Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To Foob or Not to Foob? Not a Simple Question

We have a lot of discussion about "foobs" around here lately. Foobs are our family name for "fake boobs" or the glorified rolled up socks that have passed as interim prostheses that I wore until I got my new (and, frankly, not improved) "falsies" (falsies is a term I remember my mom using for fake boobs...falsies, foobs...).

Ava is most concerned about the foobs and their application. I am usually without them in the house and outside in the neighborhood because they frankly aren't that comfortable. Before we leave to go anywhere, she whispers in a conspiratorial voice "Mom, are you going to put the foobs in?" It's worrying to her when I don't wear them. I suspect it's her trying to normalize what is going on. I don't blame her. Moms are supposed to look a certain way and boobs are normally a part of that package. And then there are the other kids...not that anyone has asked about why I don't have boobs anymore, but I think it's just a matter of time. My kids know, but what do I say to other people's children? "I just don't have them anymore?" WTH?

But it brings up a lot of stuff for me. Wearing the foobs feels like a lie. They are so not me, especially these foobs that are big puff ball socky things that move around in my tank top or the silicone masses that feel like the joke sumo wrestler fat suits that people don to wrestle. Seriously, people. One in 8 women gets breast cancer and these plasticy, mounded things that don't look like real boobs (think 50's style bra ads, bullet boobs) nor feel anything remotely like real boobs are what we get? We have robots to do hysterectomies but can't make a good looking fake breast? Gah.

But not wearing them leaves me feeling like an embarrassed cat that has had her hair shaved off. Women tend to say "oh, nobody notices! They look at your face, Fran, not at your chest." But that is totally not true. People notice, especially men, and it's awkward. I don't know if men knowing you have fake boobs is any more awkward or not. For some reason I think it's not (or that's what men have told me about implants, at least). But the absence of boobs is awkward for people. So we are back in that thing again where you feel like you are embarrassed and they are embarrassed that they notice so you wear the foobs and feel a little bit like a fraud and get irritable about the weight and discomfort and, shit, you are back at another damned-if-you-do scenario that seems to pervade the cancer journey.

It also brings up the subject of le wig. It's summer and I am so not looking forward to the idea of wearing a cap of hair on my head. I know that around the neighborhood and even around town a scarf will be fine. But what about the workplace? Not wearing a wig at work seems kind of like going out without the foobs. Could I go without the foobs and wig at work? No foobs and a crazy Hermes scarf on my head. Oh lordy.

I know a lot of people will say "Just do whatever feels right!" but it just not that simple, it's not that black and white. There are levels of complexity to this whole ordeal that make it worse than just having cancer. It's one thing to have cancer and have people know and be freaked out and feel sorry for you or worried about you. It's another to add insult to injury with the disfigurement and neon sign baldness that it brings. Things you can hide, things you can't. Things that are a huge drag. Things that draw attention that a person like me and my mother before me hate most.

So I am not sure where I sit on all of this. I'm going to poke around on the web a little bit to see where I want to be in this interim space of booblessness. Speaking of, we are getting some really rad button ideas! Maybe on the next post we will have a sample to consider...I think we may have to vote.

1 comment:

  1. sitting here, listening. feeling the angst you feel. wish i had some magical answer. no foobs and crazy hermes scarf, well please do wear that for me cause girl i love all that you are on the inside. it's good to know they can't cut that out. cause you are amazing. truly.