Breast Cancer and Body Image 4

Do you miss your breasts? Do you envy “real” breasts?

I’d like to share one last poem in this series:

In a Line at Epcot
The line snakes endlessly—
body odors of the multitude
mingling with the fragrance of
freshly popped corn
and flowers cascading over
concrete barriers

The pleasure of a lazy afternoon
settles into my body
I watch the same people
over and over as we round each bend
in the velvet tasseled barriers

And each time I pass
the well-tanned, voluptuous
woman in her white gauze dress
the low-cut bodice leaving little
to the imagination
her bountiful breasts shining with promise
reminding me of endless nights of love

my heart stands still…

Even at this late date—
after all the coming to grips with reality,
all the acceptance and
all the resignation

my heart stands still…

My longing is a raw wound
and her beautiful breasts
are salt

(Copyright 2012 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

Comments

Barbara Munson 26-04-2012, 17:29

It doesn’t get any easier, does it? Beautifully written, Lois. Thank you for sharing these.

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hjelmstd 11-05-2012, 16:52

Thanks, Barb.

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Lisa Ellis 27-04-2012, 15:36

Lois, I have a bad case of cleavage envy or boob envy (depending on who I am talking to) every spring.

I love you poem, so beautiful! It made me cry – you nailed it.

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hjelmstd 11-05-2012, 16:50

Thank you, Lisa.

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Jan Baird 28-04-2012, 00:53

Gorgeous imagery, Lois. I miss my breasts.

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hjelmstd 11-05-2012, 16:50

I’m OK most of the time now, but sometimes it still really hits me. Especially when we make love.

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feistybluegecko 10-05-2012, 06:42

Beautiful and powerful. Yes, heaping salt in the wound indeed.

I love your poetry, but connectivity here prevents me from comments every time I want to.

Thank you so much for calling round my blog – I just love your insights and lively, fresh humour. I want to be like you when I grow up 😉

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hjelmstd 11-05-2012, 16:49

Philippa, I appreciate every comment you do make!

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feistybluegecko 12-05-2012, 12:25

Lois, I just wanted to say that our conversation on “gobsmacked” is spawning another blog post – I refer back to your blog and your wonderful comments. thanks for your unassuming, fresh perspective.
Philippa

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hjelmstd 15-05-2012, 22:53

Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad I sparked a new post!

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Pinkunderbelly 16-06-2012, 06:18

I’m so glad I’m not the only one! While I’m grateful for reconstruction, I’m not satisfied with the results and am facing the ugly truth that my new breasts will never be as nice as my previous set. The pervasive idea that “well, the cancer is unfortunate but at least you get new boobs” has, for me, turned out to be such a lie. I was happy with what I had before! We live in a community in which breast augmentation is highly prized and rampant; while I don’t particularly care for the “everythng’s bigger in Texas ” size most women choose, I do envy the rounded shape that my DIEP facsimile will never achieve. How sad that I even envy other BC women’s rounded implants, an option that’s not on the table for me because of a post-mastectomy infection. Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok to wish for more! Salt in the wound, indeed!

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Lois Hjelmstad 18-06-2012, 11:01

From what I’ve heard, new boobs don’t quite cut it. You can’t feed babies with them; they are no long erogenous zones (for you at least); sometimes they fail. But we can miss the real ones we lost and it’s OK.

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