It is Feb. 17th, the Monday after Valentine’s Day and leading up to this weekend I had been reflecting on what this day means to me. Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day of love, a day to feel beautiful, gorgeous and sexy. For women who have gone through or are going through cancer, it can definitely be a very emotional and trying day as you wonder whether the words sexy and gorgeous still apply to you. I have also just turned 49 so there is now this layer of my aging body on top of all that the cancer has put me through.
I was diagnosed almost 12 years ago at the age of 37. It was a shocker and feeling sexy was the farthest thing from my mind. My initial focus was survival: double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy and a lot of tears. I was so focused on my treatment that I didn’t even pause to think what I was losing. Eventually, I started to consider how this was going to make me feel as a woman. How can you feel attractive when you’ve lost what many in society equate to being a sexy woman?
Throughout the last 3 years at Gorgeous you, I have talked to countless women about this topic and the things that can help us learn to love ourselves and even feel sexy after cancer.
Acceptance and self love is always a big topic of conversation. Loving where you are at and the body you have at whatever stage in your journey is so important. In the last 11 years I have learned to love my body as it is right now, my scars are a sign of my strength and courage and I own them - plain and simple. “After cancer” implies that the disease ends when the treatment does and this is simply not the case. However, I have learned that loving and accepting myself just as I am is one of the most crucial parts of healing. As everyone knows, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any day there is nothing sexier than a confident woman.
Focusing on a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just reduce your risk of recurrence, but it can make you love your body again. Exercise and a healthy diet make you feel strong and helps you look good and leads to reduction in feelings of anxiety or depression.
Investing in clothes or lingerie that fit your new body can also make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. I remember the specific moment when after years of searching I finally found a swim suit that fit my breast-less body perfectly. The high halter style held my prosthetics in place and my concave chest was no where in site with this cut. I have a good friend that swears spending the time to find the perfect fitting bras and lingerie have made all the difference. Sometimes something as simple as having sexy bra that fits can give you that boost you are looking for.
The last theme I want to mention that comes up again and again in our community is trying to find the good in what you are going through. Focus on a positive mindset and things that are good in your life can make all the difference.
So hear is to all the Sexy Survivors - Happy Valentine’s Day 365 Days of the Year
The Molly Pocketed Front Closure
Pocketed High Neck Tankini