Saturday, April 21, 2012

Self-image after cancer

From time to time, years after my cancer diagnosis, I still struggle with my body image.  Maybe I should be fine by now but, I don't think there's a statue of limitations on getting your self esteem back after the trauma of cancer.  Sure, there are days when I am confident, I feel good about myself and I'm okay for a little while but,  when I see a dress I know should be able to wear or a nice pair of jeans or slacks that in order for me to wear them I have to make accommodations for my deformed stomach, it brings on the insecurities again.

I should be grateful, the doctors did emergency surgery and saved my life! How dare I sound so bitter that doctors saved my life! I use to feel that the doctors cut me open and then sewed me back up without any concern about how they put me back together nor how it would effect my mental state.  In 2010, I had an opportunity that changed my life and changed my view of my scar.  I was privileged to be selected as 1 of 12 Colondar Models of young adult colon cancer survivors diagnosed under the age of 50.  That photo shoot forced me to face and acknowledge my fears of ever being seen as physically beautiful, acceptance of myself and realize that I was not cursed or alone in this world.  Sure, my family and friends were supportive and listened to me cry but, I felt they could not relate to the feelings I faced everyday.  I showed my scar to the world and became liberated, I felt like my secret was out and now I could stop hiding.  I was so concerned about how others would think about me in my new physical state that I simply forgot the blessing in this whole thing...I'M ALIVE!

Now, I wear my scar like a badge of honor! That badge says "Survivor" and it means I am not alone and neither are you!

If you would like to find out more about my journey, go to:  While your there, check out the amazing stories from the amazing men and women who bare their scars in the name of colon cancer awareness.

1 comment:

  1. Candace,

    What a beautiful post from a beautiful Woman! Yep, I have the same issue with some clothes; even though I did not have a full mastectomy, some items just don't fit quite right. But you know what? You and I are here to tell The Tale, eh? You rock, Lady!