This entry was written by Lisa Grey, a Nutrition Blogger/Chef at Pink Kitchen:
Breast cancer can really mess with a woman’s mind. When her hair falls out, it grows back very different from the hair she once had. Body parts have been lost or rearranged. Chemotherapy has likely changed her facial skin prematurely…now there are random age spots, and her skin has lost some elasticity.
For a while when I looked in the mirror post-treatment, I did not see a Heart-Breaker. Instead, I felt heart-broken.
Even those of us blessed with a really supportive spouse or significant other do not feel the same. We want to be sexy. But much of the time, we don’t feel sexy in our altered bodies.
Valentine’s Day can drive this point home more than any other holiday. Putting on a romantic ensemble for your sweetie no longer makes a girl feel glamorous. Sure, on the inside I still had dreams of love and passion. But on the outside, I felt more like Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas…with no Pumpkin King.
It’s unfair – and at times, heart-breaking – that we look completely different…feel completely different…and live completely different.
But girls – we’re still beautiful. Very beautiful. Beautiful in a way that no one will understand unless they’ve personally been through this ugly process known as ‘treatment.’ (I can think of much nicer ‘treats’ – how about you?)
In spite of it all, we are still here. And we’re beautiful.
So I got to thinking about a few things. True, Sally’s head may have been sewn on. But it was sewn on straight! She had good intuition, was true to what she believed in, and pursued her passion. And hey – if she lost a few body parts along the way, then so be it! She had moxie. And girls, moxie is sexy. Ask any Pumpkin King!
This Valentine’s Day, let’s all be Sally. It doesn’t matter whether we’ve gained weight…or if we’ve lost weight, body parts, or anything else. We do not have to lose our passion. If you have a special someone to share Valentine’s Day with – but you’re avoiding romance because you doubt your beauty…
Find your inner Sally!
First, instead of pressuring yourself to wear something daring, just wear something that you know you look good in. Confidence is sexy, ladies.
Next, invite your better-half to a romantic, low-maintenance meal of appetizers. There’s something very romantic about nibbling on appetizers by candlelight (not to mention that scars are less noticeable).
No Pumpkin King (or Queen) this year? Not a problem. Love yourself. Treat yourself to a new pair of pajamas that feel great and look amazing on you. Then light those candles anyway.
How do you plan to celebrate this Valentine’s Day? Do you feel that Lisa is right when she says that Valentine’s Day can target feelings of low self-esteem due to breast cancer treatment and/or surgery? We want to hear from you. Comment here or on our Facebook page.