3

I reached my three year mark. It came and went quietly. I didn’t mention it to anyone, I’m far enough removed from my mastectomy that everyone else has moved on. Rightfully so.

I should be able to look down at my body and accept the void. I should be at the point of embracing my flat.

Should.

I am not.

I still look down and gasp. I look down in the shower and burst into tears. Emotion tumbles out of every single pore. I glance at my reflection and am genuinely shocked. Admittedly it isn’t every single day like it was in the beginning.

I want to say I should be far enough along in my Breast Cancer Journey that these trivial things shouldn’t matter. But I’m not. They matter.

I know intellectually that I’m right where I’m supposed to be going at the pace I’m comfortable going. I firmly believe everyone is exactly where they need to be. Otherwise it’s just chaos. But maybe it is all chaos and you feel things for as long as you need to feel them.

I wonder if I’ll look down in the shower and cry tomorrow, or next week, next year, 10 years…. I don’t know.

Right now I’m just marking time. I’m not getting my hopes up. I want to hit my 5 year mark, hear NED, and have my port removed. I want to hit 10 years. 15, 20 years.

I want to stop marking time. I want to feel powerful. I want a sense of empowerment. I want to be the woman that does whatever it takes to see this through. I want to feel pride when I look down. I want to feel in my soul that my breasts or breast or flat ultimately do not matter. My life matters.

It’s been three years since I had my left breast removed. It’s been three years since I made the decision that saved my life. It’s been three years long years full of anger and fear.

I have two more years to go.

I’m going to shower and breathe. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror with less fear, less anger, and more pride. I deserve that.

If marking time has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I simply do not have time to hate myself. Not over breasts.

I do not have time to hate myself.

I don’t just have two more years to go, I have a lifetime. I have a lifetime to learn how to love myself.

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One thought on “3

  1. I’m very hesitant to comment here, but the urge is strong, so i will. This thing that happened to you is big, and deep, and scary to me. I’m in awe of every person who makes it through this. I am in awe of every woman who makes it through THIS. I AM IN AWE OF YOU.

    This is what i want to say, and if it is the wrong thing, please forgive me and inform me how it is wrong, or does not fit. I will always listen to you.

    While it’s good to push yourself a little, to aspire to be better and be more, there is a balance. An infuriatingly hard to figure out, exasperating goddamned balance to it.
    Do not sell yourself short. Do not underestimate how much power and tenacity and will you exercised to make it to here, crying in shock and grief over what you’ve lost.

    And here’s the part of it that i’m not quite sure how to say: It’s okay to just get through this and not be poster woman for breast cancer. Some people do ALLTHETHINGS and are featured spokespeople on some charity walk or fundraising event, and i want to tell you something about them. They’re great, and amazing, and maybe a little intimidating too?
    Like, what if i have to deal with this at some point? What if i can’t do it like she did it? Can it just be okay to do it my way? Is it okay if my way is never being okay with losing a breast? Is it okay if i just get through it by the skin of my teeth, and i don’t do pink marathons and put on a happy, grateful face for the cameras? Can i look terrified and angry and broken and indescribably sad?

    We need ALL the stories that women would care to share with us, because maybe YOUR STORY is the one someone identifies with, and gives them just enough acceptance and hope that they can make it. Just enough.
    The hard way is, in the end, just a way.
    The long road is just a road.

    I love you dearly.

    Like

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