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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Felt up

So today involved the grocery store, laundry and then I got felt up by a middle aged woman with a soft voice...how many of you can say that? Today was the day I was putting off for a while. I generally loathe all things breast cancer. I hate my treatment, I hate my appts, I hate the pink ribbon - I really do. But...I needed a new "mastectomy prosthesis" or for common folk, a new boob and a few bras with pockets forever ending Jack's job of scooping up the flying tits at the grocery store when I bend over to grab something. I really do hate this. The pomp and circumstance of it all. The store is out in Waldorf, about an hour away and it's run by a woman named Fran - store is aptly named, "Fran's Nu You"...really? Nu? ME??? Same me, minus a boob - let's just call it like it is, shall we? She speaks in hushed tones, the walls are pink and the door sign reads "Mastectomy Salon"...as if calling it a salon will somehow soften the blow that I am there to buy a boob so people don't stare. Fran begins asking me about my family, how old are my children (my...four kids...you must be busy). Get on with it is all I am thinking. Maybe she thinks familiarizing herself with me and my family will make it more acceptable when she gropes me to determine size. And I mean GROPED. No warning, no wine - just straight in. She even has a framed certification on the wall..."Certified Mastectomy Fitter"...really? REALLY? As she leaves to select a few bras and boobs, I find myself in the company of mannequin heads wearing wigs...lots of wigs. I never did wigs. Not my style. I went for the biker chic look of a bandanna or head covering - I considered it my own personal bad ass facade...I could be anyone I wanted and for those who weren't sure what they thought, screw them, I had cancer. Who cares. She returns smiling with these bras that look like they could fit the front end of a trans am. Straps and pockets - a virtual elastic and polyester contraption that can double as birth control because I am NOT getting laid in this thing. I try it on, wiggle it around, pretend I am looking at myself in the mirror when really I am wondering how I will EVER feel comfortable again. Fran does a few more gropes...checking symmetry, lining up the rack, telling me how great the prosthesis looks (Day one of Certified Mastectomy Fitter class - make the patient feel beautiful) and offering me a plethora of options: fake lace, semi silk, black... essentially nothing is making the cover of the Victoria Secret catalog and yet I resign myself to the contraption, smile and thank her. Fran makes a few more trips to the "back" and I am staring down the nipple shelf, more wigs, the pink ribbons, the empowerment posters and the pepto walls and realize I don't have to be a cheer leader for this. I don't have to be pink and proud because I'm not. You won't see me walking up to survivors to hug them and you won't see me embracing my "nu" image. I cut cancer out and have the scars to prove it but proud? Are you serious? Proud of what exactly? That I survived? Well grateful yes, but proud? No. Not by a long shot. I did what I had to do to survive, to keep my kids' mother in tact and to keep Joseph from dating again - so basically, I did it for selfish reasons. See - it's totally about me. :-)

2 comments:

  1. Umm.. that whole "not getting laid in this thing"... don't bet on it!

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  2. Ya. Joseph dating again is kinda scary.

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