Good-bye Na-Na


The girls went to camp a day ahead of us. When we arrived the girls introduced me to their new friends. Charis said “this is our mommy….she has cancer.” Meleah quickly followed with “the doctors are going to cut her na-na off with scissors.”
I was pretty relieved the little girl didn’t know our code word for breasts (it is actually a code word for breastfeeding since I didn’t want the girls running around yelling “nurse!”), but it sounded horrible none the less. I’m hoping she was thinking hair.
We will miss my right breast. I often shower with the girls and there is always some discussion about my na-na’s. They like to reminisce about the good-ole breastfeeding days. Even Elijah points when I get dressed and says “na-na’s”
Since the beginning of this craziness I have often marveled at the thought that these wonderful milk producing parts could on one hand give life and on the other hand begin to suck life out….no pun intended….lol! I loved breastfeeding and most of you know with the girls I breastfed till 2. I would have with Elijah but life took a different turn. I am so grateful I had a full year with him, but still miss it…especially because he is my last and I was in no hurry to wean.
I am often asked why I don’t just get rid of both of them. That was the original plan. I guess it’s for the reasons above. They are mine and I’ve spent 6 years of my life gazing at my lovely children as they nestled at the breast. Keeping one of them means keeping some of those memories.
Maybe there is still a part of me that can’t fully grasp that I have had cancer. Maybe because I can’t believe I had it I can’t believe it might come back. I’m still trying to grapple with this because I think there is still a part of me in denial. Even after all this time I still can’t believe it. Maybe I never will.
Will I regret it. Maybe. Right now I’m pretty happy to keep one. I think either way you question it. “Could I have kept one” is probably something I would always wonder if I chose a bi-lateral mastectomy. My surgeon says you can always take it off but you can’t get it back. They of course can make you new ones….but they won’t ever look quite like the original. So I’ll ease into it and if I decide later to take the other one I will. I have 6 months to a year before reconstruction so I have a while to decide.
For me, the lymph nodes are what need to go. This is because that is where IBC starts. Having the lower two segments gone will mean less chance of recurrence.
So we are getting ready to say good-bye to an old pal. It’s a little hard since it looks so nice and normal. Hard to believe it was so sick at one time.
Now Jeremy will miss it for a whole different reason but this is G rated and I won’t go there….lol. I’m sure women 50 years ago would have been horrified the way I sling around the word breast…..but maybe that’s because I look at breasts as their primary mammary purpose:)

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2 thoughts on “Good-bye Na-Na

  1. Pedro, Angela & Elijah says:

    Hey Jen
    I am thinking of you and this was really touching!
    I am just goint to have to call you and Hope that you will be in the mood to talk.
    I think of you often. Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration for your girls and for others!
    love angela

  2. sprucehillfarm says:

    It is a very hard decision but a personal one too. I made the decision to do both sides even though I did not need to. It has given me a peace of mind. I hope you have fun at your party it sounds great!

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