“New Self Esteem”
Earlier today I was talking with one of my great mentor/friends “my puddd” Nelly and she gave me some right on time advice. I was working on updating my short bio and I had her read over it to tell me what I should add/edit/delete. She noticed that I didn’t have being a “breast cancer survivor” listed. And lovingly chastised me for not having it down because it is “an important part of my story.” She reminded me that I should embrace being a survivor because I never know who is listening, watching, or connecting with me. That is very true…but sometimes I feel a bit awkward saying it out loud. “Survivor! I’m a survivor!”
Don’t get me wrong I am SO THANKFUL to God and in awe of where He brought me from!! *insert praise dance* It’s just sometimes I don’t feel like leading with it… “Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a breast cancer survivor” *insert hand shake and smile* After going through all that stuff during my bc treatment plan I felt like I became super open with my story from beginning to end. And of course I try to continue to blog to you all (my reader friends) multiple times a week. So in real life I don’t necessarily like to show off being a “Jessica the survivor”, sometimes I like being regular old Jessica.
Smh…I’m working on it!
I guess I’m still learning how to be comfortable fully embracing my “survivor-dom”. After all this is my new story…my new normal!! Everyone that really knows me knows my life changed in March 2012. People saw me after my double mastectomy with muscle expanders (but didn’t notice I didn’t have my implants until I told them or may have showed them my scars), they saw me after getting my chemo port placed, transiting to losing my hair 14 days after my first chemo treatment. They saw me in the process from going bald, to growing peach fuzz, to now my hair has grown back in this new finer curly short-do. Now you can see the scar from my chemo port, or darker side of my chest (on the right and on my back) from radiation, and the weight I gained throughout my treatments (Lawd I can’t wait to shed these pounds!!). I noticed my skin color seemed to change as well my thought is from chemo I was caramel-ish brown before, during chemo I was more of a yellow/grey undertone, after chemo I have dark spots under my eyes and seem to be back to a light brown/caramel with a reddish undertone. Most days when I ask my fam/friends say I look pretty “normal”. Things are slowly getting back to a normal for me even though I am still dealing with fatigue and some pain from time to time.
So like I said…I’m working on it!
Now past all the physical stuff I’m mostly being with self esteem and the mental stuff post cancer. I know I need to find a professional to talk to or go back to a cancer support group (I prefer the young cancer survivor ones). So I need to get on it! I was so good with keeping up with my appointments, consultations, and treatments. I need to get back in that mind set and work on my mental health after my journey. And I need to go to physical therapy for my arm (range of motion and chest tightness post my reconstruction surgery). On top of making and keeping all my of my follow up appointments for Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and with my plastic and breast surgeons… Looks like I have some updating my to do list…
Just remember can’t “nobody” love you until you learn to love yourself!
“Self esteem…it is esteem of the self!” ~Erica, one of my sorority sisters at Dove S.P.A. a few years ago «Lol, it’s true!!