What is beauty? What is truly beautiful? I look in the mirror and I still see the me I’m used to; the me that I have fallen in love with over the past year or more. I finally like my hair, and all of my freckles, I’m finally OK with my arms and my teeth. I love my eyes, and I’m loving that my mouth looks good on my face, which has been getting thinner and thinner over the past few years. My legs are good and my belly’s not so bad. My ass could use some work---what there is of an ass---but I’m not looking at it that often. Sure I’d like to fix or erase a tattoo, and sometimes zits are annoying, and unwanted hair, but I’m pretty happy with how I look. I don’t see my mom in the mirror like I did a few years ago; I see me.
I always liked my tits. I mean, I have always really, really liked them. I never needed giant boobs or loads of cleavage, I liked what I have. Now I look in the mirror…I try to avoid looking in the mirror… and I see, nothing on the right. I see this lonely, sad wonderful breast on the left and I see and feel nothing on the right. It’s so numb. My pain is mostly in my armpit; mostly from the drains or from the tissue expander underneath my chest muscle. I think about how could anyone want to see this? I don’t even want to see it. I expect no man ever will. And I’m not saying men are superficial, but, really, it’s… creepy. I wasn’t as grossed out at it as I thought I would be, but I feel like I should hide it, not just from myself but from everyone else. And I think how could this be MY body? It’s all stitched across and deformed looking. And I know, I know it’s not forever. I’ll have a scar of some kind underneath the new nipple and it will be my badge of courage. I know this. I know now, especially now having seen it and having been living with it for roughly 3 days, that I will get through this. This part is just a part of a process I have to experience. I get that, I’m aware. But it’s still… creepy.
I think of people who have known me a very long time and how they…well, he, in particular… will not want to see it because it’s taken away something he loved. I know that I’m not alone in missing my right breast because I know that he misses it too. But I feel guilty because I want him to see what it looks like now without being creeped out, but how can anyone control that? My friend saw it and I can’t help but think it was too much for her. Maybe I caught the wrong look on her face, maybe not, but I felt it was too much and that she wasn’t as OK seeing it as she thought she’d be. I could be wrong.
I know everyone knows this is hard on me. I know everyone wants to be here for me & help me to cope. I know I’ve got a lot to deal with and having friends around helps me deal with it better. I know everything I’m feeling is OK for me to feel and that I can get through all of this no matter what bullshit I get from immature people or ignorant jack asses, and no matter what bizarre shit my dad keeps making up. I know that screaming & crying when you have cancer is totally OK & anyone who says it isn't is a jerk. And most of all I know something really good will result from it all and that my life will be better, even if my right boob is a little numb forever. Because, what is beauty, really? I feel beautiful on the inside. I feel important and I feel loved. I feel like I matter to people no matter how many boobs I have, and I feel like having gone through this surgery I can do anything --well, besides raising my arm over my head or lifting anything over 5 pounds--but I’ll get there again, and for now, I’m pretty certain that I’ll still get hooted at walking down Broadway and 27th, and those guys have no idea what is or is not underneath my shirt. It may not really be flowers coming out of my chest, but to me I’m still seeing beauty. What else can I see?
I’m learning every day not only to live in the moment but how to not be afraid of a fucking thing.
..."Physical beauty is passing; a transitory possession. But beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit & tenderness of the heart... aren't taken away, but grow!" --Blanche Dubois