learn this from me

I remember being given one of those self examination cards before. And I’d been proactive about it. I never was overly attached to my breasts – having been a very small and thin young girl. They were a sore spot for me in my middle school years. There was never a bra small enough to fit. There was one boy, in particular, who was merciless about it. He made it his mission to see to it that I be reminded of how desperately I needed kleenex. Boxes, tissues, small packages – they appeared everywhere. In my book bag, my locker, in my instrument case. So I knew from an early age that not having breasts was a clear sign that something was wrong with me. Aside from the popularity that breasts naturally brought you, I personally couldn’t see the value of them. To me – they were extra globes of weight that made it harder for you to run. And at that time, I just wanted to be the fastest 50 yard dash runner in the city.


I remember getting fitted for my first wedding dress and being told by a lovely european tailor that the cups would have to be “filled” with something to provide shape. I was all of 100 pounds and very tiny. But I wanted the sleeveless dress and that is what I got. And to be honest, I don’t remember it being stuffed with anything. It made me feel like a princess. I was beautiful that day.

As I continued to age – truly – I remained relatively flat chested.  They weren’t one of my better features, or rather non-features. And that was fine. My style was designer chic – moving from a femininely – masculine suit with a crisply pressd cotton shirt and funky tie (with men’s oxfords to match) to the more flowly and silly Madonna-ish style of big hair with a scarf wrapped in a bow, cool pants and flowing shirts. The 80’s was a time of great fun where I could copy my idols and their clothing. Lingerie was of little interest to me. Fashion was giddy and silly. My body was really a tiny tubular shape – where my dimensions equaled the same from top to bottom. I remember – all 28″.  I just dressed in ways that flattered it in the most joyful of ways. It was a happy time.

When I became a mother, things began to change. I began to dress more like a mother and often less like myself. And with the panic and anxiety that came from moving to the United States came medication that seemed to alter my metabolism. Slowly – very slowly, the weight began to climb. Let me tell you – try to enjoy shopping when the clothes available for your size simply suck. It is getting better, but then I am hoping to be thinner once again some day.

With the weight came the magical breasts. Something I had never thought of as a requirement. But I must admit that my first trip to Victoria Secret was mildly exciting for me! All those pretty bras. The lace, the color. Amazing. And I covet those beautiful ones that I have. There are three special ones. And they are glorious.

Sounds like an ode to the bra. And so it goes. Until this day.

I was being proactive, as I always have been. Finding the lump. Making an immediate appointment. And checking it out. I suppose the one thing that upsets me the most is all of the money I’ve invested in heart disease being the illness that eventually takes my life. Twenty years of Lipitor. I was heavily banking on genetics. My birth families history. You see, there is absolutely no cancer evidenced there. Only heart attacks and strokes. So I feel I am owed a refund. A BIG REFUND.

So much for the self examination cards when despite seeking assistance you are deferred. If there is a lesson out there for any woman, it is not to trust any medical professional with your body and your keen sense of intuition. If you know something is wrong, speak up. Speak up loud. Make them do what YOU deem necessary. And make them do it immediately.

Learn this from me.

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