Ok, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but wouldn't it be wonderful? The past two days have me thinking it even might be possible.
I woke up yesterday morning to many more emails from people who had seen our story on TV. Only, they weren't from Maine. They were from all over the US.
My first thought was that I was hearing from people on vacation in Maine. Then, one guy from NY said he saw us on Headline News.
You mean CNN Headline News?
Yup. Evidently, our Knitted Knockers story got picked up by CNN and was looping all day on Headline News. I couldn't believe it! This is beyond incredible.
As a result, women (and men) have been sharing their stories with us. I can't begin to tell you how deeply moved I am by each story.
These little (or sometimes not so little) knitted breasts have touched a nerve and given people an opening to discuss something that we far too often keep buried deep inside.
A discussion some of us were having on Ravelry has got me thinking more about why these knitted boobs are so important.
The emails I am getting from survivors and their families are so powerful that I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of a real problem facing breast cancer survivors.
What happens to your self image once you’ve moved past the immediacy of treatment and are told to resume your “normal” life?
You have lost one, maybe two breasts - a part of the body that our image-conscious society upholds as a vital part of a woman's physical beauty.
Clothes no longer fit. I changed the way I shopped for clothing. Everything had to have a high neckline, because if I bent over, my shirt might revel the long scar across my chest.
This stupid thing you’re supposed to stick in your bra makes you want to cry because it is heavy, hot, and looks like a raw chicken breast. How can you possibly feel sexy sticking that into your bra in every morning?
It was so uncomfortable, I would take it off as soon as I got home and joke about being the one-boob-wonder. When the pizza guy came to the door, I would make Peter get it, because "I don't have my boob on!"
You're not happy. But where do you turn? You think you just have to suck it up and deal with the situation.
These women are emailing me saying, "I had no idea there was another option". Some have gone for years with out anything, either because the silicone prothesis is too uncomfortable, or due to financial considerations (yes, the silicone ones really do cost $300-$500)
They have gone without silently.
Silently feeling a little less like themselves.
These knitted breasts give them back that personal power over how they chose to look.
And they start to smile because we said boob. And then they talk. They talk about how they feel. About what cancer has been like for them.
And others listen. They listen to the stories of how those cancers were discovered and think about their own family history. They listen, and think, maybe I should get checked.
That red breast that Mary Ellen made for me was silly and fun and powerful. It made me smile every morning instead of feeling different about myself. It brought a grin to my face during the day as I thought " no one knows I have a bright red knitted boob on today." And because I don't seem to be able to keep such things to myself, it got me talking about breast cancer, as I went around telling people about my knitted boob and pulling it out to show them. Yup - I flashed the knitting.
Think of the impact you can have with just one knitted boob. One boob represents one woman. It represents the friends she tells. It represents the family members who start talking about cancer. It represents our ability to decide how we look and our strength to talk about our breasts and breast health.
You can find the pattern here on knitty.com. And a huge thanks to Amy, the editor of knitty.com for her support!