mirror, mirror on the wall

I will preface this post by letting the worry worts know I am not in a dark place in my head.  Truly.

This morning as I walked the dogs past my parents’ old house, a home we loved well, I was struck by the strange path life takes us on.  I believe it is a true statement when people say God never gives you more than you can handle, and yet, I find myself ,more and more contemplative on the topic.  I wonder is it bad form to look up at the sky and say “enough already” ?

I have come to the conclusion that if I have to get a mastectomy I will.  I don’t want this coming back, I want this cancer out of my body so I can get on with life.  Of course I wonder what that will mean for me in reality, as let’s face it, a woman’s self-body image can be a slippery slope of emotions can it not? But when I weigh the pros and cons, well, I can do without boobs or rebuild them.  I can’t do without life.

I have always been a fairly practical person, and a woman’s breasts and hair don’t define her beauty, or shouldn’t, but when faced with the prospect of losing both, even for a while? Well vanity creeps in.  It just does and it just is.

I find myself looking in the mirror and covering one breast, then the other, then both…and just wondering.   I wonder what I will look like if I lose my hair.   I wonder what ugly bras I will have to wear? How much will this hurt? Will the scars be really, really ugly? Will I not be attractive any longer?  And then I return to being me and I say pretty much “f*ck it, I just want this shit out of my body so I can get on with my life.”

And yes, I am scared.  This is scary. No doubt about it.  But just because I am feeling  a little scared about something that is a lot scary doesn’t mean I do not intend to fight like hell.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a website called Surviving Strong – the founder’s story is very moving.  My friend, who is not a breast cancer survivor, said this woman inspires her daily.  I can see why. I also read the story of Diane on Surviving Strong. Very moving.  And I am still scared, though somewhat determined to get through this. Haven’t quite figured it all out yet, one day at a time.

On the Facebook wall of Living Beyond Breast Cancer today they ask the following:

How did your diagnosis restore your faith?

Hmmm. I did not know I had lost my faith.  Have I? Has my faith been tested by this cancer diagnosis? Yes. But have I lost faith? No. 

And so I will move on.

I will end this post with a quote that seems apropos and please keep telling me I can do this:

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

~Eleanor Roosevelt


About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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3 Responses to mirror, mirror on the wall

  1. i loved reading your blog, here is what i made my mantra…longevity trumps cosmetics…it helped me keep focus. you have a good attitude and keep going strong!


  2. Recalling four years ago when she had no hair. Recently, my wife said:

    “Oh, this hair! I have to confess that I really didn’t mind when I had no hair, in a way. It was so easy to take care of a bald head! I see why men shave their heads!”

    No real intent posting this. It may be a little funny to some, and I hope it doesn’t offend, or worse, make anyone cry. Just sharing honestly.

    I love her more than life itself. No hair, lumpectomy-riddled breast, veinous port scar, and all. She has never, and will never, be any less beautiful to me.


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