my breasts. After all, they’ve always been there for me. And God willing, they
will never leave me. On a good breast day, I look in the mirror and appreciate
my beautiful twin towers. On a bad day, the can look like they’ve been the
unlucky victims of a terrorist attack. Most days, I just appreciate them for
what they are and we carry on our business like an old married couple.
It might seem like every woman has a pair, but being blessed with breasts is
not a given. So many women around the world have lost their breasts to the
terror of cancer. Many have even lost their lives.
Anyone familiar with the E! Entertainment Channel knows that hostess Guiliana
Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year, just before she
intended to begin a third round of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. She
had struggled to conceive with husband Bill Rancic (first winner of Donald Trump’s
‘The Apprentice’) for four years.
During routine tests, lumps were found in both her breasts. After a failed
lumpectomy, where doctors attempted to remove the lumps but failed to reach all
the cancerous cells, and six weeks of radiation therapy, the television host
decided to have a double mastectomy. Both her breasts were removed and then
restructured using plastic surgery techniques immediately thereafter.
Even though she got synthetic replacements, and despite catching the cancer
early, Rancic lost both her breasts. On the same day. Lucky for her, she kept
her life. Many women are not so lucky. Everyday, women in Tanzania and the
greater East African region die from breast cancer. In some countries in the
region, the incidence of cancer among both men and women is thought to rival
that of both HIV and Aids and malaria. It is that serious. Unlike Guiliana
Rancic who was privileged to catch the cancer early, many Tanzanian women die
because the disease is frequently diagnosed in the latter stages, often when it
has spread and become untreatable.
And yet, there are women who survive this deadly disease. Women who will
usually come out of it wounded, but victorious. Breast cancer – any cancer
really – is a ravaging illness that takes a huge toll on a woman’s body. Again,
not many women in the East African context – those who survive – are able to
pay a plastic surgeon to reconstruct their breasts. Instead, they are forced to
live the rest of their lives at ground zero, with only a memory of where their
breasts once stood. It is indeed, a terrifying thought.
So. If you’re one of the lucky ones, give your breasts some love this weekend.
Appreciate them for the natural beauties that they are. And if you haven’t
already, make an appointment for a mammogram. Saving the ‘girls’ can be as
simple as catching the cancer early.