I have never been an avid reader. My mother and sister both could sit for hours book in hand world tuned out. My mother tried with me to no avail. This also made school especially college very interesting. I guess I am pretty smart. I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and Dean’s list but my deep dark secret is that I don’t believe that I ever completed a reading assignment. I used to read the top and bottom line on a page..mabe peek at the middle if I did not get the gist of the page. I look back now and wonder, how would I have done in school if I actually read an entire book?
This is on my mind right now for two reasons. First my oldest daughter. My Megan is a lover of books and I do everything I can to encourage her love! SHe is sitting here with me right now reading. She just completed the second grade but the last school check put her on about a fifth grade reading level.
The second reason is that lately I have actually been reading. I spend much time on the internet reading different blogs, mostly on breast cancer, BRCA genes, Prophylactic mastectomy and another disorder called Cowden Syndrome. When I started this blog, as I stated before, it was just to clear my own thoughts. Then I found some blogs that helped provide me strength to move forward and now I sit as one of those blogs that is helping others. I welcome this change of rolls and take it seriously.
AS I read, I find two themes to be particularly alarming in my opinion even dangerous. NOW, let me be clear that I am not referring to woman who had been diagnosed with cancer. I am specifically discussing those of us who are extreme high risk for one reason or another who are lucky enough to be able to take control of our situation before cancer strikes. The first theme is the self-pity “breasts are what make me a woman”. Really? What makes me a woman is my strength, my do anything attitude, I take responsibility for my own actions, my intuitions, nurturing ability, gentleness and compassion,my ability to kick ass when needed, my manipulation skills, my pride ,my ability to ask for directions when lost and oh yes that vagina thing (to name just a few). Breasts themselves are actually just fat that in many cases attack the body they were lucky to be a part of so removing them is not affecting your womanhood but instead securing it! Again, just my opinion.
The other was the “why would you cut off a perfectly healthy part of your body”. To this I would assume that the person asking is just that..perfectly healthy. A person who would ask this has not been kept awake at night for weeks at a time waiting for the most recent biopsy results to come back. They have not had to lie face down in an MRI machine for 45+ minutes, breasts uncomfortably tucked into hard plastic molds. They have not been at a dinner party only to have the thoughts of breast cancer fill their minds instead of the conversation at hand. They have not been told that you have a 50-50 chance (or in many cases much worse odds) of falling victim to breast cancer. They have not then had to sit in a room with more than two woman and realize that if someone was going to get cancer statistically it would be me.
So to sum it up I guess I would say this. Unless you are able to put yourself fully in the shoes of another…keep your opinion to your self.