Happy New Year to all of you beautiful, breastless women!
I really love this time of year. People generally tend to be in a happier, more relaxed mood and each day just seems to blend into the next. I’ve spent the last week with my family camping at Evans Heads and it was so lovely not to be on a schedule. We could wake up whenever (if only the body clock knew that), the kids played and swam all day and the night was relaxing with a drink in hand and freshly caught fish for dinner (thanks Maxed(boat) & Husband). I even ended up sneaking in winning a ham or two in the raffles at the local bowls club. Win, win for all… I also celebrated my 39th birthday yesterday with family and friends and birthdays are always a special time. Holidays are certainly a great time to relax and recharge the batteries.
Getting your energy back after having cancer and its treatment is certainly one of the challenging sides of the disease. There is so much going on physically and emotionally during this time and you can be easily zapped of all motivation for life. Not only is there the initial struggle of losing part of your body but along with that comes months of treatment which sees you quite inactive. Of course with inactivity, comes weight gain.
Before I was diagnosed, I was definitely no gym junkie but I definitely had my 2/3 sessions a week at the gym which kept me fit and in shape and I really enjoyed that time to myself. I would follow a program that one of the trainers had written me up and go about doing my session easily. I used to do a weights circuit that worked every different part of my body. When I got sick, all of that went out the window and that was pretty heartbreaking. There was another loss in my way of life.
To add insult to injury, my treatment was over the silly season so inactivity was combined with lots of lovely food and drink. I seemed to just spiral from one knock down to the next. So at the end of my treatment, I was red raw with seeping wounds on my chest, had one boob and had put on 5kgs. I felt gross and a lot less attractive. That’s pretty hard to come back from, especially if your energy levels are low.
So I would have to say that the worst period of time in my whole cancer journey was probably that time just after everything was technically ‘over’. See, while you are following your schedule of appointments and treatments, you are simply looking after your day to day health and not the future. The real pressure and stress came after that for me – at a time that you’d think should have been my happiest as all the treatment was over and I felt grateful to be alive.
But in all honesty, it’s not like that. You come out the other side like you’ve just been in a massive tornado and been spat out the other side to pick up the pieces. Your whole mindset of life has changed, your body has changed and the way people react to you also changes, so it’s huge for your personal identity. You really are a totally new person on the other side of cancer.
My husband was worried when I so quickly wanted my other breast removed but I think he gets it now. I wanted to hurry up and do the things I knew would be right for my physical body so I could start living a somewhat normal life again. And I think that probably goes for women whether they choose to reconstruct or not. They just want it all done so they can move on. It would definitely be a harder process for those who haven’t decided which path they are going down because the process would constantly feel ongoing.
So I had my second breast removed and while the surgery took healing time, I finally felt physically right again. My desire to exercise slowly came back but I needed to be physically well again before my energy levels fully increased. If you are currently in this situation, I really recommend not rushing yourself. Your body needs plenty of time to heal and when it does, your energy levels will restore and steadily and slowly increase over time.
At this point of my journey however, my biggest battle was activewear! Nothing I had previously worn fit the same so I guess that was my excuse not to exercise for a while. Then I’d wear something and hope not to be seen. At yoga, people were so kind but I don’t doubt for a second they weren’t glancing at the poor lady with the deformed chest in the class. People honestly say to me that they don’t even notice my chest, and maybe they don’t but maybe they are being kind.
I hope it is the fact that I dress so well for a flat chest that they genuinely can’t tell but maybe it’s that in my head I think everyone is looking there, when really they’re not. Either way, I think wearing clothes that you feel good in will definitely affect how confidently you actually wear them in public. This is especially relevant for activewear and it’s one of the crucial ones to feel good in as it’s so important to get back exercising and look after that body of yours post cancer.
So today is the day for New Year’s resolutions and for most women they involve fitness goals for the coming year! Beautiful, breastless women, start it with good activewear! It is damn hard to get right with no breasts but don’t let that stop you exercising ladies – you just have to find the right stuff. The hardest part with activewear is that so many of the tops are tight fitting and that doesn’t work for the scar area. While we have less options available to us, don’t be disheartened, there are some fabulous options out there for breastless women.
Today I am in fantastic Lululemon activewear which is so well made and long lasting. After trying on heaps of options in the change rooms (and the sales assistant at Pacific Fair was so lovely, approachable and helpful – I think her name was Wendy…Oops but maybe it wasn’t), I opted for mainly patterned tops in looser cuts (not tight fitting). I wear a crop top underneath paired with a looser, patterned top to distract the eye from the chest area. Of course there are times when you need a plain coloured top to go with the very fashionable patterned tights. In this case, definitely go for a looser fitting, high neck top and dark colours work best for that.
Once you find active wear that makes you feel fabulous, you will want to flaunt it and will naturally end up doing more exercise so beautiful, breastless women, take the time to find something that suits you in this area and feel proud as you exercise breastlessly. This is me at my birthday parkrun yesterday feeling super proud and excited to be beautiful and breastless.
Have a wonderful active week.
I am breastless and beautiful.