“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Mulan
True or false? When do you bloom best?
I hope you enjoy sitting there singing that hair band song. I have gotten so much crap for putting myself out here the way I did. I lost friends who can not understand why I would expose myself like this. People have told me that I cant talk about cancer because I didn’t have the “real cancer”, damn then why the hell did I get a mastectomy??? It was Stage 1 (3 of them), no I didn’t have chemo or radiation, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have “real cancer.” It means my cancer was caught early. I still have to take hormone blockers, that are kicking my ass. Through this I have made enemies with people I do not even know because they think the pink ribbon is breast cancer awareness, not my scared chest. These people are the thorns in my rose!
I remind my female friends and family to get a mammogram, not only get one but follow up. That is almost as important as going, anyone can get one but how many come back. I hope the images I have shown have helped so many see what it was going to be like. Isn’t that so important to take the scary out of what is beyond scary enough? This is my rose, this is how I bloom.
I need for those who do not “get it” to maybe really see it. Cancer changes you there is no doubt. The changes are physical and emotional which make for a very intense journey. It takes your body and mutilates, deforms, scars and transforms it into a foreign being. It takes what you knew to be you and makes it into someone else. It is really like living in someone else’s body.
I cannot express to you how scary this is to live in a body you don’t know or can even feel. Wrapped up not knowing to what to expect is so frightening. I was in shock and needed to see what the doctors only tell you yet never show. They show you what you those great pictures of what you will look like after but never during.
I sought out webpages like Scar Project to show me what was going to happen to me. I was empowered by these women and their strength. I needed to see their scars, tears and support to see I was going to heal.
How can this be happening? How was I going to be ok? I was scared yet comforted by these images. It took the unknown out of the picture for me. She was still standing, she was alive and she was stronger now. I had no idea what was going to happen after this but these pictured helped me beyond words.
I kept thinking of the images I saw and how they helped me, could these pictures help others? I was vulnerable revealing myself like that yet I felt powerful too. I wanted people to see what the real side to cancer was, I wanted them to see the pain because I didn’t “look sick”. My girlfriend Karen said “I had no idea what you went through”. That was exactly the message I want to send.
You can slap a pink ribbon on breast cancer and call it awareness but that is not what cancer is about. I love PINK just love it, boas, ribbons, sparkly things that are pink, tattoos that have ribbons all of it. I have pink shoes, purses and hats, but I got the majority of this stuff before Breast Cancer…because I love the color pink. I am what is behind that image. This is life, this is my life.
Some people called the images pornographic/offensive and wanted them removed. Seriously?? There are images and pages on there that are over the top crude and beyond offensive yet they are still up and not getting any attention. I am proud to have shown the world real images of what some of us have gone through, pissing some people off and then them telling me these images are pure nudity. I just can not wrap my head around that.
There is such an intense reality to the change in my body. I try on my clothes and they don’t fit the same. It isn’t just the weight that I have gained because of cancer, nothing like losing body parts yet gaining more than 30 pounds. It is about the scars that hurt so badly, the alien body that is now mine and the loss of feeling in my breasts.
I do not feel sexy or sexual, cancer changed that. I feel like a hollow woman with no feeling in her breasts. When everyone is asleep and Glen is snoring next me I cry, a lot. I hate what cancer has done to my body and my friends. I cry because there was nothing I can do about it.
I am healing and that is a long process these images are showing that the scars take time to heal it doesn’t happen overnight. They also show strength, courage and power. Not porn, never porn. There is nothing sexual about silicone under skin and muscle without nipples. Get over it, people! Healing is what the images show and anyone that thinks otherwise is a dumb ass.
This is 1 month after my final surgery. For foobies, I think they look pretty good. I chose not to have nipple reconstruction…I can wear any shirt and not have to worry about headlights!
Heck, the left breast looks bigger than the one in the right and it is the same size implant! Go figure!