Home About Us Features Write Now! Submit Resources

Take Them Both!

by Jessica Mazius

Doctors dealing with breast cancer patients are surprisingly sensitive about mastectomy. After my breast surgeon recommended a modified radical mastectomy for my bad boob, I said I wanted the other one to be removed. She suggested I wait to make that decision, as it is an emotional time to make that call. I responded that if it would make her feel better, I'd simply repeat myself in a couple of months.

My oncologist said the same thing. I began to suspect a conspiracy. When I asked him if he could guarantee that I would never have cancer in my other boob, he said no. He told me the chances would be 15% after five years.

"Then that's a 15% chance I'm not willing to take! I can't go through this again!!"

He suggested I wait to make that decision. Again I said I'd wait to tell him the same thing in a couple of months if it made him feel better. I don't see the emotional side of keeping a potential time bomb on my person. One of them turned on me so they both should pay the price. In my mind, they were already gone.

The evening before my mastectomy surgery, my sweet husband, Scott, and I hosted a bunch of friends for dinner. We had a feast, drank some amazing red wine from Scott's wine cellar, and had a bra burning at dusk. Some of my girlfriends joined me in parading my bras out to the front of our house. Scott taped the event for posterity.

Ruth yelled, "Hey, I want the pretty one!!"

I only had one pretty one?

I tied one over my head, and the others found intriguing ways to show them off en route to their demise. It's amazing how many bras can be accumulated in one woman's drawer. Weeks after this event, I still found some hiding out in my dresser.

We took some sake out of our fridge to soak the bras to start them off. The darn things smoldered and went out!

Beth asked, "Do we have any gasoline?"


Beth's husband Todd came out with some WD-40. Now THAT was a great accelerant!! We had a nice little fire by this point. This is the kind of bonding experience a woman needs prior to bilateral mastectomy.

Jessica Mazius was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in August of 2006. She lives in Michigan with her sweet husband and their four children. Recently diagnosed with stage IV bc mets, Jessica continues to pummel cancer cells on a daily basis.