or my life, I’ll take my life. It’s okay. It really is.

And then last week I was shopping at Costco, my favorite store these days, and I saw a man loading his car with things he had just bought and he had only one arm. It could be worse. I have all of my limbs and I will be healthy again. And then I can have reconstruction if I choose. So the bottom line is, my breast is gone, but I have my life and that is the best that could happen.

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