Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What is your relationship with your own or your partner's breasts?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) December 11th, 2012

If you had to have a mastectomy due to breast cancer, how would you feel about losing the breasts to save your life? How do you think your partner would feel? How would your sense of self change without your breasts? Would you be able to feel like a whole person?

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19 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Willing to cough up $10,000 and risk my life to lose em, dude.

wildpotato's avatar

I love my breasts. They’re beautiful, and I got nothing against them at the moment. But if they ever try to kill me they’re gone. My partner would feel the same. I don’t think my sense of self would change, though my body image would have to change to match the new form. I’d be more concerned with feelings of not being a whole person if I lost a useful body part, like a limb or my tongue.

Yeahright's avatar

I would feel great that I get to have a second chance in life by removing them. On the other hand, I’d feel terrible because I love my breasts. I think they define me as a woman. I feel very feminine because of them. I have a coworker who is flat like a thirteen year old boy and I know I couldn’t be happy if I were like her. So, yes, I’d feel really sad. I don’t have a partner, but if I did, I can only imagine how that would affect the physical part of the relationship.

burntbonez's avatar

Of course my partner’s health is more important than her breasts. She might worry that I would not find her sexually attractive without her breasts, and I couldn’t say what I would feel before hand, but I would certainly love her the same, whether or not she turned me on the same.

Unfortunately, for me, this is all theoretical. Should I ever be in a position to find out… well, I hope my partner never would get breast cancer, so I don’t want to find out. I think, though, that my love would prove worthy.

wildpotato's avatar

@Yeahright That’s funny – I always felt bad for y’all breastylicious ladies. Aren’t they annoying and hard on the back? I love the size of my A cup breasts, and never once felt unsexy because I look relatively flat-chested. Especially because I’m able to go braless if I want and wear awesome tops and dresses – that’s the hotness tradeoff we smaller gals get to take advantage of.

hearkat's avatar

I have a coworker who underwent mastectomy a couple years ago. She is a year younger than me. As such, I’ve thought about it and come to realize that if faced with that decision, I might find that I am more attached to my breasts than I realize, since they’ve always been rather prominent attention-getters. They nourished and comforted my son for the first couple years of his life. They’ve served me well and owe me nothing. My sweetheart enjoys my breasts very much, but I have no doubts that he would be supportive and accepting of any decision I made regarding my health.

Yeahright's avatar

@wildpotato Good for you! I think my coworker feels the same way. The fact that she’s flat as a surfboard doesn’t seem to bother her one bit. It’s a very subjective thing. And nope, mine are not annoying and my back is OK. I’m not that big…just C. I could go braless too but it would call too much unwanted attention.

Unbroken's avatar

I would be devasted. I don’t have big breasts but I love my perky “boobettes”

I am with @wildpotato in that it is fun to go braless and have perky nipples and my boobs won’t sag down to waist with age.

But that is not why I would be devasted. I deal with health issues on a daily basis. And I resent it. I fought it to the point where health was endangered and I was stupid and suffered because of it.
I don’t accept or deal with my body failing me easily. It took me years to halfway come to terms with it.

And my issues for the most part aren’t visible or apparent. If I had to have something I loved about me cut off I would be beyond depressed and angry.

I could be matter of fact about it on the surface. But at the same time be destroyed and ravaged inwardly.

Why care so much? It isn’t logical. But I know I would, while I applaud everyone else about their healthy attitude regarding it. I know am not the type of person who could not feel shrunken and less.

That makes me shallow, I realize. I am not oversomuch so but it is a part of me and I accept that.

burntbonez's avatar

I don’t think you are helping yourself when you call yourself shallow, @rosehips. If your breasts are important to you, I think that is natural. Would you rather keep them than live? Somehow I doubt that. But as long as you are healthy, they are a part of your identity that you think is important. If you lost them, you might feel less. I bet most women do. It’s something that is hard to deal with. I suspect that you would have an easier time dealing with it having admitted to their importance than those who are deny they mean much.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’m actually not a huge fan of my breasts, but my husband certainly is. But I wouldn’t think twice before lopping them off to save my life. I’d opt for implants, though, if possible, especially if I was relatively young when it happened.

My grandma had a mastectomy on her left breast last year. It never seemed to bother her, and she had a great sense of humor about it. She told me over the phone a few days after the surgery, “If I’m walking lopsided when you see me, you know why.” She just got a few specially made bras and you can’t tell over her clothes.

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a loss or a huge adjustment, but I’d get over it.

Unbroken's avatar

@burntbonez I am a survivor, even when I want to quit I never really can let myself. Cancer is only on occasion fast and it is from what I hear painful. I would no doubt have them cut off.

But probably only after I had burned through every other option.

Thank you for your post it was nice.

Judi's avatar

I think I would have a hard time. I didn’t realize how hard a time I would have losing my uterus and you don’t even see that.

jonsblond's avatar

When I was told I might have lung cancer this past summer, I told my husband I wish it had been my boobs instead. I’d rather lose a breast than a lung. I’m sure I’d miss my breasts, but I’d rather live.

ucme's avatar

Close, very, very close…..the closer the better, hers that is.
Mine are usefuil when doing a Tarzan yell, beating the chest makes it more authentic.

augustlan's avatar

My ‘shazam boobs’ are a very visible part of my identity, but honestly, I’m not that crazy about ‘em. If I had the money, I’d have gotten a reduction years ago. 42 F is a pain, and after having and nursing three kids, they certainly do sag these days. My husband loves them, as has every other guy I’ve been with, but I’m certain he would rather have me alive. I’m not sure whether I’d even have reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. I might prefer they just take them both and be done with it. I’d be symmetrical and never have to wear a bra again!

That said, I’m sure it would be a huge adjustment. They’ve been with me for over 30 years, after all! @Judi I missed my uterus, too. Weird, but true.

hearkat's avatar

I never missed my uterus… it had gotten so large with fibroids and endometriosis that it was uncomfortable and I’m glad that it is gone. I was 43, and completely done with childbearing, and fortunate that only my uterus had to be taken though… all my other girly bits are intact.

Another thing that helped me realize how much my boobs mean to me was when I was working out and losing weight a few years back, and as they lost volume and sagged, it bothered me. I’ve gained it all back and then some… and I like having my boobs fluffy again (the same size as auggie’s). I just don’t like the rest of me at this size, so I’ll be back to working out soon (they’re building a new hospital-affiliated facility up the road). Then I will be debating potential nips and tucks if I ever achieve and maintain substantial weight loss.

Seek's avatar

I have no great emotional connection to the fatty flaps of skin that hang off my torso. I don’t find them aesthetically appealing, though I was thankful for their functionality during the upbringing of my infant. Since that’s done and over with, I’m pretty much “meh” on the subject.

Judi's avatar

@hearkat , Those nops and tucks were my reward when I lost 80 lbs. I have never gained it all back, although I have had a few times I was back up 20. I was able to get back on track before it ALL came back on, probably in part due to the fact that I had invested in those nips and tucks and didn’t want to waste it.

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