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'll look less like a woman, but I'll feel more like one.
We're having a snowy weekend here in Northeast Ohio. I can hear my husband shoveling the snow off the walkway to our house. When he's done shoveling, he'll spread salt over the path and the steps to our home so that people are less likely to slip and break something. My 87-year-old mother always appreciates how her son-in-law takes care of the snow removal in the winter. I'm sure the mailman values my husband's attempts at removing the snow as well. My son and I certainly do, too.
But I have to say I don't like being stuck at home during winter storms. It's so snowy, I'm not sure we'll even get to church. I'm a goer, and often, during the winter, I'm trapped in the house due to the bad weather.
This is why I'm so looking forward to summer, when it stays light until 9:30 p.m. and there's no ice on the roads, and I can go, go go to my heart's content.
There's a second reason why I'm looking forward to summer. I'm getting my breast implant removed!
"Why would I be happy about this?" you might be asking. “Don't women want to get implants instead of getting them removed?” I think this is usually the case, but my situation is quite unique.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that time, I had chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy with the insertion of implants. But then, in 2016, I developed an angiosarcoma on my right breast, from the radiation treatments five years back. They had to remove the breast, and at that time, they took the right implant out. So, I've been lopsided for about three years with no implant on the right side and a size B implant on the left. I'm sick of this asymmetry. I've also been experiencing aches and pains in the left breast. Recently, I visited my plastic surgeon, asking him if he'd remove the existing implant. He agreed that it could be removed. We decided to do the procedure this summer after my semester of teaching ends.
O glorious day! I'll soon be au naturel! I'll be as flat as I was before puberty. And I won't be wearing prostheses.
I told my husband this, and he said, "Can't you wear breast forms?" I think he wants me to look shapely, like most women.
I replied, "No, I'm sick of the whole mess. I just want to be me for a while. Natural me without cancer, without implants, without prostheses."
It's like I want to reverse time to the days when I didn't have to deal with the thought of cancer, to a carefree, innocent existence.
Can I go back in time?
Of course not, but my body can.
I so look forward to never having to wear a bra again. We all hate our brassieres, don't we? They're the thing we immediately fling off the minute we get home from work. No more bras! I can hardly wait.
So, during this winter when I can hardly leave my house, I'll be dreaming of summer and yet again one more surgery to finally put an end to my cancer experience.
My friend Peter would immediately say, "Don't say this; you'll call down the evil eye. You're daring the cancer to return."
But a girl can dream, can't she?