En route to the hospital last week, cloaked in a cocoon of inky pre-dawn smog , I turned to my husband and asked “Aren’t you sick of making this trip?”
He responded: “Aren’t you?”
Why, yes. Yes I am.
We were travelling to my 10th (and very last ) breast revision procedure. I’ve decided that it was time to just call it what it was: over.
My last tire rotation was meant to be the final curtain call. The right implant was the incorrect shape and size and I looked like a malformed garden gnome, so I decided to once again realign and replace.
We thought that was it! Mission complete! Over and done!
Until that little stinker escaped from its donor tissue hammock and fell overboard, traveling south toward my kneecap.
You know my story, so I won’t rehash the hash. But since my initial diagnosis six years ago, no two mammaries have been through more tweaking, rearranging, alterations or fine tuning than the ones I was sporting.
We had surgeries, infection, removal, replacement and encapsulation many times over. Then came the bothersome Falling of the Implants; one decided to cross lanes and go down the wrong highway. And six months later, its twin made the same malcontent expedition. And, I always felt a whisper of pain just beneath the surface, like an itch that couldn’t be scratched. I became boob-weary.
Which brings us to the latest breast epiphany. A few weeks ago, I took a good, hard look at myself, saw the ridiculousness of all that I had put my body through and just decided to call the game. I looked like an old patchwork quilt, and for what? I was done, my boobs were done and I’m certain my poor, beleaguered plastic surgeon wanted to be done. (Listen — who told him to give me his personal cell phone number in the first place? Rookie.)
I examined myself from the front. I looked at myself from the side. I peered into my eyes and said: “Maria, say goodbye to these two bumps on a log. It’s not like Jack brought you magic beans to grow a set of perfectly normal beanstalks. These have to go.”
I no longer had the strength to continue revising what I never thought was that important to begin with. Sadly, somewhere during the last several hundred years, breasts have become more than just sustenance for our babies. Along the way they became ridiculously important to women the world over and we all became brainwashed and preoccupied by the fallacy that our souls are entangled with the look of our bodies. And consequentially, women decided to change themselves in order to board the Perfection Express. We care too much and are desperate to reconfigure what we imagine is askew! I have now decided not to care anymore.
So last week, I removed my implants. Forever. I asked if I could have at least one to hang on my Christmas tree, but something about toxic bio-hazards and incinerators. Sigh. That would have been the best conversation starter ever, sitting around a Christmas tree since you-know-who laid in the manger, waiting for his frankincense.
Immediately after surgery, I disrobed in front of the mirror and instead of disgust or revulsion, here is what I felt: unfettered, flat relief.
It was finally over. No more. I am free.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three, a librarian and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life.