Last winter, we had a blizzard in Indiana and someone started a group page on FB about it. People were posting all sort of pictures, and I came across a peeved boob in snow picture and busted up laughing. I HAD to know who the woman was behind the picture. I was lead to The Misadventures of Miss Mopsy and fell in love with the creators sense of humor. She is a breast cancer survivor and has uses humor to deal with her cancer and mastectomy. Dawn isn't famous, her story isn't featured in the newspapers or on TV. She will probably not be contacted by Dateline, 20/20 or 60 minutes to share her story. She is not wealthy--monetarily. Regardless of her lack of wealth and anonymity-- SHE IS a SURVIVOR and has become one of my heroes. Dawn has taught me the meaning of being comfortable in my own skin and I have learned that when life throws lemons at you,
So now that I have all the mushy sappy stuff out of the way....... The reason behind the post is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I am not a breast cancer survivor and pray that I never have to be, but I do have a prosthetic breast. God has a sense of humor and it landed square on my chest. When I was 13-ish, I was to be in my aunt's wedding and while fitting my dress, my aunt noticed that one breast was noticeably larger than the other. Let the drama begin!!! She freaked out, which meant calling my mom into the room to point it out and so on. The end result was having my mom, all of my aunts and grandmother all in the room inquisitively examining my breasts. I felt like an awkward Molly Ringwald in 16 candles, "Look Fred! She's got her boobies!" I was waiting for a chinese boy to show up from out of nowhere and call me "hot stuff".
Aunt: Did you notice this before?
Me: Um.. yes
Aunt: Michelle get in here!
Aunt: Something is wrong with Katie! You have to see this! Katie show your mom!
Mom: Why didn't you tell me?
Me: I didn't know that it was weird.
Grandma: What's going on? What happened?
Me: Um.. nothing? I don't know
Aunts and Mom: I've never seen anything like that before
Mom: Are you sure nothing happened?
Me: I don't think so
Grandma: You should take her to the doctor.
Mom: When we get home, I'm calling the doctor.
Cue self esteem issues! As if it wasn't bad enough that I had just gone through the Spanish Inquisition with the female members of my family, now I had to go through it with a doctor whom I had never been to before. He explained that it happens from time to time, nothing to be worried about and the situation would most likely correct itself with time. Um.. WRONG! The older I got, the more one developed while the other did not. I would never wear form fitting shirts (which was kind of depressing because I had a rockin body as a teenager!) and shopping for a bra was a scenario that would lead to the questionable sanity of anyone.
Fast forward twenty some years... I was referred to a specialty bra boutique, in town and the attendant, Kay, was so sympathetic and understanding about my situation. After trying different pads in the bra with no success, she brought in a prosthetic for mastectomy patients and helped me try it on.. I broke into tears. For the first time since I was 13, I felt and looked normal again. She gave me a hug and actually got a little teary eyed herself. I was still a little embarrassed about it, but at least now I could hide my lopsided-ness. A year later, I found Miss ChiChi, Miss Mopsy and Miss Fancy who are proudly owned by Dawn. I shared my story with her and said our boobs should become pen pals. She was all for it and encouraged me to do it. But, that's all the further it went.. Talk. I was still uncomfortable with my own skin. There is no coming back from posting pictures online, openly, of your prosthetic boob. It is the final, official act of admission that your body is not perfect. To admit that I am not perfect takes an act of God and is almost heresy!
Until last week. I started taking pictures of "Diadoma" and posted them on FB for everyone to see. Couldn't stop there! I had to let Mopsy, ChiChi and Fancy meet their new pen pal! I don't know what it is that did it. Maybe it's because it's Breast Cancer Awareness month. Maybe it's because Dawn's bravery and sense of humor taught me to laugh at my own imperfections. Or maybe it's because I am finally willing to embrace my flaws and let them be part of what makes me-- me. Perhaps it is because I have learned that God's showing his sense of humor through "the girls" automatically places me in a 50% higher rate of developing breast cancer, not including my family history of cancer, the fact that I smoke, have a serious Vitamin D deficiency (sunshine is the enemy. It makes vampires sparkle) and took estrogen after my hysterectomy. Honestly, they should probably cut the girls off now, before cancer
Moral of the story... Quit being so self conscious about your imperfections. Learn to share the imperfections with the world and laugh at it. You never know who is watching and will be encouraged by you.