Monday, May 11, 2015

You've Come a Long Way, Boobie

If you are struggling with something like the after effects of breast cancer, how do you know if you've "moved on"? There are so many emotions to deal with and sometimes it's hard to be objective about yourself. Sometimes, it takes an actual event for you to see the writing on the wall!

Last year around this time, I had attended an event where there was a nursing mom. There she sat with her infant, breastfeeding her babe in broad daylight (I know, the horror!).  Even though I had already had my "exchange surgery" where my final implants were surgically placed inside of me, I was still emotionally raw.

As I sat there, glancing over at the new mom, I was filled with sadness. I wasn't prepared to be in this situation.  I just wanted to get the hell out of I just couldn't deal. At all. But somehow, I did. I managed to get through the event by swallowing my tears and telling myself that it was OK. This is normal.  You have to expect this.

It's funny how we put expectations on ourselves with a timetable of when we are supposed to be "over it".  I've learned that placing time limits on your feelings is cruel to the self and now I find that I need to just ride the wave.

Fast forward to four weeks ago. I was visiting a friend who happens to be a new mom  and she was immersed in the world of breastfeeding her baby. Her friend was also there, nursing and talking about all things breast and milk.  And you know, I was OK! Actually, not just OK, but I was able to participate in the conversation and offer support as a veteran, nursing mom. I never once felt sad, depressed, or the need to vacate the premises.  Even more, I was so happy for these two, beautiful, happy moms.

That, my friends is PROGRESS!

(If you've never seen the movie "Muriel's Wedding", you must!)
I have pictures of my old breasts on my I-Pad and they jump out and hit me in the eye every time I access my photo stream. (Yes, "before" pics were important to me!) Every time they pop up now, I just breeze past them. They were a big part of my life and served a very important purpose. But now I feel like they are just somebody that I used to know.

I don't want to sound overly cocky that I have kicked these emotions to the curb for good. Who knows if I'll have some sort of massive, mammary meltdown in a store dressing room three weeks from now.

For now, I am feeling pretty good that I have rounded a corner and my brain is not so hyper-focused on what I have lost.  I will continue to ride the wave, no matter where it takes me and that is OK!

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