It’s strange to lose your breasts, to lose a part of you that makes you a woman. For some people it’s a sensual area. For me it never was,. In fact, I never really liked my breasts that much. They identified me as female, they were objectively sexual but I never found them beautiful. They were small, oddly shaped – at least that’s how I saw them.
Now I actually like my breasts. I think I own them differently. I find them beautiful, sexual. There is not a lot of sensation in them but, regardless, I like the way they feel to the touch. For me, being a woman and feeling sexual – which was an important thing for me to find after a Breast Cancer diagnosis – came with body ownership, feeling integrated in my own skin. I owe much of this sense of ownership to the choices I made pre-surgery and to some of the sexual exploration I wound up doing after surgery (all of which I will write about in time).
I’m sure there were somatic issues, emotions I held in my original breasts, which were somehow walled off from the rest of my body. I’m also sure that some would say that was the root of my cancer. I will never know. But what I do know is that, while this is not a diagnosis I would wish on anyone, the silver lining for me is having a healed relationship with my breasts and a part of my womanhood I had unknowingly denied for so long.