Today I'm going to talk about breasts.|
We're all born with two of them. If you're a guy, you likely give very little thought to yours. If you're a gal, you've likely given a whole lot of thought to yours from the time you were about 11.
You go from being pretty nonchalant about them to being desperately embarrassed about them some time in junior high, when all of a sudden the boys your age develop an inability to look anywhere but the front of your T-shirt. You hope they'll outgrow this pretty soon, but by the time you're 30 you realize it's not gonna happen.
If you are a pretty girl with at least an average figure, you'll find that your breasts give you certain powers over the more gullible males around you. Even if you don't ever unfairly use that power, you know you could. You can use them to help get things like a seat on a crowded bus or even a job. Not that any female friend of mine has ever been known to do that, of course.
And then, for many of us, comes the stage when breasts really come into their own. We have babies, and we can feed them using only our breasts. Talk about your superpowers ... if you've never nourished another human being using only your chest, you just don't know what you've missed. You finally realize your breasts were created for a higher purpose.
You are amazed by your body's incredible abilities. Your breasts are good not just for entrancing males and providing pleasure, but for actually helping perpetuate the human race. Your breasts rock even more than you ever thought!
And then comes the fear stage.
You start hearing of women your age getting breast cancer. Your doctor reminds you that you need a mammogram. The test is at least as unpleasant as a baby mistaking your breast for a teething ring.
But don't be afraid of a mammogram, because there are much worse things.
My little sister has just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42.
Suddenly, all the disappointment women my age feel about being somewhat less perky than a Victoria's Secret model seems so petty and meaningless.
We need to be less concerned about signs of aging and more concerned about being healthy. And alive.
Breast-wise, I must say I preferred the stages of life in which I could look good in a bathing suit or when I could feed and soothe a baby just by lifting my shirt. The look-out-for-breast-cancer stage is just not going to be my favorite.
But it's also not something I can ignore anymore. My sister's prognosis is good and I'm pulling for her. My maternal aunt has lived cancer-free for many years after her diagnosis. They, along with so many other women who have beaten this disease, are reminders that we have to be vigilant if we want to live.
Forget the Victoria's Secret models. The role model we need might be Victoria's Grandma -- a woman of a certain age who wore her last bikini and nursed her last baby at least 20 years ago, who gets her mammograms every year, and does what she needs to do to be healthy.
Michelle Teheux writes for the Pekin Times; email@example.com.
Carbon cliff, IL Details
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