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Whatever one wishes to call them, they are beautiful.
I haven’t discussed mine much in my little corner of the interweb, but I think now is a great time to do so. I have the BRCA 1 gene mutation. I’ve made a choice. It has been by far, thee most difficult decision I’ve had to make but I like to view it as my final Eff You to canSer.
Women with the BRCA genetic mutation are at a much higher risk of developing breast canSer. In my situation, my risk is a lovely, whopping 87%. So, off with their heads, I say.
See, here’s the deal. Even as I write this, I’m fighting with that nasty, choking knot that builds in the back of one’s throat. I run a tough game but as I’ve always said, we are human. We are entitled to our breakdowns. Maybe I need one right now.
Anyway, going to these appointments in preparation for a bilateral mastectomy got me thinking. Pretty is what changes. Not the girl. Sure, I’m losing my breasts. My natural breasts. The girls that bought me drinks in college, make my favorite dress pop in just the right places, fill out a bikini and balance out that honkytonk badonkadonk that we all know I have. I can’t even begin to describe all the emotions that filled my soul when the doctor was sizing me up for tissue expanders and discussing taking tissue of my beautiful back to reconstruct the girls. Somehow, I managed to keep it together and tell him that he wasn’t touching my back, as I already have enough scarring. (Just like many other women who have gone through this before me.) Fighting with my inner self, I struggle between “yaaayyyy I’m getting stripper boobies!!” and “holy crap I’m losing the last part of me that makes me a woman.” It’s like a little demon in there fussing with my head. I find it ridiculous, as we are talking about a girl who keeps her own head shaved simply to disprove societal standards about the definition of “Pretty.” (so far, I think I’m doing a damn good job at it, too. hee hee. Besides…it’s a badge of courage. Rock that baldness out!)
I think what gets me through these appointments is thinking about the invisible footprints of all the women who have been forced to walk down the same dark, twisted, scary path that I’m currently on. They made it. They’re still beautiful. They’re still accepted. They’re still wanted. They’re still loved. Just like I will be and just like the ones who will follow my invisible footsteps.
I’m coming to terms with all this slowly. I’m one of less than 30% already. BAM baby. BAM. I’ll still be beautiful. Why?
Because “Pretty” is what changes, homies.
Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica & Gertrude