In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 11: Mastectomy. “We say good-bye to Susan’s breasts in no particularly ritualistic way. Susan doesn’t even seem sad to see them go. I wonder what she will look like without them. I don’t really care that they won’t be there; at least I don’t think I care. I wonder sometimes if it will mean she will be less physically attractive to me, but I am no obsessing over that. I think about how that might be more important to me if the prognosis were brighter.” Just a few sentences in the play to describe what was about 2 hours in the pre-op bay with Susan before they rolled her into surgery. I remember thinking a lot about what she was going to look like without her breast. My internal dialogue was just that. I remember it precisely like that… “It doesn’t matter because it is what we have to do.” I’ll talk more about living with a woman without any breasts. I just knew at the time that life was more important than appearance. Yes, things like “what will it look like when she is naked? Will it turn me off? What can we do about that?” Not the focus of my thinking at that time. Yet it would not be honest to say those questions did not occur to me. They did. I have answers now, 14 years later. A later conversation. All I want to say today is that even 14 years later I reaffirm that decision and approach.
Stat of the Day: According to a study, for women who have strong breast cancer history in their family there is an 8 to 24% risk of cancer appearing in the second breast within 20 years. That is compared to an average 20 year risk of 4 to 8%
Task of the Day: Have some fun. Check out the role of breast in sex, for men and women. You never know when that opportunity will be gone.
Resource of the Day: Check out some different views on the role of Breast in Sex. Here from a women’s magazine. Here from a men’s magazine.