Two things I miss. Hair and Boobs. Two things I took for granted. Hair and Boobs.
I've read about how amputees often still "feel" the limb or body part that has been amputated. They have sensations of that part still being there. In a way, I have always understood it. From a medical standpoint, it makes sense because during an amputation, nerves are cut and those nerves may still send signals to the brain even though that body part is no longer there. The phenomenon is called "phantom limb."
I have phantom boobs.
After the mastectomy, I often had pains and sensations from my breasts that were no longer there. Most of the pain and sensations came from the nipples. Nipples that were no longer there! There were a couple of times I actually looked down my shirt. Was this all a bad dream? The pain was so real that I thought maybe, just maybe, it didn't happen. Maybe I still had my breasts? It's a cruel trick your mind plays to be sure.
I also have phantom bra straps. So many times, I've reaching for a shirt or sweater that is falling off my shoulder - reached over to make sure my bra strap isn't showing. Only to find there is no bra strap to be found. I've often been momentarily horrified to find that I'm not wearing a bra. Until I remember. I also have had many days walking out the door in the morning where I've suddenly realized that I'm not wearing a bra. I recoil in terror before realizing that I don't wear bras anymore. It's such an odd sensation to NOT wear one. Such an odd sensation to not have a bra on. To feel your sweater or shirt on your body in places where a bra has been for so many years. I still often feel like I'm missing a step when I get dressed. I walk out of the bedroom with a nagging that something isn't quite right.
I feel much the same way about my hair. So many times that I've reached up to brush my hair off my shoulders or neck. Or reached up to tuck the hair behind my ear. But, it's not there. Then I have to quickly make some sort of recovery move like pretending to scratch something so that no one sees me brushing my non-existent hair off my shoulder. There are also many mornings that I've reached for the brush before realizing that it's not needed.
It's not that I forget that I don't have boobs or hair. Not really. I guess it's my mind playing tricks on me.
I guess I could feel sad. Sad for what I'm missing. Because I'm missing a lot right now - it feels like. But, I try to remember that what I'm missing really is a small price to pay for what I've gained. A small price to pay to, hopefully, ensure a future.
Boob Count: 130