Essay about Mastectomies
With her permission, I am sharing a lovely essay written by a woman who attends one of my support groups. Her experience with a mastectomy was, like everyone's, difficult, but she is adapting, feeling physically well, and has been grateful for the support of her husband and others who love her.
Every married woman who has had a mastectomy scar fears that her husband will, even for a moment, want to look away.She fears that he will see her as less attractive and less appealing.
She knows what she is talking about because she experienced that awful first look, when she felt mutilated and disfigured. She wanted no one to see. She never did reveal to him that initial angry, red scar that was what remained of a part of her body he loved to caress. There were many indignities those first few months, but most could be hidden away, covered up by an illusion and a big smile.
She will know it is the right time when she, herself, has fully accepted the changes in her body and gotten accustomed to her battle scar. She will see it as a healed remnant of an unwelcome but unavoidable experience. She knows that once she removes the cover-ups, that she will not be able to return to that security.
She hopes that he will see her scar as a symbol of her courage and strength.She wants him to see it as just another part of her that he will treasure. He'll view it as no different than a freckle, or any other imperfection over which she had no control.
What she wants more than anything, though, is for him to see beyond the scar and love her even more - for what she has endured, and how she has survived and thrived.
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