Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pink Ribbons and Hope By: Karen Pilarski



Boobies, Fun bags, puppies, girls. There seems to be a strange obsession with nicknaming breasts. Often men are seen with their mouths hanging open at the sight of a huge rack. 

Throughout her adolescence *Dolly had had big breasts. She wasn’t afraid to show them off. Low cut shirts and bras that pushed her boobs leaving little to the imagination.  Dolly’s older relative *Elizabeth had always been surrounded by top heavy women such as her mother.  Elizabeth never was ‘gifted’ in that department.  Her brothers constantly teased by chanting she was as flat as a board. To hide her insecurity she often wore padded bras and stuffed them with tissues. Even know her breasts are a bit of a touchy subject.

Dolly grew up and had a thick bottom and a busty chest. While Elizabeth had curves, her boobs were small in comparison.  Dolly unconsciously flaunted and flirted with her body as Elizabeth hid behind bulky sweaters. Men would talk to Dolly but their eyes would be fixated on the mounds underneath her shirt. 

One day the Dolly announced she found a lump in her breast. It had been there for months but she thought it would just disappear on its own. Everyone tried to make her feel better and that it was probably a cyst or benign tumor. Fast forward a few days later and discovered she had breast cancer at 29 years old. 

Over the past few months she had undergone chemo treatments and it was as if someone sprayed Pepto Bismol everywhere. Everything was adorned with pink ribbons, ribbons, shirts and shoe laces in support. Someone even shaved their head to make her feel better for losing her hair. 

Today Dolly is having a double mastectomy after a few rounds of chemo. She is in good spirits despite losing her breasts.  I suppose if I was in the same situation I would just be happy to be alive. Only it is hard to lose something that is a symbol of womanhood no matter how big or small they may be. Breasts make women feel sexy to the opposite sex. Breasts are also a source of nourishment for babies.  The painful part is not having the opportunity to one day nurse a baby. 

All wasn’t lost. After Dolly’s diagnosis a few others found lumps in their breasts and don’t know what to do. Dolly provided guidance and most importantly an example of hope as a survivor of cancer.  
In the weeks to come she will undergo breast reconstructive surgery. Everywhere around her will be covered with sprays of pink flowers and well wishes.  When this all said and done she lost her breasts but not her life.