I said goodbye to my breasts today.
I was getting out the vacuum, daydreaming as usual, when sudden remorse and horror hit me that I’d be losing a body part in two days. Of course I’d thought about it, knew it would happen, but that wasn’t where my head has been. My attitude over the past two weeks has been that of a pursuer, refusing to play the scared victim, to hunt this cancer down and kill it. If I had to have a double mastectomy, so be it.
But today I realized I hadn’t focused much at all on the fact that in getting rid of this disease, I would never again have breasts–not real ones, anyway. I needed to have a talk, to acknowledge them, to say thank you and goodbye while I still could.
So, while vacuuming the floor, I had a little talk.
“You know, girls, you’ve been great through the years. You showed up in fifth grade right when I was so jealous of my friend, who had the biggest breasts in the class. You nourished my son when he was an infant. And although I complained through the years that you were too small until I gained weight and then you were too big, you’ve always looked good, and I love you and always will.
But here’s the thing. One of you is sick with five tumors, and the other will surely get sick, too. There’s no chance of saving you. So it’s time for you to go so that you don’t end up killing me.”
And I was done. I feel no guilt and no regrets. I am at peace with it all and ready to move on.
Sometimes, saying goodbye is part of the healing process.