A funny thing happened on the way to the shower this morning. I caught sight of my body in a full length mirror. For the first time in over 18 months. I was suddenly aware that I had consciously avoided this moment since the shock of realising that it was letting me down all those months ago.
It was quite a moving experience. I saw myself for the first time. Not as someone who was scarred from 3 major ops, 2 minor ones and 8 gruelling months of chemo. But as a new whole person. I kept turning around and viewing myself from all angles and, I didn’t see the lumps and bumps and scars. I saw past all this and saw a strong body that had taken all that medical science could chuck at it and still bounce back for more. Stronger I hope. No, I am not going all Californian on you, but I did feel more beautiful for it.
Yes, I have cared for it with pills & potions (supplied daily by Superdad) endless rounds of acupuncture, and even exercise when I felt able to. But looking back it was more like the care of someone who had suddenly been told to look after a friend’s child. Of course you care for it, feed it, keep it as safe and warm as you can. But you don’t love it as your own. But today, I did. Finally.
I think I am now ready to start treating, and really listening and learning to trust my body as mine again. I can stop thinking of my body as a selection of parts; the bowel bit belonging to one hospital and consultant; the liver bit belonging to the other hospital and consultant and the chest bits to yet another hospital. No, my body is no longer the property of the medical profession. And to celebrate this epiphany, I am taking it shopping today!
p.s. Don’t be rude. Of course I am not going to be posting a naked photo on this blog. How could you even think of it…