Hello BC Ladies and Gents!
I am a former swimsuit model, long, silky dirty blond hair, big blue eyes, 5'9" - 130 pounds - perky, full, high 36C breasts BEFORE CANCER. Sounds great, right? lol IT WAS!! It was ideal.
BUT HONESTLY, I was born that way! It was a fortunate FLUKE. I didn't earn it, didn't buy it, it just "was-what-it-was"!! AND MAKE NO MISTAKE....what it was, was a socially accepted and embraced "standard" made up and created by media/strangers. If I had been born in a different era....my skinny-bean body would have been considered "unsightly" and implied poverty, infertility or even ill-health!!! Big, round, robust women used to be a standard at one time!! Just look to the arts for examples!!! Again, a SOCIAL STANDARD!! Imposed and 100% MADE UP, FABRICATED, IRRELEVANT!!!!!
After 18 months of cancer treatments and surgeries (including complete hysterectomy and bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation, herceptin and tamoxifen) I was bald, flatter-than-flat-chested and gained 30 pounds out of nowhere! I had two small children at the time of my diagnosis (aged 9 and 11) and a young husband who (to date) hasn't had sex with me - since all of my "medically disrupted hormonal nonsense" dried up my [um-hmmm....] "entire-ness" and made the whole thing UN-ENJOYABLE/INTOLERABLE for me. And THAT is another post altogether!!! lol FYI - we have found ways to work around that as well!! IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY IS YOUR FRIEND THROUGHOUT YOUR HEALING PROCESS!!
Fast forward to the happy part of this story (recreating a positive self image was a process and it felt like forever......but I am 2 years beyond completion of all treatments)...WHICH IS THAT I FEEL HAPPY TO BE ME AGAIN! I opted against the reconstruction right out of the gate - hubby and I decided NOT to put my body through any additional procedures. Today, I have long hair again, silky and wonderful (which was super scary because at first, it came in CURLY and WIRE-LIKE??) and I have worked hard to lose that 30 pounds again!!! I buy different clothes than I did before I had cancer....nothing V-neck or low cut anymore....no bras required anymore and my bathing suits are no longer string bikinis.....but let me tell you, I LOOK GREAT!!! I look in the mirror and smile and feel super proud of myself!! I see a strong, lean woman (albeit, battling lymphadema daily!!!) with a whole day ahead of herself and I feel gorgeous!!! Heck, runway models don't have breasts (to speak of) either!!!
Naked? Well, naked is another thing, isn't it? Naked, I must admit that I feel a bit like a mannequin....and a little "genderless" but in the oddest way....more HUMAN/CONNECTED than I have ever felt!! I can now relate to.....just about anything or anyone! I feel great and think that going flat is simply a matter of personal preference and honestly, if you don't let it bother you or define you....it won't!!!! YOU are YOU, with breasts, without breasts, with hair, without hair, etc.
Inspirational movie that I just watched last night with my young daughter......"I FEEL PRETTY" with Amy Schumer!! Check it out and enjoy it for the beautiful film that it is!!! It is largely about "social perfection" and self esteem. It speaks to anyone struggling with a mirror or socially imposed standards!!!
And from me to you? YOU ARE SUPER BEAUTIFUL IF YOU THINK YOU ARE!!!! :) As Amy Schumer might agree!!!! Do whatever you need to do...to be kind and generous to yourself and restore your own, positive self image. You KNOW how to do that for yourself....you know what your own standards and comfort levels are!! AND NO ONE IS THE SAME!! That is the secret of our REAL BEAUTY! Individual appeal!!!
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO "DO" want reconstruction? Sure!!! Awesome!!! I'm cheering for you folks too!!!! It's a personal thing!! Make it work for you - if that's what you want!!!! Only YOU know what makes YOU feel happy, safe, secure! For instance, personally, I could not go "bald" and so I wore wigs until my hair came back!! Yet, many of my BC friends embraced their baldness and they were completely okay without a wig!! We learn to adapt or.....we crumble. Don't do it!! Don't crumble!! Find your way and know that it IS possible to be happy again!
You matter and so do your choices. I hope this has provided some insight. I wish you all the best!! :)
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