This post is for those of you who have moved on a bit from treatment or have a family occasion during treatment because much as I hate to admit it, is that life does go on.
We were invited to a wedding when I was in the middle of chemo. Luckily for me it didn’t clash near chemo day but I was heading into the vunerable stage where I was at risk for infection. Anyway that didn’t deter me. For the first time in awhile I was actually looking forward to something other than cancer related.
I didn’t have the stamina to traipse around the city from store to store so decided to stick to local boutiques in my area. The joy I felt trying on new clothes was wonderful as I’m not normally a “shop till you drop” person by any means but just the sensation of forgetting about cancer was lovely at the time. Of course it was a little short lived as I was conscious of my chest area and finding a style to suit me. Soon and thereafter I was able to quickly dismiss outfits that wouldn’t work for me. At the time I deliberately didn’t go for dark colours, I chose a pink and light grey dress that was both comfortable and looked good on me. I had invested in a good wig and wore it on the day. Someone actually admired my hairstyle and asked who does my hair! I just couldn’t tell the truth! I remember that day with fond memories as we met people we hadn’t seen for awhile and were great company for the day.
Confidence soon returned and I was able to check out the shops again for clothes. Simple things like finding colours that suit, a style that boosts your self confidence as well as good underwear all help. With underwear and bras in particular you should get fitted at least every two years with someone who is trained for fitting post surgery. I have personally found that the post surgery bras that you get in department stores just don’t fit well. The companies that specialise in post surgery underwear seem to understand better all the discomforts that we experience and have incorporated adjustments to the design for a better fit. They also specialise in swimwear. Oh joy of joys when I got my first bikini post surgery and it looked well on me! Well, as well as my milky blue skin would allow! I have never had any concerns about sudden gaps as I bend down to tend to my kids. Even though at this stage I don’t think I care too much anymore. We recently went to a hotel and I forgot my swim prosthesis so obviously the swimsuit looked a bit lopsided. I didn’t care at the time and just went about our swim. I was a little self conscious coming out of the water but otherwise didn’t mind too much. Progress for me!
There are times when I do yearn to wear certain styles such as v- necked clothes, especially in the summer, and feel envious when I see someone browsing through clothes that I know will never suit me again. I then remonstrate with myself as I realise how lucky I am. Huge progress has been made for women after surgery and If you really want to wear low cut strappy t-shirts the companies specialising in post surgery bras also make these. They seem to be very popular as any time I have tried to purchase them my size is gone.
I have recently been looking for an outfit for another family occasion coming up. I reflected afterwards that my confidence is definitely back and was able to quickly assess if an outfit would work or not without any despair. Life is good. My inner fashionista is back. Now for the shoes…