It has been exactly 5 weeks since I went under the knife, having BOTH of my breasts removed. ...Wow, how quickly has that time gone! It feels like I have done 'so much' and 'nothing', all at the same time! Time flies when you are having ...ummmm...not a lot of fun! ...But, here I am, now, over 1 month later, with two new breasts (both containing no tissue, just implants under muscles) and, after hearing that my removed tissue presented with some "unusual cells", well, I know I made the smart/right decision for me and for my body. My breasts are no longer an extreme risk to my health, I am still cancer-free ...and I plan on staying that way.
So, as you can imagine, having debilitating surgery and a massively, time consuming recovery period, I have learned A LOT about myself. I could drone on about the multitude of little life lessons throughout my recovery thus far ....but, really, what it all boils down to is just ONE succinct point.... and here it is...
"THE HUMAN BODY IS AMAZING ...SO, PLEASE, TREAT YOURS AS SUCH."
...Sounds obvious, but let me explain how I got to this point:
I am not one to sit at home, just being STILL, all day and night (who is?!). I am a do-er ...and even worse, you all know I have that little 'hint of naughty' in me! ...So, just knowing that I am 'not supposed to do anything', well, that just makes me want to do it even more! ...I remember joking with my mum, in week 1 of recovery, that I was going to get a bald patch on the back of my head (you know, like a new-born baby!) ...as all I could physically do (as you can see by my charming photo!), was lay perfectly still on my back and move my head from side to side. Not ideal ...and, trust me, VERY frustrating. The first week was the hardest pain-wise. After that my drains were removed and I was more mobile, but this just tested my patience in a different manner
...FYI: I learned very quickly that patience is NOT my virtue! I now felt that I could/should be able to do things that I was still struggling with. So, I would often push my body to do things ...leaving me achey, exhausted ...and very grumpy.
After three weeks of really trying to 'be better' by pushing myself to be active, I slowed down . I realised that the next couple of months might seem like forever to me in this moment, but in the grand scheme of my life, it's really just a pinch of time ...and hindering my long term healing, well, that is something I would regret for far longer than this mere last few weeks. I found the best way to get through my exasperation was to listen to and focus on my body; on what it had been through and what it was now trying to achieve. In doing this, I realised this totally amazing thing ...I realised just how ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE my body is.
This is a HUGE epiphany, coming from a gal like me.
I am someone who, as you may know, maintained over a decade of eating disorders ...followed by the messed up headspace that this then leaves you with. These issues, obviously, majorly affected the way that I treated and viewed my body for many years ...so, to say that my relationship with my body 'hasn't always been a loving one', would be a complete understatement. My body and I both hated each other, throughout my 20s ...and, although my eating habits are more settled these days, I think I never really truly and openly acknowledged these feelings of physical unacceptance until now.
The process of experiencing my operation, as well as watching my body's willingness and eagerness to bounce back, has enabled me to look at my body in a whole new light ...and now, I have fallen head over heels in love with my body.
It has been 5 weeks since a surgeon sliced open my chest, dug out all of my breast tissue, cut into my pec muscles, lifted them off my rib cage, inserted foreign objects (implants) inside me and stitched me back up ...a process that had me knocked out for over four hours ...and yet, here I am. I am still alive. I am moving, I'm able to sit up, raise my arms, push things, pull things ...even start back at yoga again. When you sit back and really think about it, how unbelievably incredible is that.
MY BODY IS AMAZING ...and so is yours.
I didn't write this post to sound 'preachy' or 'tree-hugging-hippy-ish', so I really hope it doesn't come across that way. It's just that, upon reflection, I just think it's terribly sad that it took such a huge and serious operation for me to appreciate the body that I have ...and so, I'm hoping that all you will need to reflect on 'you' is this post. A nice little reminder for YOU, to appreciate and love what you have. Be kind to your body. Treat it with the love and kindness it deserves and appreciate just how much it does for you every single day. I'm in awe of my body ...and I really hope you are in awe of yours.
Thanks for reading.