Outside the Law

June 17, 2011

A Job Well Done

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jeniene @ 1:46 pm

One of my earlier blogs regarding my cancer diagnosis was about how I wasn’t wholly invested in my breasts or hair or how I truly haven’t given much thought to my breasts lo the 30 years I’ve had them.  I developed early (at 12) and after Logan was born, I breast fed for almost a year.  Any similarly situated woman will tell you that that combination means my breasts, at 42, are … well, we’ll just call them “asymmetrically un-perky.”   So, with all the drama of the diagnosis, the chemo, the surgeries and radiation in my future, I felt that the least I could get out of this madness would be two symmetrical, perky B cups. Always looking on the bright side of life, am I.

Anyway, as the time of surgery draws nigh, I’ve begun to think a bit more deeply about my breasts’ significance.  These are the breasts from which my son nursed.  I remember having a thought, 7 or so years ago, while sitting in the rocker nursing Logan at some unfortunate a.m. hour, that if Logan and I were stranded somewhere, I could still sustain him; that I, at that moment, was all he needed.  It was such a weird and wonderful thought to have and brought up all these feelings of usefulness as a woman, a mother, a person that I hadn’t felt before.  With that memory resurfacing, the idea of giving up these “sustaining” breasts has begun to feel a lot more like “loss” than I anticipated.

So, in an effort to process this quickly, since, regardless of whatever attachment I may have suddenly acquired to my breasts, they’re going away on Tuesday the 21st, I have  tried to modify my perspective.  I am having no more children, thus there will be no one else to sustain in that way.  Therefore, these breasts have done their job.  And they have done it quite well.

One unfortunate casualty is Greg, since he’s a “boob guy.”  But that’s an entirely different blog post.


  1. You are a truly amazing and inspiring person!! God bless you! for you bless me with every post.

    Comment by Daphne — June 17, 2011 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for sharing Jeniene, and making us think about the significance of life vs limbs, if you will. Wonderful images! Of course, you cracked me up with those last lines.

    Comment by matthew — June 17, 2011 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  3. Whereas if I had been stranded with my son as a baby, he would have starved. My breasts have been most useful as a pillow for my kid. Decorative (when in a properly supportive bra) pillows.

    It is a gift that your breasts did what nature intended them to do when your son was a baby. That doesn’t mean it’s not still hard to have them removed, of course–but at least they did some good when you needed them to.

    Comment by Amy_Rey — June 17, 2011 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  4. i love you

    Comment by Janet Jackson — June 17, 2011 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  5. Dearest Jeniene,

    I am was about to say something corny like “My thoughts are with you as your day of surgery approaches.” While that may be true, what I really would like to say you is this:

    You are amazing, inspirational person. I wish we got to know each other better while we were in law school and that we stayed in touch. I am glad to have known you and Greg (even if I kept saying his name as Criag then) the bit that I did in school. I bet you are a wonderful and funny mother.

    Having a child, not to mention child birth, changed everything for me. I remember having a similar thought you had while I was nursing my son Francisco. There are now body parts, utilitarian tools, objects to flaunt, whereas before I treated them as things that would only invite men’s leers. I would be utterly crushed if I were to lose them. But to lose them so that I could more time to watch my and my friends’ children grow, that would be well worth it. I bet that Greg, while he will miss your breasts, finds it well-worth it to know that you will have more time to spend with him and Logan.

    Karen Yau

    Comment by Karen Yau — June 17, 2011 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  6. I’ve never seen your boobs, pre-Logan, or post-Logan, but it’s not your breasts that I enjoy about you. It’s the wit from a woman I have never met but admire a lot. As long as you don’t get your blog and facebook status inspiration from your mammory glands, I’m gonna adore you just the same! And I bet your hubby feels the same way. 🙂
    Lari Shank

    Comment by Lari Shank — June 17, 2011 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  7. I love Lari Shank. And you, you warrior woman.

    Comment by Sarah Buttenwieser — June 18, 2011 @ 1:27 am | Reply

  8. Well cuz, as you know I ALWAYS will shared deep love you as my favorite cuzo, along with our shared warped since of humor. So I’ll share my different perspective to keep you smiling…

    My recollection goes a bit further back, as is possibly a bit embellished – I recall those earlier years, when we share dwellings on Marburn hill. When those life giving things started to blossom and you tried to ignore the advancements of the other teenage cult following you garnered. When I started to notice the crews of young boys hiding in the bush following you home. When they leaned against the tree at the driveway afraid of Uncle Cliff & GC glare as they dared to claim the stairs and ring the bell. As you hide from the reticule of our giggles & laugher from your embarrassment and glee at the same time.

    You should take solace in the notion that you carried them well for those years and that (possibly) only Greg has enjoyed them more than L. As an unabashed cuz you know quite well that I share my Btown cuz Greg passion for them. And I am ashamed to say that I am jealous of his future Bs or Cs in the near future. As far as L, I know for sure that those life giving things have made him the intelligent and quick witted young man I am proud of daily from your posts. Moreover, because of them he will follow in the family footsteps to become of proud breast man when manhood calls from following beautiful young girls home in the snow real soon….

    Love you so much. I love you strength and passion for life and love and your family.

    Let’s continue to laugh, love and share for years to come!


    Comment by Cousin Gary — June 18, 2011 @ 6:30 am | Reply

  9. Dearest Jeniene, what a brave brave post and what wonderful pictures of a warrior queen! Thinking of you and will do so extra hard on Tuesday. #FCFR!

    Comment by Isabelle Gregson — June 18, 2011 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  10. I have my hands up for you Jeniene, remember the mosh pit, we are there to catch you. Only one problem, you are doing so well, that we need to catch up to you.

    Comment by Sandy — June 19, 2011 @ 1:05 am | Reply

  11. The pictures rock! Anyone who knows you, anyone who has had the privilege of sitting at a meal with you and Logan knows that the nurturing comes from your entire body (as you try to jam bite sized pieces of food into that boy’s mouth) not just from your breasts. And if you had another child, and that child received a bottle from you he/she would grow up just as enriched in body and mind as Logan has. We need you here feeding us all for years to come.

    Comment by Jennifer Cohen — June 19, 2011 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  12. I adore your photos – so visceral and beautiful. And as for the boobies? Those photos show just how much you have in you besides mammary cells. You radiate awesomeness, breasts be damned. Good luck!

    Comment by Jess — June 22, 2011 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  13. Best to you. Hope you’re healing up nicely.
    And hey, good job, boobs! LOVE THOSE PHOTOS.

    Comment by clara — June 23, 2011 @ 12:44 am | Reply

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