Thursday, May 07, 2015

A letter to Rita Wilson

Dear Rita Wilson,

First of all, let me say that I'm sorry to learn about your breast cancer diagnosis and that you had to undergo a mastectomy. I myself, was there just four long and short years ago myself.

I know many are grateful that you have talked about getting a second opinion, which I think is great too! I had a second opinion several times during my breast cancer treatment and I don't regret doing it. I think too many people are hesitant to do it, when they shouldn't be. But, that's not why I writing today.

Earlier, I came across this interview you did for The New York Times, and I just want to give you a heartfelt thank you. I read this line

"Let's face it - it's amputation," she said, of the mastectomy."

And I just wanted to stand up and cheer. Because it is amputation. And far too often these surgeries are treated as if they are no big deal and really, like a bonus. You know the whole "Oh, you get a free boob job"! mentality. Which, I understand, is people trying to find the silver lining of what is really an awful situation, but still. It's not that. It's not easy. It's hard. As you say, it's amputation.

I've often wondered, if someone had a leg amputated for cancer, if anyone would say "Well, I would do it in a heartbeat too because I am not defined by my legs" Or if someone would say "I'm so jealous! You are going to get a prosthetic leg that's going to look nice." Would we talk about
no more varicose veins instead of talking about no more droopy boobs. I've never heard things like that said, and I don't imagine anyone does.

But when it comes to breasts and mastectomies, somehow hesitating to get it might mean you let your boobs define you. Or getting reconstruction is great because you'll get a perky set of boobs.

So I just want to thank you for saying what it is: amputation.

Anyway, I hope the rest of your reconstruction process goes smoothly. You are right, those expanders are weird and hard, so I hope you get your exchange surgery as quickly as you can.



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