Last week was tough. I’m going back to work in t-minus 2 weeks when I finish my IV antibiotics, so my mom suggested a small shopping trip to get new tops that aren’t mens oversized button downs. Coming from a G cup to flat, the terrain of my body has changed a lot. I have to be in the mood to clothes shop because I’m picky and I have a style and it’s easier for me to hunt around online to find what I like, but put me in a Sephora and I’ll go all day, any day. It’s just my thing. I wasn’t in the mood, but I said yes to appease my mom. Sometimes it’s just easier that way and it wasn’t unsuccessful, I found a couple of tops — pull over and button up that will look okay when paired with pencil skirts. And then I found a sweater. It was beautiful, soft, blush pink with a little bit of sparkle and a keyhole in the back that tied together with a matching pink ribbon. I loved it.
And then I tried it on.
I know what I look like. I got called “sir” today. I have a pixie cut that I love, wide shoulders and no boobs. I know what I look like but that sweater drove it home. That sweater would’ve been beautiful on someone that had the boobs to fill it out, but on me with nothing to speak of to fill it out, it looked frumpy. Or maybe the pink didn’t look good on me. Or maybe the shape wouldn’t have worked on me pre-mastectomy, but whatever it was, it didn’t work and I let myself feel sad for a few seconds. I shed a couple of tears, mourned over the fact that maybe I underestimated this whole ordeal, felt fleeting embarrassment that I would be returning to work in a client-facing role at not quite 100% – still feeling sluggish, not confident in my new look 100% of the time, but who is?
I don’t get down a lot, I really don’t, and sometimes I think people don’t believe me when I say that. I get frustrated with my drains and my PICC line and the bills I’m getting from the visiting nurses and missing work, but the mastectomy? That doesn’t get me down or make me sad. Contrary to Melissa Etheridge’s beliefs, I feel brave and sure about that decision. But looking at myself in the mirror, in shitty dressing room lighting, in a sweater that I wanted desperately? I felt like crap.
I know it’ll be okay, I know I’ll be okay. I know these feelings are momentary and I don’t regret anything, not for a second.