Madonna & Me
Posted August 25, 2009on:
I know when my daughter Maggie suggested I work Madonna – in her cone bra era – into my blog it was because she always saw me as a Madonna figure. Certainly my body has always resembled Madonna’s or perhaps hers has always resembled mine.
And now that Madonna is a self-proclaimed “ambassador for Judaism,” it so fits. But Ambassador Madonna is not at higher risk for breast cancer as I’ve learned Jewish women like myself are.
However, that’s not really my topic today.
My topic is decisions; decisions. Or, WWMD?
What Would Madonna Do if faced with breast cancer? Would she go for the lumpectomy, single mastectomy or the daily double as I chose?
Seriously, this is a very personal decision and what I chose is not necessarily right for anyone else. I AM NOT TELLING ANY WOMAN FACING THIS DECISION WHAT TO DO.
My decision was simply based on wanting to worry less. That’s why when I read about the lumpiness of the post-radiated lumpectomied breast (I’m not sure that’s a word, but follow along with me), I decided I didn’t want that. I should note the research shows that survival is similar for those who have lumpectomies and mastectomy. It really is a personal choice.
What you may not know about me is that as funny and brave as I try to be, I’m really a scardy cat. I worry and I fret and only by playing with words am I able to handle this. If I had to do a breast self-exam on a lumpy breast that once had cancer, I would not be able to handle it.
Just a few days before my surgery, I decided to do with what I have called the daily double: remove both while you’re in there. I joked that I wasn’t that coordinated and I didn’t want to fall over if I was unbalanced with just one. Or, as a friend, added, “so you won’t limp.” That’s all silliness, of course.
Many women told me afterwards that they would do the same thing if faced in that situation. That may or may not be so because it is when you are in it that you make your decision.
I chose the daily double for the same reason I chose the single – I wanted less opportunity to be scared. Does not having breasts change who I am? Not me. Except I have an excuse to write these things that people might actually read.
Hopefully, you will never be in this position, but if you are, you have to decide for yourself how important those appendages are to you and your partner, where you are in life and what you want in life. No one can tell you what’s right for you, even Madonna (or me).
So WWMD? Beats the heck out of me. At least she’s not wearing that cone bra any longer. Whom, I wonder if it is the prosthesis that I’ve searching for.
Have ideas for cultural icons or concepts that you want to challenge me to put in the blog, either comment or email me. I’m calling this effort to include these icons the Susan T. Hessel Breast Challenge.