As Useless As a Tit


By Kristen Knott

Written Saturday October 19 2013 @ 11:30 pm

I now realize that I need to refrain from using the phrase “as useless as a tit.” The words seemed harmless on the occasions that I uttered the sarcastic phrase, as I believed it rang true. Outside of breast-feeding, boobs seemed to be a non-essential body part, almost a luxury from my perspective. This viewpoint was fueled by my envy to have big boobs, as boobs although useless seemed to embody feminine power.

I understand that a boob is not required to walk or pick up things or used to communicate with other humans (well that one you could argue). It is easy for people to say, ”you would never know you had a breast removed” yet the reality is I have. When I stand in front of the mirror naked, it is blatantly obvious to me that I am missing a key part of my body. Breasts are one of the first visual indicators to a female body. Like an Adams apple on a man, breasts are fundamental to the female shape

I am feeling now as if people think I am crazy for wanting to pursue reconstruction surgery, although they do not want to come right out and say it. I am fully aware that the process of reconstruction is not for the faint of heart. It will be a painful, complicated process that will involve another 4-6 months of my body being cut open; skin stretched and then finally implants inserted to create two breasts. It is a lot to get your head around. I find it easier to not dwell on the process otherwise the seeds of doubt may take root. I need to keep my mind focused on that feminine shape – that end goal, two breasts.

In the meantime there is a plethora of products available now to women who have undergone mastectomies. You name it, breasts forms, mastectomy bras, and even waterproof breasts for swimming. What people do not realize is that it takes effort to look balanced. It’s something daily that needs to be planned, and thought out when getting dressed. I quickly realized my wardrobe suddenly didn’t work. The plunging necklines and strapless sundresses now aren’t suitable to hide my scar or allow for the required under garments needed to create a breast that looks normal to the discerning eye. The other ongoing issue is comfort with tender skin and muscles in the scar and underarm area. It is now exactly 4 months since my mastectomy surgery June 19th and my scar and surrounding area still doesn’t feel normal. I am sure chemotherapy fuels the sensitivity and achiness but I am still healing. Wearing a mastectomy bra for long periods of time is consequently uncomfortable. Not to mention throughout the day, I have to make sure I don’t have one boob two inches lower than my real one or that the form or padding I have used isn’t sticking out or bunched up or lumpy. It is a constant reminder that there is something missing and I am playing dress up to make up for the loss.

Today, there isn’t a set of boobs that escapes my eye. I know that may sound strange, but in fact, I have to admit that I have been a breast connoisseur since puberty. I admire them, and I have often thought to myself, “wow that woman has no idea how lucky she is.” The ironic thing now is that I may be assessing women who are in fact like me and are wearing a prosthetic.

I have concluded that there is no right or wrong decision when it comes to breast reconstruction – it is truly a personal decision. Of course the primary goal of all breast cancer survivors is to be cancer free — but in my case the secondary goal for 2014…is a pair of new boobs.

 

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  • Jonathan

    I am not sure if “thank you” is an appropriate comment here?
    I am saying thanks for your detailed and candid account and your fantastic writing skills. But saying thanks mainly for offering a perspective from your P.O.V. makes me at once sad, filled with gratitude, humbled and awake.
    I wish you nothing but energy and health.
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