Every morning you get to write a new page in your book of life. Make sure you don’t bring yesterday’s woes into today’s story. ……Livonne
Here I am about four weeks down the track from the last time I wrote here. I had been home just over a week at that stage and was dealing with the emotional upheaval caused by my changed body shape. The good news is, I’m feeling so much better. Have I learned to love my new body shape? No not particularly but then, my old body shape didn’t really float my boat either, so I have to do something about getting fitter and more active. That’s my responsibility.
Walking however, has been a problem since the operation as I’ve struggled getting used to how to balance again. I know this sounds silly, after all, they didn’t do anything to my legs. But after having large breasts since puberty, which is over 40 years, I’ve learned to walk and balance the way I was. Since the operation, I’ve found myself losing balance easily as my centre of gravity is different now. That has meant I haven’t wanted to go out walking on my own and to be honest, I’ve been a bit too self conscious and anxious to do that anyway. But I think I’ve finally got balancing down pat and am walking easier.
It’s funny, everyone said “Oh it will make a difference to your back” and it has but not in the way people expect. I never really had heaps of back issues other than the normal getting older ones. My mother was very firm with me on standing straight. When I hit puberty and suddenly grew breasts overnight it seemed, I hunched my shoulders a lot to try to hide the fact. Mum would come up behind me and pull my shoulders back and make me straighten them, so over the years, I’ve stood straight with squared shoulders. This has caused a counter balance issue since I don’t have large breasts and I found I was still pulling shoulders back when I didn’t need to do it the same way anymore which in turn hurt my back.
Saying all that, I’m feeling myself again and have just got hold of a treadmill that will be in by the weekend and I can start walking to build strength and fitness back up so new me, here I come. I’ve got so much ahead of me at the moment and need to be at my best to not just do it all, but enjoy it as I go. Scans have just found something in my right breast, so the doctors are seeing whether it is something to do with the operation or another cancer of some sort. I have to have another mammogram tomorrow and a biopsy if needed on Monday. I’m choosing not to worry about it until I’m told I should. I’m not a doctor. I’ll let them deal with it.
I’ve been offered an art residency at Bundanon Trust which is highly exciting, so I can get to work on the next part of the series of art I’m doing which tells the story of my life. I’m so looking forward to getting there and immersing myself in the surroundings and just break free from the everyday distractions and let my creativity flow. It’s six weeks today since I had the operation and I have to say it’s been hard, so to get away for a while will be fantastic.
The hardest part of the recovery has been loneliness to be honest. Some people have been fantastic, but most do the avoidance. I had no idea why and so took it deeply to heart. I felt it was a personal attack on me but I’m starting to think differently now. Obviously people feel it’s too hard on them. I don’t get that attitude and frankly, I don’t want to. Even people who have been through the same thing themselves have chosen to stay away.
Funny isn’t it. I haven’t coped overly well with the emotional side of this whole bleep but I still can put it into some sort of perspective. Compared to losing my daughter, this is just a small upheaval that I will get over. It will not define me. There has been one defining trauma in my life and that was losing a child. I’ve had sexual abuse as a child, domestic violence as a young woman, I’ve struggled with mental illness, I’ve been unsafe and had no security in my own home and now I’ve had cancer but honestly, none of them have left me with the emotional scars that losing my precious girl did. I’m not saying they haven’t affected me, but nowhere near to the same extent.
Staying upset about the people who have chosen to stay away won’t upset them. They won’t even notice. The only person who will be affected by it is me. So I choose now to let it go. They have their reasons that I not only don’t understand but I don’t want to understand. I hope I’ll always be the person who is there for someone when the chips are down, no matter how much the event is a trigger for me or how uncomfortable it makes me feel. I haven’t always been but will try to make it part of the new me. But everyone is different and I am only responsible for my own attitude and not the attitude of others.
Physically, I feel better than I’ve felt in ages, though still not as strong as I’d like but that is due to muscle loss after the recovery time. I think the tiredness that I’ve been feeling for the last year may well have been my body fighting the unseen intruder. That overwhelming tiredness is gone. I feel like a little kid about to open a big, beautifully wrapped gift box and when they do, confetti and ribbons and fireworks all burst out around the amazing stuff inside. I truly feel that life is about to offer me everything I’ve always wanted and I can’t wait to unwrap the gift.
Happy Unwrapping… Livvy xxx