Thursday, November 4, 2010
A letter addressed to my (dearly departed) breasts
Many years ago, when my grandmother passed away, my distraught grandfather lamented that one of the hardest things was continuing to receive mail -- mostly junk -- addressed to his dear Alice. "She's gone. Don't they know that?" he wailed.
I never knew what he meant, though I could imagine his anguish, until today. Because today I got a letter addressed to my dead breasts.
It was an invitation to participate in a study "to understand the impact of having breast imagining procedures done." It goes on to say "Not only are we looking closely at the results of your tests (mammograms and MRIs) but how these tests make you feel." Well, folks, I guess you missed the memo, but I no longer have breasts or any need to image them. But how does that make me feel? A little weird, if you want to be perfectly honest.
I had to laugh, if not wince a little, too, when I read the letter. I forget ALL THE TIME that I don't have breasts anymore. That's because my fake ones are so good they even fake me out. And it's also because, unlike before, when I had my might-kill-me-at-any-time natural but rogue boobs, I don't obsess over them. So it's jarring at times to be going about your day, going through mail, and be -- BAM! -- reminded that a) you don't have tits anymore, and b) not everyone knows.
The letter came from a hospital where I had my one and only MRI and with which I consulted when I considered surgeons to perform my prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction. But I ultimately chose another hospital and another set of doctors, so quite literally, according to their files, I'm just a high risk woman, waiting to make a decision. That's why they sent a letter to my boobs.
Little did they know...