Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a year without breasts

i recently celebrated one year without my breasts. well, i wouldn't say "celebrated" exactly. mostly reached the anniversary of my double mastectomy which was the 18th. i have been thinking a lot about how to share this with the blog world. in the end i just want to make note of it and put it out there a bit.

once i realized how aggressive my cancer was and that i am the carrier for the gene (brca 2), i realized that doing the double mastectomy was an easy choice and pretty much a necessity. by then i had no attachment to my breasts. they betrayed me. i went into surgery feeling okay. i really didn't know what to expect.

it's been a year of lots of tears, some anger, lots of insecurity, and constant adjustment. i opted for delayed reconstruction, which means i would have about 8 months of living with this body and these scars. that 8 months has turned into a year and definitely longer with reconstruction not an option any time soon. this whole thing is complicated with many layers. boobs are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. and all women have some kind of issue with their breasts, whether they are too small or too big, saggy, lop-sided, or whatever. i have no breasts. just scars. and the surgery has made my body deformed in many ways. it's hard to embrace the body i have. sometimes i don't like what i see and i'm often afraid of what my husband thinks of it. but he's been the most supportive and amazing partner to love me and walk this with me. we miss my breasts.

i have spent a lot of time writing and backspacing. it's been hard to process and express how i'm doing. even though i needed this surgery to save my life, it's still a hard adjustment. it doesn't diminish the pain of losing my breasts...of feeling deformed and non-feminine, never being able to breast feed again, having no feeling, not being able to wear certain things. i want to learn to embrace this body because it's what i (we) have for now. i want to feel sexy and feminine in a world that says that can only come with breasts. it's not something i wake up and decide to do and it's done. it's a painful process. and it's a process i'm willing to walk. one thing that has inspired me for a while now is the Scar Project. i was able to do my own photo shoot with a local artist recently and it was definitely amazing to feel beautiful and brave as i am.


kimberlybender said...

Thank you for sharing with honesty and courage. I'm better for knowing you.

nancy said...

this post among many, made me cry. i continue to praise God for your faith, for His grace and for our Hope. I love you!