|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.
Feeling Confident in a Holiday Dress
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.
Love this dress! Very beautiful and this pattern is top! *_*
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!!
You always have something so sweet to say and I admire that. Thanks so much Meron!
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.
Thank you so much Katelyn for your kind words!
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!!
Aw thanks Courtney!! You are so sweet!
C's Collection | http://chelseascollection.com
Thank you so much Chelsea!
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 🙂
Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡
Thank you so much Sauniya! I do hope so too! 🙂
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!
Aw thanks so much for understanding Vanessa!!
Gorgeous! Love the pop of red, of course.
Stay strong, beautiful. You are doing GREAT.
Katie | WillowAndWhiteBlog.com
Thank you so much for the encouragement Katie!
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!
Thanks girl!! I'm so looking forward to a new year!
You look amazing!
NEW POST : THE COLORFUL THOUGHTS
love the print on your dress! super cute look!
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
Aw thank you so much Heidi for the kind words Heidi!
so nice post honey, amazing
Check it out my last post + giveaway.
kisses fron italy
That dress is so cute!! Love how you styled it with red shoes!
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.
Aw thank you so much! This means a lot!
Love the pop of color in those shoes! Thanks for sharing, xoxo
You look so pretty!
Beautiful ladyl!! Hope you’ll stop by my blog for the latest post!