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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Living on the Island of Mis-fits

Living on the Island of Misfits

Most definitely there are times when living in the aftermath of breast cancer feels a lot like living on an Island of misfits. You really do understand that there is just something a little off, a bit different about you now. Still you want to believe if just for a moment, that even with your square peg you will fit into that round hole sitting in front of you. Point in case, my most recent moment off the island came last week in the hour I spent in a mall fitting room. Talk about feeling like a misfit as you try carrying in bra after bra, filling in only half of it and falling completely out of the other half of it! Talk about being a true mis-fit!

Then there was the little problem of who was this person staring back at me from out of the other side of the mirror? I finally just began telling myself that I must simply be going blind. After all, this whole new me, well it simply wasn't me! I certainly didn't recognize this woman and the reflection that I saw in the mirror. I honestly did grasp the situation fully, really I did. I just didn't like having to accept it as I was trying on intimate apparel! I fully did understand and I do get that this surely must be my body, but do I really have to claim it as my own, is what I want to know?

So here is the picture as I was standing there in the fitting room. My dilemma was this; Do I squash, shove and squeeze myself into one side of the bra while sliding in, out and under the other side of it or just go with the cut and splice thing? Seriously maybe I just needed to run and hide or scream 'FREEDOM' as I burned the blasted thing right there in the fitting room! Well, that is what I am talking about as I try to push my way into a round hole when I am clearly a square peg! But what else can I say about standing right there in that small little room in what can best be described as my own personal hell? Well, I did catch a glimpse of the woman I was before breast cancer ever made it's mark on me and she was still smiling as if life wasn't so bad on the Island of Misfits.

True I miss the days when I could just grab a bra out of my drawers and go. Yes, I miss the mornings when I didn't feel so old, even decrepit or see so many deep lines inset on my face. But, these mishaps, large and small physical defects as we will call them, have made me unique. Truth is, not everyone can live on the Island of Misfits comfortably, because first you have to be willing to admit to being a mis-fit and that isn't so easy after all.

I know, believe me I know that I don't own two breasts anymore and maybe I never will but at the end of the day, I still have the best part of who I am left. This is the part of me that has been here all along. It doesn't matter how long I reside on this island, my strength, not my physical difference, will always be the best part of who I am even when my days here are long gone.

So the truth is that even the best of weeks are going to bring a day your way and mine for that matter that is going to leave us ready to run for the doors, tearing every strand of new hair out of our heads and every bra we see in half. But once we have made our way through the doors, past an obviously over due tirade, and back to the safety of our own private island of misfits, we can and still will revel in the strength of those that love us.

At the end of the day, as hard as it is living in the aftermath and as overwhelming as it seems, even cancer with all it's hang ups can't keep you from smiling. What has made us feel misfit, a little different from everyone else, what has truly defined us, making us stronger women has honestly given us a home, a family of support. Yes, this breast cancer, seemingly two little words, that all too many and yet all too few really understand in the end has brought us here and made us feel right at home on this strangely beautiful and wonderful Island of Mis -fits.


Christina

4 comments:

  1. Quote:
    'Yes, this breast cancer, seemingly two little words, that all too many and yet all too few really understand in the end has brought us here and made us feel right at home on this strangely beautiful and wonderful Island of Mis -fits.'


    That's because every day is a gift Christina and it has to be opened slowly,  gradually lived, then absorbed into leaving beautiful memories to enjoy at leisure.

    Hugs and a <smile>
    Jeanie xx

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  2. I understand not recognizing the face in the mirror....literally. I had my own rearranged years ago. Leaving me with a stranger looking back at me.....Yes, this face fits me fine, it's still attractive, yet I'm acutely aware it wasn't the original one I used to wear.

    What I do recognize is the glint in my eyes, that mischievious imp that I have always been is still there. My spirit remains stronger than ever....in the end isn't that what we are? The spirit that inhabits a body, a form? Beauty fades, the heart remains. My spirit is free, more than ever before in my life. Cancer in all it's ugliness, helped free your own.

    Rejoice in your spirit Christina, because you are worthy of such beauty! (Hugs) Indigo

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  3. Beautifully written Christina! The Island of Mis fits have hearts filled with gold that sparkle with love for life. Keeping you all in my prayers.
    Love
    Debbie

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  4. Christina, your words are very touching dear.....a breast and bra will never define the true picture of a caring, loving and giving woman such as yourself dear. Arlene (AJ)

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