Prosthesis ups and downs.
As well as being a cancer blogger, Laura Yeager is a religious essayist and a mental health blogger. A graduate of The Writers’ Workshop at The University of Iowa, she teaches writing at Kent State University and Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Laura survived cancer twice.
I have a love/hate relationship with my breast prosthesis. On the one hand, it makes me look “nice” (symmetrical). I have only one breast. Actually the “breast” is an implant. The other side of my chest is flat. Last year, the doctors had to remove the existing implant there and take all the breast tissue because it was cancerous.
So I’m kind of lopsided. Hence the need for a prosthesis.
OK, more about why I love my prosthesis. I feel “put together” when I’m wearing it. I sport it on important days such as when I’m going to a meeting at work or when I’m being interviewed for a new job. The thing keeps me from being stared at. (People still stare at lopsided breasts, even in 2017.) It makes me feel normal.
So why do I hate it? It’s heavy and hot. That critter must weigh about a pound. More importantly, it’s ultimately not me. And the implant is tricky to put on. While you’re sliding the bra around your chest, it often slides out and plops on the floor.
Because of this love/hate relationship with my implant, I don’t always wear it. But I do wear it on days I call “Prosthesis Days.”
On a prosthesis day, you wake up feeling competent and strong. You want to look “nice” (symmetrical and womanly.) You want to be like the rest of the ladies, with two breasts; you want to walk through the world unnoticed for your misfortune.
Other days are my days off. No prosthesis on these days. And at these times, I might not even smile at my neighbor.
On prosthesis days, I am a complete woman; va va va voom; I have boobs; I can do anything.
Just give the gal two boobies and call it a day. It should be that simple.
But the prosthesis is not the key to life. It’s simply a squishy form that fits into a brassiere made to accommodate it. It is simply a cheat. That’s what I sometimes need to get through the day.
Woman in breast prosthesis wins Nobel Peace Prize.
Woman in breast prosthesis rescues child from wild animal’s cage at the zoo.
Woman in breast prosthesis performs successful brain surgery.
Woman in breast prosthesis saves baby from burning second-floor window.
There should be a new super hero called Prosthesis Woman. By day, she teaches freshman composition, working as an underpaid adjunct. When the call arises, she pops in her prosthesis and becomes “Prosthesis Woman.” She can do anything.
Of course, Prosthesis Woman wears a mask so no one knows her true identity.
But this is silly fantasy. The prosthesis does not give anyone super powers.
Only my mother thinks it does.
“Why don’t you wear your prosthesis?” she asks. “You look so nice with it on.”
Looking nice is a superpower in itself.
In conclusion, I’ve only had my prosthesis for about six months. I wonder if I will grow used to it. Will this love/hate relationship continue? My guess is that the hot and cold situation will go on forever.
Check back with me in a year or two, and I’ll fill you in.
But if you see me on days I’m wearing the prosthesis, on days that both “breasts” are present, don’t blow my cover. Don’t tell anyone that the right side is actually a fake.
Thank you in advance.