Hey beauties, Maui here! In honor of breast cancer awareness month I want to share a bit of my truth with you.
My boobs have been my worst enemy since I was 8 years old. While all of my friends were wearing training bras, I was forced to wear a damn 18 hour bra (literally). Imagine what running and playing was like with the other girls while those jugs bobbed up and down. A little girl walking around with a body like a grown woman is a recipe for disaster (that’s another post). Needless to say, I hated my body!
At the age of 15, I was wearing a 48dd with wounds on my shoulders from tightening my bra strap to the max. My back ached like I had been lifting boxes all day and not to mention the toll that they had on my wardrobe. I assume that at this point even my mother was over these big ass melons because she took me to see a plastic surgeon right before my 16th birthday. *gasp*
I know it’s crazy! From the minute I knew that I was going to see the plastic surgeon I was excited. All I could think about was being a normal teenager with a normal body wearing normal clothes and a normal bra. The day of the appointment, I got up and got “cute as hell” like I was going on a date. Hell, I was going to see the man of my dreams but then (like most men) he let me down.
After all of that excitement, I get to the doctor’s office only for him to tell me that I had a disease/disorder called fibrocystic breast. What the what? He told us all about the disorder and said that at my age he would not perform the procedure because they would probably grow back before I was an adult. I was devastated!
Fast forward to 2003, after having two children, I was finally ready to have a breast reduction. The procedure was a success and I could not have been happier, I finally had a mouthful (if I had of known what I know now I surely would have asked them to put that that fat in my butt, LOL!).
Between 2003 and 2010, I had several visits to the doctor to inquire about lumps in my breast that turned out to be scar tissue. Then it happen…MY LEFT BREAST TRIED TO KILL ME (literally!). October 12, 2010, my doctor called me in to the office and said the worse thing anyone had said to me (other than you’re pregnant), Maui, you have cancer! I was required to undergo surgery immediately. After surgery, came radiation, chemotherapy (pill form) and hormone therapy (which I am still taking) as treatment.
Yep, my left breast tried to kill me, after all the hell they had put me through growing up and spending all my coins to make them pretty, now this!
While the ordeal was traumatic for me and I spiraled into a deep depression, it seems so mediocre when I think about my friends and love ones who lost their battle or are still on the battle field. My chemotherapy was in the form of a pill and my cancer was never life threatening. However, just the words, “You have cancer!” seemed like a death sentence. Especially since I had witnessed my friend (my children’s paternal aunt) Shameka Hadley succumb to cancer in 2003 at the young age of 26.
During that time I learned a lot; about myself, about the people around me and I developed a relationship with God that is greater than I ever had. Was it something that I enjoyed? No! But I can say that I appreciate the growth that came from it.
I share this truth with other women because I want you to know that breast cancer is not gender, age or race specific. I personally know 5 women who lost their battle to cancer who were my age or younger. I don’t have a family history of cancer. Women also need to know that family history isn’t always an indicator. Breast cancer affects all of us! For that reason, it will take a collective effort to bring an end to it and that starts with us. Self-checks, mammograms, support and spreading knowledge; are all vital.