To the boobies,
I’m not sure if I’ve given you enough appreciation for the numbered years we had, because you weren’t really my asset; you were not big. I would look at other girls and sometimes I’d wish you’d be like theirs, but really most of the time having you felt like I didn’t give a damn, because I know that you are not the only one that made me feel beautiful, and my femininity does not solely belong to you.
In 2016 there was a lump growing inside you, and the doctors had to cut you open with scissors and knives. It was a good thing that it was benign. That moment left a scar, and I told myself that I would be proud of that scar because it tells the story of how brave we were. I was young then and didn’t really care about how serious that was. Then life went on for the 23-year-old me working hard to reach for my dreams. In 2018, a lump recurred in the left side, so I did the same thing: went to the doctor and had my chest opened up again: another scar, another story, another mark of bravery.
I knew I was going to have breast cancer when these lumps appeared back to back in a span of two years. With this history, I knew I was going to be just like my grandma; it was just a matter of how old I was going to be then, or how soon. I bet it will happen in my 50s.
What I did not know was that it was going to hit me at a very young age, 28, just when my dreams were just starting to come true, just when I thought I knew myself enough, just when I was sure about what I want and what I don’t, and just when everything was slowly falling into place and starting to make sense.
Now I want to apologize to you before they take you away…
I’m sorry if I haven’t thanked you enough
If I haven’t taken good care of you
If my diet was bad and for eating what was unhealthy, and for not taking seriously the exercise I knew I needed
I’m sorry if I didn’t keep you healthy
If I put you under a lot of stress
That I did not treat health like a priority
I’m sorry if I didn’t appreciate you
Or if I wasn’t proud of you
If you had become an insecurity and a liability instead of an asset
I’m sorry for letting you be used up by a few people I’ve been in a relationship with, and I’m sorry that I haven’t found the right person who would be there for us no matter what, in sickness and in health and before all of these things had to happen
I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to have babies and let you experience what they call the joy of breastfeeding
I’m sorry that you would not experience what motherhood is
That you’re not able to be there for me forever
I’m sorry if I had to put you through all of these things
And I’m writing this so I will always remember
How kind and steady you were to me
I want to remember how it felt when you were touched, because I no longer feel and I’ve forgotten
How you made me from a baby to a girl and into a woman
How you had been there with me all along
I chose for them to take you away, not because I don’t love you, but because I don’t want you to go through scissors and knives again and not have peace of mind. This time, no more pain for both you and for me and hopefully, just hopefully, I will live longer.
I’m grateful for all that you have been and for all that you are, and I’ll keep a space in my mind and in my heart of what you could be, but now I have to let you go because you are going to be the death of me, and I have to live. Sorry I can’t keep you for a lifetime, goodbye to you, boobies.
August 12, 1993 – January 6, 2022