Small Victories – Going Wedding Dress Shopping after my Breast Reconstruction
Man have I been through some shit.
I will never, ever joke about feeling old again.
Today is the first day that I was able to get out of bed without half an hour of careful planning, and I’m noticing that other things are getting easier, too. I can open the fridge without help. I figured out how to shower (thank heavens!). I can brush my teeth, type, and talk on the phone, but probably not all at once. I even figured out a way to tuck my gross boob-drain into a bra, so I can wear human-sized shirts again.
Little by little, I’m starting to feel like a normal person, which many of us never get the chance to say.
I feel humbled and blessed. I’m fortunate that I work from home. I couldn’t imagine taking this much time off, nor could I imagine commuting or having to pay attention during a morning meeting.
Plus, I’ve been having trouble keeping track of what day it is. I would ask people about something we did “yesterday.” I hadn’t seen them in weeks. I’ve been on lots of pills. Lots and lots (generally frowned upon in corporate settings). Not to mention my daily three-hour naps. I feel like HR might stop by my office and strongly suggest I stay awake at work.
Once I figured out the date and how to dress/bathe/feed myself, I had one of those moments of clarity wherein I decided that I would no longer let this condition rule my life.
Many of my future plans had been contingent on “when the next operation is.” I’m not sure if we’ll be able to move where we want, or when I’ll be able to have a bachelorette party, all of those things that most people take for granted. I thought about all of the meltdowns that I’ve seen, both on TV and in real life. Brides totally losing their shit over napkins or a dress…And those bitches didn’t even have to deal with this!
I had been waiting to try on wedding dresses until I had my reconstruction, because some insecure part of me didn’t want to feel disappointed when I saw my reflection.
But today I said, “Fuck it,” and stepped in. No makeup, stringy, flat hair (Hair is still hard to do. Give me a break), and only one full boob, I looked at myself in the mirror and I felt amazing. I felt like a princess. Like how all of those girls say they feel on TV when they see their dream dress. I didn’t feel incomplete or weak or any other shitty feeling that I was so afraid of.
Alone in that mirror, I felt beautiful, and I felt like I won.
Though I don’t wish my experiences of late on anyone, I hope that everyone gets to feel that same feeling I had today. A quiet, soft afternoon triumph.
Deep breath. It’s almost over.
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