Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shirt and Shoes required, boobs optional

I have had a lot of questions about how I am feeling. Well, I am doing pretty good. I get pretty weak during the 7 days after chemo then a light switch turns back on and I feel great. My counts have been good. No fevers, no major sickness.

What is it like the rest of the time? I have a lot I want to do, some things I can't but plan to do and some things I don't want to deal with. I have trouble sleeping, either going to sleep or staying asleep. I get night sweats. I wake up and start thinking. Am I worrying? Well, kinda but not anything "big" just little things I need to do. Happened this morning, fell asleep well then woke up at 3:30, finally got up at 5:00 and decided maybe I should actually do something instead of laying there thinking about doing it.

Yes, there are big things that are bothering me. Still having a hard time with my breasts being gone. I don't talk much about it except to close friends and Darin. You wouldn't believe how many times I have heard, "they are just breasts, at least your family has you" (have you seen my family? Of course they are happy to have me, I am the most sane of them all jk Chelle,) "I don't think I would even care if they took my breasts" What I want to do is pull up my shirt and say so you can look like this? Super, lets try it! But I smile and say, "Yep, I bet each person would handle it differently"

It's like, pull up your big girl panties and move on.

I am working hard on my "self image" that isn't really mine, is it? Shouldn't I be reflecting God's image instead of my own? Honestly I am struggling with this.

Genesis 1:27  "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

Ephesians 4:21-23 "when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Honestly, does God care my boobs are gone? Well, what I have gotten to know about Him, He does, because He cares about what is bothering me.

1 Peter 5:7 "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
Matthew 6:30 "And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"

I have to stay here to take care of my family. My will?

Psalm 40:8 "take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart."

(oh please write away!!)

 But I look like..... I HAVE CANCER!

I have less hair than my husband, I have not lost any weight, in fact I have gotten even more flabby with all the laying around. I have two huge scars on my flat chest which make my already big stomach look bigger. What does my husband see when he looks at me?!

Genesis 2:24 "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."

"For better or for worse, for rich or poor, in sickness or in health."  He is keeping our marriage vows.

On Thursday we had Miss Cora over for a playdate. I was in a t shirt and zipper sweatshirt and wasn't wearing my fakes. We left without me giving a second thought to go to McDonalds. It was getting warm so I took off my sweatshirt and in the midst of getting those two hoodlums in safely and never put it back on. I didn't realize it until I stepped in the the building. Mind you, this was not a baggy t shirt but a fitted one. You see, I am not just flat now, but concave. And this t shirt showed every little curve or the reversal of said curves. I felt naked.

Have you ever had a dream that you are walking out in public with no shirt on or no pants? I do.  Actually, just had a dream the night before this that I was walking around the mall with just a t shirt and undies. Though in my dream I think my legs were thinner. In my dream, no one even seems to notice I am not wearing pants.

So this pretty much how the conversation in my head went.

Should I turn around and take them back out and get my sweatshirt?  Would anyone notice? Oh, they are looking at me! Oh wait, they want me to order. I give myself a pep talk or was it a prayer? I don't remember. I order. Not one seems to notice I have no breasts. Ok this is good. I can do this. I turn around and take these two adorable skipping children to sit down and everyone is looking at... them!

Oh good, this is going to be fine. Square your shoulders, I mean really this is the reality of this "disease". Cancer takes your hair, your breasts, your life. This is even better than pink! I am a warrior, I am strong! There is a table of younger men, probably on break from construction, they turn and look at me and they get a shocked look on their face They quickly look away. Oh man, they noticed, I mean it was all women at the front, they weren't looking at my boobs, but what else did I expect if a guy saw me, I mean, it's like the first thing they look at right? They don't even realize they are doing it. It just happens. I AM SO EMBARRASSED.

And then it dawns on me. I have a scarf on, I am flat chested, I am pale from having chemo a week ago. They know I have cancer. Maybe one of these young men has a grandma with cancer, maybe a mom? They know, they understand. It's NO BIG DEAL.

We ended up having a wonderful lunch(for the kids, the food there is turning my stomach) complete with a chocolate shake. Once I realized that no, not everyone was looking at my chest we went happily on our way to the clinic for my bloods draws.

So I learned that while Shirts and Shoes are required at McDonalds, boobs are optional.

All Bible verses are from the New Living Translation


  1. As a guy I will admit that most of us will take a glimpse at the lower region that we all enjoy. Paula (and I) were fortunate to not have the same procedure that you did. The divot is there from the surgery... I hate it! But it does remind me every time I see (or touch) it, that I am so lucky to still have her. The worldly man sees and rates women by the kazungas... yes. that is the good 'ol sin nature, but to blow through that crap that effects most men and see our wives for who they are.... one can't even describe it.
    I'm sure Darin really misses the girls as would any normal husband, but he still has the one important girl... you. So the next time you think that your life sucks for what happened remember that Darins life might suck a little for loosing a real fun part of you, but his life is still complete... you made it through. He still gets to sit next to you at the movies. He still gets to see you love those around you. He still gets to be around you when your life seems to be taking a dump.. He still gets you. Boobs or not, Melissa is still there to greet him at the door when he comes home. You can always get implants but you as a whole are not replaceable. Never forget that!

  2. Melissa, my heart cries with you as you go through this. I can't imagine what it is like but i am learning by watching you that it is not easy. The posts you are writing are hard to read yet i love that you are looking at this time in your life as an opportunity to share with others. I find myself crying and laughing at the same time. I want to be able to step in and fix it, full well knowing that i can't. I want to make you all better but i am not the healer, our Heavenly Father is! I know its not easy to have the energy to keep writing but you are touching my life not only in person but with your writing! You are changing my life by what you are going through! I can see God shining right through you!