Breast size of little consequence in life

By Anita Doberman: Columnist

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about breast implants – specifically, my desire to have a larger bosom. I seriously considered the option of breast enhancement and went as far as making appointments with two highly recommended plastic surgeons.

Before even speaking with them, I made up my mind to go ahead with the surgery, and thought no one could dissuade me.

But things changed. My grandmother became ill and suffered with stomach cancer. I saw her struggle with pain, and graciously say goodbye to this life, with faith, with dignity, with hope. I saw her body stop functioning, and the last thought on my mind was whether her breasts were large or small.

At the same time, I discovered a small lump in my own breast, and the last thought on my mind was whether my breasts were big or small. I was still breast-feeding the baby when I felt the hard mass, but it persisted after I weaned her off and, I made an appointment with my ob/gyn.

Again, I wasn’t really concerned with the size of my breasts, more with what he would find inside them. Although the doctor thought it was probably a clogged duct, I insisted for an ultrasound.

Once again, the day of my exam, no thoughts about the size of my breasts entered my mind. As I looked around the room, I saw many women both young and old, some with wigs, some with short hair and some with worried faces, and was pretty sure no one in that room was thinking about the size of their bosoms.

My test revealed that the mass was part of the breast tissue – probably a clogged duct — but the radiologist told me that sometimes, though rarely, breast cancer can go undetected, especially in extremely small lumps and in young women.

So, once more, I wasn’t concerned with the size of my breasts, which at this point have been examined by at least four nurses and three doctors, but with making an appointment with a breast surgeon, who told me that if the lump didn’t disappear in a few weeks he would remove it— just to make sure.

I guess I changed my mind. I won’t have breast enhancement. Not because I believe that it’s intrinsically wrong, or because I am opposed to plastic surgery. It’s an individual choice and I respect everyone’s take on it.

And even though there will always be a part of me who wants a larger bosom, I choose not to focus on it, and instead accept my body the way it is — the full package, with the good parts and the ones I would like to change. Seeing my grandmother’s sickness, discovering a lump and talking to women who have had breast cancer have changed my desire for bigger breasts. In its place is a newfound focus on good health and desire to live the “little” things that are here today but may not be tomorrow.

Plus, there is always Victoria’s Secret with its push-up bras and enhancing tricks. And that will be just fine for me while I try to enjoy my life with my small (OK, not too small) breasts and all.