I've looked at what lies beneath this compression bandage a few times...I'm not shy when it comes to blood and guts and scars so I knew I would probably look as soon as I could reach and pull down the zipper myself. Today, though, I spent a few minutes looking as I gave myself a little sponge bath and put myself together.
I won't deny it; tears were running down my face and I did feel a little sorry for the bruises and incisions. But I also had this overwhelming feeling that this is a body that needs love from me, more now than ever. I haven't been very good at that (in fact, I've been horrible); I've never felt like it was good enough. It might be easy to feel that way in a society that is always pushing for something leaner, more youthful; but some of these feelings were purely my own dissatisfaction just for the sake of being dissatisfied. I made myself feel that way. Nothing was ever good enough.
Alone with my scars, I did promise myself that all of that is now over. I'm sticking to a similar plan that I'm using for my emotions...I'm going to control what I can control, in a situation where there is lots I can't control. Before this, I didn't think I could control what I thought about my body, but when faced with something larger, I now find that I can. When given a body that is now so far from perfect it is obscene, I'm going to be proud of it, I'm going to take care of it, and I'm going to love it. I'm not looking back to what was, or spending time being upset over what I had before...and I might even find that I'm happier now with how I look than I could have ever been before I had cancer.