Note: I originally wrote this post in late May. I wasn't going to originally share it. I was going to just let it sit in draft form forever. But a recent conversation with my husband made me rethink it. I didn't go back and edit it. It's pretty raw. But it's real. And even now? This part feels really hard to share with the world, but I figure I've shared everything else with you, so why stop now? It's real. It's raw. It's not the prettiest thing. But there it is.
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of taking a shower. And yes, it was my first shower post surgery and it seemed like it took forever for the doctor to give me permission. So the shower. I mean, it just felt so nice. And needed. And great.
But, you know. Okay, maybe you don't know. And I'm trying to find the right words. But I'm struggling. Because I don't know, maybe it's too much sharing. But at the same time, it helps me to work things out when I share here.
Anyway, the shower was lovely. But the thing is my bathroom has a pretty big mirror in it. And I haven't really looked in a mirror until that point. I mean, I've brushed my teeth and technically I have looked in the mirror. I guess I just haven't really looked at myself in the mirror. And it's no secret (or won't be the first time you look at me) that my body has changed just a tiny bit. And by tiny I mean a whole lot. And I know this. I knew this going into surgery. But it's one thing to know it and it's another to see it. And yes, it's a very small price to pay to get this cancer out. Still. You know, my body has changed. And while I've mostly accepted it, it can be hard to actually see. Because things are different. And there's this whole part of me that's, well, it's gone now.
I know I'm kind of tap dancing around this here. But my breasts? They are gone now. Just gone. Only one straight line of stitches is left in their place. And it's strange and weird and sad and even a bit depressing. Because it's like all of a sudden - standing in my bathroom - boom. It all just hits me. Right there. Like a punch in the stomach.
And oh yes, I know. I'm still beautiful. And I'm lovely on the inside. Yes, yes. I hear it. I believe people sincerely mean it when they say it too. And yet, there is still a small part of me that I need to convince myself that that is true. And I also know that I am the only person who can really convince myself of that, that I need to believe it's true. And I also have faith I will get there, it just won't happen overnight.
It's just another part of the process I have to get through right now. Another step in this journey.