I’m going to write about the most difficult change that life has given me. It’s an absolutely unwanted change. It changed me in every way mentally and physically.
I will write about the changes of my physical self. In January 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to have six sessions of chemo. I had a double mastectomy without reconstruction. I have an afc, which is aesthetic flat closure. I do not have breasts.
This is a change that I’m still dealing with. Most of my days I’m fine. I think nothing of it. But, there are days that I look in the mirror and I cry. The self pity starts and I ask, Why me? What did I do in my life, that this horrible disease decided to make me its victim? Am I that bad?
I see other women and think how beautiful they are. Am I still beautiful? Breasts are a symbol of womanhood. Do I still belong in that category? Most of the time I tell myself that a woman is not defined by her breasts. A woman is a person that is complex and beautiful no matter what her physical self is. If that person defines herself as a woman, she is a woman. I am a woman.
I have to find clothes that fit me well. Most garments are made for women with breasts. I’ve found that I love Hawaiian shirts for men. I use them as jackets so I can layer my garments. So, I shop for men’s clothing. Those tops fit me well.
I’m still dealing with this change. My therapist will agree that I still have hurdles to jump over and it’s difficult with this tired and scarred body. I will be okay. I don’t know when, but it will happen.
Unwanted change is hard to deal with. Just take it one minute at a time. You too can live your new fabulous life. That is a good thing!
Our society scripts us to focus on physical characteristics that either make us acceptable or not. We do better every time we grant the acceptance to ourselves that we so easily extend to others. We should focus more on being cancer-free and healthy rather than having a “perfect” body. A good tailor might assist you in making or modifying some classic and timeless pieces for your wardrobe. I like the adaptation of men’s shirts as jackets, too! I wish you health and peace!
You are loved.
Love your honesty about your feelings. You are beautiful inside and out, Rita.
You are beautiful! And you did nothing to deserve cancer! ❣️
I love you Rita. Your reflections are so honest just like you. You are so beautiful.
I wrote this in my sketchbook last year. I Think it fits here.
I guess when we reach a certain age “beauty” becomes something our age or condition doesn’t define or measure. And looks can be very misleading. The Rita I know has reached a certain age when beauty goes much deeper than skin and bone. Beauty is not tangible. It is a subtle glow from within. It ‘s wisdom in the face of uncertainty. It is finding beauty from the inside out rather from the outside in.
You have come to that age and you are Beautiful .