Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Elephant In My Chest.

Oh Angelina.  I love you so, but right now I kind of hate you.  Your recent revelation that you had a double mastectomy to avoid the near-inevitable bout of breast cancer is amazing.  YOU are amazing. 

I am now facing the reality that I'm most likely going to get breast cancer, unless I do the same thing you did. 

Ironic though.  Just Tuesday I took a look at "the girls" and said "Wow!  My boobs look GREAT today!"  I don't want to lose them.  There.  I said it.  Vanity.

Both my maternal grandmother and my mother had breast cancer.  My mom is still recovering from a "lumpectomy" and chemo.  She says she's fine, but I can see.  She's smaller than she's ever been, bald like a baby bird.  During my parents' most recent visit, Mom gave me a bunch of her clothes that don't fit her any more, and an heirloom ring that's too big for her.

It's the ring that affects me more than anything.  I can remember my mother wearing it for decades- she'd gotten it from my father's mother when my parents got engaged.  I'm guessing it may have been HER mother's?  I don't know.  But it's delicate, fancy, old-fashioned, and now- mine.  I wear it on my right hand, and it sits there uncomfortably.  I'm getting used to it, but it's just so incongruous- white gold, diamonds and sapphires on the same hand that sports an inexpensive dolphin ring on the thumb.  If I reach over to scratch my left arm, I see the ring next to a tattoo I got just days before my parents' visit. 

Pierced, tattooed, eternally juvenile- I'm not supposed to be the one wearing this. 

Like the ring, breast cancer is something I don't feel prepared to get.  But like all heirlooms, I'll probably have to deal with it someday.

(sorry it's blurry.  iPod doesn't do it justice)

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