You may see me in the street, you may pass me by and smile at me. I may nod my head and smile back. I may look and appear normal. But, behind my smile, behind my eyes I am fighting. Fighting to accept what I have become. Fighting to accept where my body is.
I have a hidden disability. Something you can not see, nor do I talk about it. It’s not something that makes a comfortable conversation.
I am embarrassed of what I am; of what I have to carry around with me.
8 months ago I had surgery to remove a tumour from my bowel, from the offset of this I have a colostomy.
Don’t get me wrong I am happy that I am still alive, but it has knocked my confidence. I no longer feel womanly. I take time choosing the right type of clothes to wear. I got rid of dresses that were figure hugging, vests that were tight and my pretty little underwear sets are a no go. I can’t even leave the house without having to carry my medical supplies with me – no more clutch bags for me.
I used to have a flat tummy, even after giving birth to 3 children there were never any marks on it. My tummy was one thing that I was happy about on my body. Shallow? Maybe!
Now, I have a swollen tummy with a scar that goes from the belly button down towards the pelvis area. Either side of the scar the tummy protrudes out. I have to wear trousers, leggings and underwear that are high waisted.
I have never been a body confident person, living with a colostomy is just another hurdle for me to get over.
I am learning to chose the right type of clothing that hides my imperfections. But summertime and holidays are a scary thought.
How am I going to cope on holiday, in the heat with a bag stuck to my tummy and wearing a bikini on the beach.
I am happy that I no longer have cancer but I live with a constant reminder of what I have gone though. I carry a trophy around on my body.
I have to accept that this is me now and I have to learn to love my body again. I have to become comfortable with it. It gave up on me once, I don’t want it to do that again!
I was born to be real not to be perfect. My life is on a new path now and I need to embrace it to the best that I can.