x

Feeling Confident in a Holiday Dress













Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Shoes: Sole Society (under $40)
Sunglasses: c/o Zenni Optical
Bangle: Dress and Dwell (old), similar here
Bracelet: Lily and Laura

One thing that is rarely said but commonly occurs is that life after chemo or life after cancer can be difficult. I rarely talked about these struggles. There are things that most people are not aware of that cancer fighters and cancer survivors go through and that is the adjustment to 'normal life'. Everyone assumes that now that I am done with chemo that the fight is over. Just because my treatments are not chemo, doesn't mean everything is back to normal.

I can go on and on about what life is like but I definitely want to talk more specifically about body image. One thing I love about the holiday season is finding and wearing festive outfits. This year was a little different. I was unsure I would find anything that I would feel comfortable in and still feel good wearing it.

After my mastectomy, I was feeling off. I tried to fight it off because I thought maybe it is just me being hard on myself. To back track, I've been a strong supporter in loving yourself and your body. I've always accepted my body, and I do my best to encourage others to love themselves as well. However, after chemo, all of a sudden I just felt unbalanced. Some parts of my body were numb and all in all I just didn't feel me as if everything about my body was foreign. I thought I was being hypocritical and thinking I just don't love myself anymore.

One day, I decided to tell my oncologist what I was feeling. I explained every sensation I felt in every motion and the changes I was seeing. I was glad I decided to speak up. Everything I was feeling was due to these long lasting side effects. My doctor explained that my body has been beaten and bruised from the cancer treatments, and to top it off I am recovering from a 9 hour surgery. So she said of course it is not the same. My body is also experiencing nerve damage. I think the honest response is what is helping me heal and understand my body more. I think I just needed the truth because as of lately, most of the responses I would get from anybody is that I am fine and I should be grateful I gained new boobs from all this. Honestly, people trying to make me feel better about having better, bigger breasts didn't help because everyone thinks my surgery is a breast augmentation. It's not at all. I can go on and on about this, but let's just say if you know anyone who went through a mastectomy with breast reconstruction never ever compare it to a boob job. NEVER. It really is not the same.

Then one day, I heard from Karina Dresses again. I mentioned them in this post, and I love how their dresses are not only made with the highest quality but their mission is to make dresses so that women can love and accept their body. So when they reached out to me again, I decided why not. Maybe it will help me get out of this funk about my body. When I tried on my dress, for once, I felt good in a dress. I haven't felt so feminine in a while. It hugged me in all the right places. Heck, I felt pretty! Tre even saw the confidence I had when I wore this dress. This is why I stand by this brand so much. Their dresses are made for all shapes and sizes. They are made to flatter your figure. They really do stand by their mission.

I am wearing the Maggie Atomic Umbrella dress. I love the crossover neckline, length of the dress, and breathable fabric. My favorite feature is the tie at the waist. It's just makes the dress fun and unique!

I know this post was much longer than expected, but I just hope that if anyone out there is going through some type of body image issue, don't let your negative thoughts about your body tear you down during this holiday season. Please know that your body is resilient. Your body can get through anything and you just have to trust yourself and your body. I've seen my body get torn, beaten, and bruised from my treatments and looking back, I am amazed how it is recovering. Just take the time to reflect what you've accomplished and surround yourself by people who love you. If it takes a pretty dress to make you love yourself, then go for it.

xo RD
FOLLOW ME| INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER


67 comments:

  1. Love this dress! Very beautiful and this pattern is top! *_*
    Kiss
    Luna
    http://www.fashionsnobber.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooooh sweetheart, I am so sorry that you are going through all these, I wish I would tell you that I understand what you are going through but I don't because I have never suffered from Cancer, however my mum and aunt are survivors and I can tell you from watching them that I kinda get it. I want encourage you and tell you that you are so strong, you have conquered the hardest part now you have to bear with this easier part, you are a victor and not a victim. Stay strong and beautiful as you already are. You fierce in that dress!!
    www.fashionstylemogul.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always have something so sweet to say and I admire that. Thanks so much Meron!

      Delete
  3. Rach, you look beautiful & thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal journey-I am so sure that so many women in a similar boat can relate and it's humbling to those like myself who have no idea. Your red pumps are my fave-so festive.
    Merry Monday,
    Katelyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Katelyn for your kind words!

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can only imagine how different your life must be post-cancer, but you are absolutely stunning and your inner light truly shines through your smile!!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Courtney!! You are so sweet!

      Delete
  5. So beautiful!!!!

    http://www.brooklynglam.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look really beautiful in this dress Rach. I'm glad it has helped you feel better. You are a really strong women and I love that you are sharing you story with us and sending this message of encouragement to others out there. I hope it only goes better from here for you. Have a wonderful week dear :)
    xo
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sauniya! I do hope so too! :)

      Delete
  7. Thank you for being so open and honest, Rach. I totally agree, a mastectomy should NOT be compared to a boob job! Fighting cancer is tough and one will go through so many ups and downs. Your body is adjusting but gosh, I am so glad you are feeling better and fought like no other, Rach! You are SUCH AN INSPIRATION to me! I admire your strength and beauty, inside and out!!!!
    PS: Love the dress as well! You are as chic as ever!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks so much for understanding Vanessa!!

      Delete
  8. Gorgeous! Love the pop of red, of course.

    Stay strong, beautiful. You are doing GREAT.

    Katie | WillowAndWhiteBlog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement Katie!

      Delete
  9. So happy you shared your thoughts with us, Rach. Reconstruction from a double mastectomy is definitely not a boob job. I will say that this was the perfect dress for you because it fits you beautifully. I hope you finish up 2016 with a bang because, well, you deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks girl!! I'm so looking forward to a new year!

      Delete
  10. love the print on your dress! super cute look!

    kelseybang.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. You always amaze me with your ability to be so open and honest with all you've been through. You are beautiful inside and out. And so amazing that this brand has such a admirable mission. Happy holidays girl.

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you so much Heidi for the kind words Heidi!

      Delete
  12. so nice post honey, amazing
    Check it out my last post + giveaway.
    kisses fron italy
    Here: http://www.honeyandcotton.it/the-best-christmas-shopping-on-gearbest-com/?lang=en

    ReplyDelete
  13. That dress is so cute!! Love how you styled it with red shoes!

    ♡ Jaime
    http://thejaimeissue.com/

    ReplyDelete
  14. First of all you look beautiful.
    Then you know, that every time I feel off in my body or that I am not pretty enough, I remember those who beats cancer and survive, who lose their original body image and some parts and I tell myself, those have the right to feel this way, but you, you are in a blessing and it does help.
    But hearing you say those words, it just put me in another situation, it makes me feel more grateful for my blessing, but mostly it makes me RESPECT you even more and your strength.
    I hope you get better and better soon.
    http://societyfix.blogspot.com.eg/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you so much! This means a lot!

      Delete
  15. Love the pop of color in those shoes! Thanks for sharing, xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  16. You look so pretty!

    Love, Janine
    www.florafallue.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful ladyl!! Hope you’ll stop by my blog for the latest post!

    www.loveolia.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love this fun festive dress on you Rach!

    I am back to blogging after a very restful hibernation – hope you could check out what I’ve come up with at the blog!

    Happy Holidays!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. You did the right thing by opening up to your specialist about it. I can understand how that help you to feel a bit better. Every disease can be such a burden and we can feel so isolated and alone. It is so helpful when we have a good doctor, one that takes the time to explain things to us. When we understand the process, it is easier- because when we know what to expect we can prepare better- both mentally and emotionally.

    I was never diagnosed with cancer myself but many of my family members had it, so I have seen the effects of chemo first hand. I had many surgeries in my life, I'm practically covered with scars. The largest one that I had is from heart surgery I had when I was I kid but I don't really remember well that one...However, I know it took me a while to get adjusted to all the others...sometimes it took months. Another thing: general anesthesia takes it toll as well. It is not really like going to sleep, it is actually a lighter type of induced coma. I had to do it a number of times and it left its traces on my body. I imagine that when combined with chemo, it really weakens the body. So, make sure you take enough time to recover and heel. I've read how many cancer patients found it helpful to try to set some time for themselves every day and do something they like, something positive, something that helps them recharge their batteries. It is different for everyone, some prefer a walk, some meditations, others a spa moment but it is important to find the time that would help the heeling process.


    You look stunning btw! That dress looks amazing on you. The print is gorgeous. I love how you matched it with those red heels. Such a feminine outfit! You project so much positive energy, it is amazing. I would have never guessed you have any health problems based on these images.

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.ba/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and provide your input. I definitely need to take my time on recovering and healing. This is such a great advice!

      Delete
  20. This dress is so gorgeous!! Love the floral pattern! xo
    http://publiclivessecretrecipes.com/2016/12/the-best-winter-beauty-products.html

    ReplyDelete
  21. You look gorgeous. Love this floral print!

    XOXO
    kellmenow | http://www.kellmenow.com/blog/2016/12/6/the-traveling-gypsy-brooklyn
    Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/kell_menow/

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the red heels with this- so fun for the holidays!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you so much for writing this. I can't even imagine the changes you're going through and while I don't know enough about cancer to tell you how to feel about anything, I hope you know that I think you are a beautiful person.
    I also LOVE this dress - it's festive and beautiful and very flattering on you! :]

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Deborah! You are so sweet!

      Delete
  24. Such a cute look - I love the pop of red!

    Annessa
    www.seekingsunshine.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. So not the same as a boob job. I am so sorry you have gotten that response. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You are so strong, and I can only imagine that there are longer-lasting and very difficult things to work through. You look amazing and are so strong! So glad you found a dress you feel great in. And you really do look great!
    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Amy Ann! This means a lot!

      Delete
  26. Gorgeous dress and I love your red heels!


    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is such a beautiful wrap dress! So classy and classic! Thanks for answering my question too babe! I wish I knew how to use photoshop, it's so daunting to me!

    xoxo Rina
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I can help! That's how I felt about Photoshop too. But I think it just takes some getting used to!

      Delete
  28. This post was so incredible to read. I can't believe that people could compare a mastectomy to a boob job- those are totally disconnected procedures, and I'm sorry that you've heard that from people. Your journey has been so moving, and I thank you for sharing your courage and candor with us. You're always in my thoughts, Rach!

    I'm so glad this dress makes you feel beautiful, because you always look gorgeous, and you deserve to feel that way. Sending love and well wishes!

    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Julia!! I just think people are confused because my reconstruction they placed an implant that it is the same process as a getting a boob job. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement!

      Delete
  29. Fashion with a cause is always fashion worth promoting. I did a quick read on their About tab on their site and it gave me a case of the warm fuzzies. I cannot imagine what you are going through and the thoughts that cross your mind daily, but please know we all think you are so beautiful and even more so because of your fight. Your body will always be a reminder that you are capable of much more than you know. <3
    My body images issues are far different since mine stem from bringing a child into this world, but even looking at myself in the mirror and looking at things people consider "flaws" I no longer care. I did something worth it and my body tells a story of how powerful I am. (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so with ya on promotion fashion with a cause. And omg good for you for seeing the good in your body changes. And I agree it tells how powerful you are!

      Delete
  30. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

    temple run 2 | cooking fever |traffic rider |

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.