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Healing, one year on

3rd December 2019… just over a year ago I had life changing surgery that will stay with me forever.

For months afterwards I felt broken and lost. I struggled to look at myself, to look at my scar and see the permanent reminder of what was taken from me.

Slowly, and with a bit of help, I have started to heal. I still have a way to go both physically and mentally, but I’ve already been on such a journey of self discovery. I was stripped bare, given a new sense of self awareness, but I’ve risen stronger because of it.

Just over 12 months ago, I lay on a hospital bed, tears rolling down my face as the surgeon marked the right side of my chest in black marker. Terrified of what was going to come, not the surgery itself, but how I was going to look and feel afterwards.

I walked to theatre shaking uncontrollably, wanting to just turn around and run away but knowing I couldn’t. I gathered up every little ounce of strength I had inside of me to keep my feet moving, step by step, towards theatre.

I lay there, praying to live. As the anaesthetist stroked my hand, he told me he was really sorry. Sorry for what I was about to go through. We both knew my old life was gone, and a new, completely different one awaited me at the other side of the stark white doors in front of me.

I didn’t realise just how much my life was going to change, or that what I was going through would help prepare me for what was coming.

Going through my diagnosis and my treatment plan has enabled me to go through a global pandemic without too much fear (I wrote about the similarities between Cancer and Covid in FEAR) and the anxiety I once might have felt has been replaced with a calm and an inner peace that wasn’t there before. I’ve had to learn to let go of trying to control things, because sometimes you just can’t. You just have to do what you can. What you think is best.

I am still grieving the loss of my breast… after all, it is a part of my body that even with reconstruction I will never get back. But it is getting easier, and I am slowly coming to terms with it, and with how I look now.

I know healing will only happen when I truly accept and embrace the change, so that is something I am working on really hard. My scar tells a story. My story. It reminds me that I fought a battle, and I survived.

Until next time… check your boobs

L x

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