Boobless But Bolder

I am not quiet. At all. By any stretch of the imagination. You can always hear me coming. You always know I was there.

I used to try to be quieter. I used to try to be more demure, more reserved. I used to try to take life more seriously. I used to try to not laugh as often or as loud. I used to try to not laugh at things others didn’t necessarily see as funny.

I tried to conform to others’ standards of what it meant to be a “lady” and what it meant to be “beautiful.” Really—I did try.

And then I got sick.

I’m not going to get all Pollyanna on you right now, because I’m going to debunk the urban legend that breast cancer is the best thing that can ever happen to a woman. Personally, I thought it sucked.

Why I Didn’t Wear Lipstick to My Mastectomies

(And Other Valuable Lessons I Was Supposed to Learn but Didn’t)

  • I didn’t learn to laugh at my situation, at myself—The surgeons only cut off my boobs, they didn’t cut out my sense of humor. (And if you knew me, you’d know that my thighs are a far bigger problem than being boobless).
  • I didn’t learn to turn things upside down, to stand things on end—I had been getting in trouble for this for at least 30 years.
  • I didn’t learn determination—I’m Irish. We’re stubborn. (And as any true Irishman knows, the Irish don’t want anyone to wish them well…they want everyone to wish their enemies ill!).
  • I didn’t learn about the unpredictability of life—I had four sons in six years. And I knew what caused it. But it still happened.
  • I didn’t learn to bend the rules of life to get things done—I think I invented it’s-better-to-ask-for-forgiveness-than-permission in 1977.
  • I didn’t learn to become more opinionated and to voice my concerns—Ummm……heellloooo…..
  • I didn’t have to learn that it’s okay to cry—Name any Little House on the Prairie episode and I’ll tell you at what point Pa cried (and when I cried with him).

Now, hopefully readers don’t think that I’m some callous, soulless jerk, and that I’m belittling or making fun of women who have written about their experiences with breast cancer.

Each of my breast cancer predecessor sisters did teach me a lesson—but just in different ways than maybe they intended to.

God was trying to show me through their experiences and through mine that He created me the way I am for a reason.

“And who knows that you have come to [this] position for

such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

For such a time as this. If I hadn’t been bold and loud and a laugher and a defyer of the norm, I’m not so sure I would have come out on the other side of breast cancer as whole as I did.

You see, I don’t think that God smote me with the double mastectomy smack down to get my attention, to somehow make me more reflective and quieter (as a well-meaning woman told me).

I think He wanted me to find my voice, the voice that He gave me.

So here I am today—boobless but bolder.

For such a time as this.

What things about yourself do you need to embrace? To recognize as a strength and not a weakness?

Photo Credit: arbyreed (flickr.com)

Speak Your Mind

*


*