Body Confidence After Cancer

Gingermilf By Gingermilf 1184 views

Seller Motivational Sellers’ Perspective
Body Confidence After Cancer

As many of you know, I am recovering from breast cancer, and just wanted to share my story with you and how it has affected how I feel about my "new" body.

Diagnosis

Six months ago, my world was knocked sideways, when after a routine mammogram, I was told I needed to have several biopsies because there were abnormalities on my images.

Three weeks later it was confirmed that I had Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and needed a mastectomy. I was offered a reconstruction using tissue from my abdomen to make new breasts. I decided to have the mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time.

I awoke from the surgery to a whole new body. The face was the same, but the body felt flat, bruised, and numb. I had a torso full of dressings and stitches and every movement was painful.

At the time I didn't really care, my main concern was that they had removed all the cancer and I was going to be okay.

Recovery

The first time I looked in the mirror properly, I remember feeling bereaved for the body I had lost forever.

We all have things about our bodies we dislike, don’t we? Stretch marks, scars, saggy boobs etc.

It's only when it's taken away from you that you really appreciate what you had.

That first glimpse of my new body was a sad, overwhelming realisation of what I had been left with. It took all my strength to draw any positives from it.

I was left with two mounds where my breasts once were. I'm missing one nipple and my abdomen had been cut from hip to hip.

To make matters worse, all my wounds became infected and split open, so I had to go back into surgery to have them all re done and debrided.

I spent a few weeks in hospital, which gave me time to think and come to terms with what had happened to my body.

It gave me time to focus on the things that were important in life, friends, family, and health and to realise I was still the same person, and I was still loved regardless of how my body looked.

Acceptance

Fast forward to now, six months later and I'm still coming to terms with how I look and feel when I see myself naked.

When I first joined ATW in 2020, it gave me the confidence to really love my body and embrace it. I loved every curve, my voluptuous breasts, and every bit of my belly, stretch marks and all.

Now, I am having to love the " new " me and embrace what I have been left with.

It helps having a positive outlook and good people around me.

I am so grateful and thankful to the NHS that saved me and cared for me.

I no longer feel bereaved for what I have lost, I just feel thankful for what I have gained, which is my life.

Survivor

When I look in the mirror now, I see a survivor staring back at me.

I may not have my big bouncy boobs anymore, but in their place, I have two reminders that I went through the most horrendous time but came through the other side a winner.

I am determined to go forward in my life and embrace every scar, every nip, and every tuck, because this is now who I am, and I have a body to be proud of, because it worked so hard to save me.

There was a point when I wasn't sure if I would return to ATW as I didn't feel I had the confidence to show my body, but now I have embraced my new look, I can't wait to be back up and running and enjoy the friendships and interactions once more.

I am a little nervous and self-conscious about taking photos for my customers on ATW, but it is something I feel I want to do.

We all like to feel appreciated and admired for our looks and bodies, but of course, it means nothing if you can't appreciate and admire yourself.

I have been one of the lucky ones, because I have needed no further treatment, apart from yearly mammograms on my left breast.

I know things could have been a lot worse and I feel blessed because many don't make it.

I feel like I have been given a second chance at life, and if that means odd shaped boobs and a scarred tummy, then I can live with that.

Conclusion

I am forever thankful for that routine mammogram, because without it, I would never have discovered the cancer.

I had no symptoms, no lumps or bumps or anything unusual in the shape of my breasts.

I URGE EVERYONE to check their breasts (men can get breast cancer too), and PLEASE have your mammograms when they are due.

If my blog helps just one person, then I will feel like sharing my experience has not been in vain.

Learning to love my "new" body has had its challenges, but I'm still the same person underneath, and that's what's really important. People love you for who you are, your heart, your kindness, your soul.

Our bodies are just an extension of that.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR BREASTS

Thank you for reading.

Gingermilf xx

Resources

NHS Overview of Breast Cancer in Women

NHS Overview of Breast Cancer in Men

Breast Cancer Self Examination: PDF

Breast Cancer Self Examination: Video


By Gingermilf

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