One Sharp Dame

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Not Today

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Facebook tells me today has been designated National No Bra Day, #NoBraDay. It is supposed to raise breast cancer awareness. Life is short and my life is even shorter and I’m not going to bother enumerating the many and varied ways that is manipulative, ethically compromised, morally bankrupt, and personally insulting to me and the thousands of women like me for whom every day is No Bra Day because breast cancer took our breasts.

Original Gangster

Original Gangster

Listen, I think raising awareness around breast cancer is fantastic. It is in my own vital personal interest that we all become more sensitive to breast cancer, its causes, its treatment and its effects. This isn’t the way to do it.

If what the public needs is awareness, I think it is going to have to be me and women like me, who do it. And maybe the best way to do that is to let people in, to open up about what goes down after a diagnosis. I’ve written about it before, talked about it in oblique terms. Maybe it is time to get real.

I am going to start my own hashtag, my own campaign. How about #MastectomyAwareness or #ScarPride or #ShowUsYourNubs or #NoBreastsDay or #NoBreastSelfie?

And with the hashtag, here’s my selfie.

#NoBreastsDay

#NoBreastsDay

I’ve been silent for awhile, now. That silence ends today.

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24 Comments

  1. You are fierce and brave and awesome.

  2. Thank you Kelly!

  3. You are very brave. Thank you for this witness.

  4. I am so sorry. But I hope it is a comfort to know things have changed and the medical community seems more sensitive to reconstruction. Mine looks beautiful! But it still doesn’t feel right and it never will.

  5. Strong and brave. And right.

  6. Theresa Bayruns-Tocco

    October 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    The only good thing about my saline implants is they hold up my bathing suit. I would rather have my real breasts back minus the cancer.

  7. Thank you so much for posting this! My husband and I have been saying this for years! This is the type of awareness breast cancer needs, not save the tatas, save the boobies. It’s about saving lives. Thank you for being brave and sharing your #nobreastselfie #nobreastsday!

  8. Thank you.

  9. You are amazing.
    This has been driving me crazy all day. I couldn’t have thought of a better response.

  10. You’re incredibly brave!!

  11. Good for you! I thought I was the only one annoyed by the pink ribbons and the cutsey “save the tatas”, and the “…buy our pink product and we’ll donate a penny to breast cancer awareness.” 11 years post bilateral mastectomies, stage IV, living my busy life and,believe me, pink ribbons aren’t the reality!

  12. You know, my knee jerk reaction is “any media is good media” but I can see where I’ve been mistaken about that. I wonder if we’re hitting a point with breast cancer where claiming to be supportive is so completely accepted that few feel that following their claims with action is necessary.

    Does that make sense?

    I worry that we’ve created so much ‘sound bite’ awareness that the message has become hollow, like waving the American flag (for many), or claiming to be against child abuse (for many). People trumpet about it and feel as if they’ve accomplished something when in fact they’ve only just parroted the latest socially spotlighted cause.

    Do you think that a campaign showing mastectomys will create a change, or will people simply turn the campaign off, seeing it as angry and shocking? Have we gained for breast cancer victims and/or research if we manage to covert people from shallow reasoning to averting their eyes from the issue all together?

    For context, I’m a 53 year old male paramedic who’s life has been touched indirectly by severe/terminal breast cancer. Bottom line? I don’t really know anything, but I do like to try and understand.

    I love you…breasts or not. I hope that you can take my comments and questions in that spirit.

  13. Thank you.

  14. Beth Caldwell shared your post on her Facebook page. I think you make a very important and crucial point. Thank you for sharing the harsh reality that so many people take completely for granted.

  15. This is why I walked 60 miles in 3 days. You are awesomely courageous.

  16. “Scars are tattoos with much better stories”. What is beautiful Kelly is that you are still above ground my dear. Beauty on the outside is fleeting, but if it’s on the inside it can last forever. I told my wife after her double mastectomy that I wasn’t much a a breast man anyway, I was more of an ass man. I learned that one day when folks would say “you’re an Ass man!

  17. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a post that shows the reality and why this ridiculous no bra day thing is so disgusting, insulting, infantile, irrelevant and just down right crappy. A friend of a friend posted it to Facebook and BAM! Everything I’ve been trying to say and show all in one place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  18. Proud of you and your determination. Keep on.

  19. Poignant. True. Incredibly brave! Shared!

  20. Becky Schlomann

    October 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    You are beautiful and strong! Shared.

  21. Thank you for being so brave. God bless you and continue to heal you.

  22. Comedian Michael Gabriel

    November 15, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    You posted a photograph of your scars after undergoing a double mastectomy …. I don’t see scars … I see a badge of honor, worn by a woman whose strength makes this 6 foot 6 inch tall guy ( me ) look like a whinning little cry baby in comparison.
    I think you are beautiful.

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