Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Loving Your Body

In the last few months, it hasn't been easy to love my body.  After two biopsies revealed I had cancer in both breasts, I underwent a double mastectomy in March.  It's difficult to love your body when you feel as if your body has betrayed you.  However,  I know my mind is far stronger than my body is now or will ever be.  When my body has felt beaten up from the pain, my mind has said, "It's only temporary. Keep going. One step at a time."  My mind gets me places my body can't at times.  So, even though my body may look scarred and tired, I refuse to feel that way.

For me, however, I started questioning who I really was and what defined me.  I lost both breasts.  Did they define me?  No.  They certainly attracted some idiots at times - and I'll get new, perkier ones through reconstruction anyway.  I was faced with losing my hair when I was told I'd have to undergo chemotherapy.  (I'm now told it will thin but I will not lose all of it.)  Does my hair define me?  No.  I now have scars all over my body.  Do those define me?  No.  As I've come to realize with some help, they are badges of honor.  Cancer came out of the scars that will forever be where my real breasts once were.  My sweet Charlotte came out of my c-section scar.  It's hardly a scar I should be ashamed of looking at.  And a lot of pain came out of the six small scars where I had an abdominal hernia surgery this past fall. What I've come to believe truly defines me is my mind - chiefly, my personality!  I love life and I love having fun and celebrating with colors. I won't let cancer, my scars, my dry skin or anything or anyone else define me.

I took the below photos to have some fun.  Some may say style is trivial at a time like this.  For me, looking good equates to feeling even a little bit better.  Fun colors and patterns keep be feeling happy!  But for me it extends more than that.   I am still studying to help others look and feel their best as an image consultant.  And I hope I can eventually help other women going through this difficult process to look and feel their best even on those not-so-great days.

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