I participate in a pool program, offered by my hospital to help survivors recover. I love this program, I go once a week, I connect with other survivors in a predominantly physical but also, at times, emotional level (which works best for me, I can’t go deeply into the emotional side or breast cancer or its treatment, I would rather enter into a more physical connection with other survivors) and we stretch, play and laugh together. Teri, our instructor is well versed in Range of Motion issues and the exercises that will help with them.
I made sure to ‘represent’ for us Flatties, and I squealed when they mentioned me specifically.
I would never have thought that an aspect of the cancer experience would madke me feel so passionate. I firmly believe the ability to ‘Go Flat’ is an issue of women’s rights. This is an issue of body autonomy, women must have complete control over the only thing we can control, our bodies. As a result, Going Flat must become normalized. Women who forgo reconstruction should not wear breast forms for any other reason than having a preference to do so.
When the beautiful, deminuitive 75 year old fella pool program attendee, looked at me and pinched her ‘bubby’, which is what she calls her breast form, telling me she hated wearing it for the last — years (more than 2 decades). I fell in love with her, and fell in love with being a feminist, again. Her daughter keeps telling her to put the breast form away. But she does not feel able to leave the breast form behind!
She called me brave. A teacher. She looked at me in awe.
And I am brave, many women cannot imagine leaving home without their breast forms. Others very much want to leave them behind, but feel pressure to wear them for their jobs, and for the people in their lives who expect them to look a certain way. As more women like me, Margaret W. Smith and Jodi Jaecks put their bodies and their choices out there, normalization of this bodily form, this aspect of women’s lives, will occur. Society will re-member the full array of shapes that an individual woman’s body can take in a lifetime. But no woman should feel compelled to wear forms because our society is misogynist and ignorant and has set up an expectation of what the female form should look like. Especially in light of breast cancer.
Breast Pockets are being made around the world!! I have put out a challenge for folks to make 1000 breast pockets to raise awareness for the women who choose not to reconstruct their bodies after breast cancer and to pave awareness for those who would like to put their forms aside entirely. October 22 is the deadline, you can make pockets in whatever way you choose, paper, cloth, mixed media. You can use this pattern, if you feel the need. If I have not answered your email (they are piling up) on where to send them, please be a greasy wheel! 😎
The above pocket was made by my good friend Elliot (who will be turning 9 on October 31) and can be seen here with her sister Alex, snuffling.
Alex (who is 5 years old) and Cricket (we will leave her age up for debate!) also made some pockets. I have heard from folks as far ranging as Hong Kong, Australia, Finland, Canada and here in the U.S. I really hope to get 1000 pockets made in a very short period of time. Will you please help?
To update you on my knitting world, my Boardwalk is coming along just fine! I need to knit about 5″ of stockinette stitch before the neck detail will start. I love the Malabrigo yarn I am using. The color stacks up beautifully. I am hoping this pattern will become a favorite, one that I can knit again and again.
And one last thing.
My mother has begun a new venture, a store featuring ‘Coastal Inspired Items for You and Your Home’ (I love this summation) called The Captain’s Chest. I am so very proud of her for doing this and would love for you to click over and see what she has in stock, perhaps you’ll see something you cannot live without! My mother is passionate about coastal living, entertaining, food and family and she does a beautiful job combining all of these into this new endeavor. Please check it out.