accepting your body post-mastectomy

01 Dec 2020

A mastectomy is a major decision when you’re on the breast cancer journey. Of course it alters you physically, but the emotional impact is one that hits people in unexpected ways. Find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

acknowledge how you feel

This is a major change for you. Physically, you’re not seeing what you used to see in the mirror. And emotionally, you may be feeling that loss. It’s okay to grieve the old you. Give yourself the space to feel exactly what you’re feeling even if it’s strange, and most importantly talk to a loved one about it. Acknowledging both the positive and negative emotions associated with your journey can move you that much closer to healing.

really take a look in the mirror

When you’re ready, observe your new body without judgment—whether you’re looking at the scars, new curves or even how time has changed your figure. Become familiar with that you in the mirror and feel what you need to feel. Remember that you are beautiful simply because you’re you.

nurture from within

Never underestimate the importance of a properly fueled body. There are lots of resources out there to get you on the right track. Or if you’re able, work with a nutrition expert to get you back on your feet. 

nourish the mind

Speaking of a properly nourished body, focus on ways to get back into your routine to help nourish your mind as well. Maybe you were a runner or a yogi or you used cooking as your meditation. Stay focused on getting your life back to a place where the activities you used to do feel normal again. No matter what brought you joy before your diagnosis, rekindle that feeling of calm. The more you put your body into that state of normalcy, the closer you move toward acceptance.

the entire package

Focusing on the interior doesn’t mean the exterior doesn’t matter. You probably tried wearing some of your old clothes after surgery and found they just didn’t fit. That’s jarring, and that’s okay. You’re working with a brand-new body. And this is your time to shine. Experiment, try styles you maybe never thought you would, go after that piece that gives you confidence. Strut that amazing stuff you’ve got.

consider a support group

Knowing you’re not alone in your feelings is powerful. Connect with others who have gone through or are going through what you are. And if support groups aren’t your thing, that’s okay. Consider seeking out a professional therapist or ask your care team for their suggestions.

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