My Body Doesn’t Care What I Want — A Wildfire Story

August 24, 2023

My body doesn’t care what I want. I wanted to experience the natural progression of childbirth. The anticipation of contractions. Pain waxing and waning. What does a mucus plug look like? Instead I was rushed into emergency surgery that ripped my baby from my womb to save his life and, hopefully, mine. My brain swelled and I saw double. My blood pressure spiked. Magnesium flowed into my veins through plastic lines. I tasted the medicine as it flowed through my body. Keep me alive to see my boy.

My body doesn’t care what I want. I wanted multiple children. Our own hockey team. We were gifted our one and only sweet baby boy, his eyes glacier blue with citrine yellow streaking outwards. His tiny three-pound body perfectly nestled between my breasts. Breasts that provided him with liquid gold, one breast bigger than his entire physical existence. Our hearts beat as one, and our breaths slowed into a serene, zen trance. We knew in our cores he was our only. My body refused to offer safe passage for future babes.

My body doesn’t care what I want. I wanted to live without breast cancer declaring its malignant, rude self on my medical chart. I did not want to amputate my breasts. Just take a portion, please. These breasts nourished our child. These breasts represent my femininity. These breasts are a common annoyance between my cousin and me. We joke about who has the biggest bra size and how our bra cups can double as hats. I’m thrown back into reality when the screen shows several white spots. Sneaky. The breast surgeon says, “I can’t unsee this.”

My body doesn’t care what I want. I wanted to experience natural menopause. I’m three weeks away from turning forty when thrown into surgical menopause. Ovaries congealed together through years of endometriosis growing into one mass. Gone. Fallopian tubes severed years ago to prevent future babes. Gone. Uteruses and cervices. You all get to stay. (That’s right. Two of each.) Hot flashes rose from my toes and smoke came out of my head, melting snow as I walked past and leaving a puddle in my wake. My knees ached. Did I age another forty years overnight? Living free of cancer means no estrogen. I can’t have both.

My body doesn’t care what I want. I want to be strong again, but I’ve gained weight and lost stamina.

Guess what, body. I’m coming for you. I’m birthing my strength with the waxing and waning of my physical grit. I’m soothing the lost dreams of our sweet baby boy having siblings. I’m declaring and affirming my femininity, breasts expanding until exchanged.

I don’t care what my body wants, I want to thrive in recovery.

Kate Bogart Social worker at a nonprofit hospice. Diagnosed at 39. IPLC, Stage I, ER+, PR+. Kate lives in De Pere, Wisconsin, with her guys – her spouse, Aaron, and their teen son, Ian. She was diagnosed in 2022 when she was finally feeling in charge of her own body.

When Kate is not working, you can find her strolling indie bookstores to add to her ever-growing TBR pile, exploring Wisconsin drive-ins with her guys for the perfect burger, and dreaming up the next great adventure with her guys. • @katopotato28

This piece has been republished with permission from WILDFIRE Magazine, the “BODY” issue, published originally June 17, 2023. More information available at    

WILDFIRE Magazine is the only magazine for young women survivors and fighters of breast cancer under 45 years old. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, WILDFIRE is a beautiful, story-based bi-monthly magazine published on different themes relevant to young women survivors, from stage 0 to stage IV. Beautiful and ad-free! Visit for more info.

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