Am I stIll a woman?

Hi, got a luxury weekend away with OH this weekend. Looking forward to it, but tell me I am not alone in feeling completely non sexy with macerated boob, a head like kojak and nails which look like someone has taken a claw hammer to them. Down below looks like an Arthur scar gill comb over, so not feeling at my best. Not really been into the wig and have been using hats mainly. I feel like somewhere deep down is still me, but get a shock every time I pass a mirror. Me and OH both need the time away and am sure he doesn’t expect me to be swinging from the chandeliers, but how can you feel happy in your own skin looking like I do!! Sorry to be so pessimistic x

Oh Jenben,

I think lots of us on here will emapthise!! And it’s so hard because you don’t want to make things worse by shying away from nice weekends like this and ending up making things worse. And the problem is it’s our problem (I’m sure your OH loves you more than ever) which puts even more pressure on ourselves. Also, with so much cr*p to endure we don’t want to ruin the nice times - but so much easier said than done (eg I piked out of a group bbq last week as it would have been the first time I would have seen everyone and I felt ugly and awkward and not up to fielding questions - so I sat at home, on my own and just got really cross with myself for not going! I should have got dolled up a bit and gone for it!).

Could you have a mini Gok Wan shopping spree (either completely spoil yourself - or have a look on Ebay?) and get some nice undies (that you could leave on?! Undies are always a good boost and as long as they’re pretty/lacy/black/red etc enough - the men are usually very happy!!) and some pretty clothes that boost your self esteem (I can hardly fit into any of my clothes, so would deffo need to go shopping if I were to go anywhere nice!) and maybe some nice toiletries and perfume if the budget stretches to that!! (Come on - we do need a bit of spoiling!!) and either wear your wig just for dinner - or a pretty scarf if you feel more comfortable in that.

OR, although this might be a bit of therapy for someone like me, it doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Maybe you can just enjoy the weekend as some important one-on-one time with no pressure on you, but lots of time to relax together, talk, go for nice walks and enjoy nice meals.

Either way, I hope you have a lovely time.

x

Know exactly how you feel Jenben. I FEEL SOOOOO UGLY. Fat and bald with a line in my arm and bald bits all over. Yuk!!
Sandytoes gives some lovely advice and maybe that will work for you. My OH says he has no problem with the way I look and actually doesn’t even see my baldness any more…however its actually about how I feel and I don’t feel great.

Am hoping that once chemo is over I will start to get a grip,do more exercise, feel better and start to look better.

I think you should just enjoy your weekend, relax, have a nice time with your OH and forget about bc if you can.

Wandyx

I don’t have an OH and there’s little chance of getting one now … looking and feeling as I do … so fat, bald, ugly and single!

Hi Jenben,
of course we know something of how you feel - even the few of us “single and happy that way” girls. It is horrid seeing a stranger in the mirror, having your personhood attacked or even eroded by this thing.

What will make it a lovely w/e for you? Or a little more lovely anyway? I’m led to believe OHs often need a bit of guidance from us on these things, so maybe a few hints would help?

Whether its undies or choccies or wine or music or dinner or cuddles or walks or… just go and have as good a time as you can.

Your post kind of reminded me of the old abolitionist speech ‘And aint’ I a woman’… you are still a woman, a lovely, wonderful woman, whom your OH is lucky to have, you are unqiue and precious and beautiful.

Angielav - sorry… just maybe there’s someone worthy of you out there…

Hugs to you all.

Yes I’m a mess off on holiday end of month dreading it no hair no eyebrows no eyelashes pale on chemo no swimming oh kps saying hols sn yes don’t want him to know dreading it plp staring eyes at hats like a man in restaurant who felt the need to ask how I was doing whilst I was having my dinner pls god plp he’s wife went through it do I want to talk about bc while I’m having my dinner

Hi JenBen

I was facing something similar to this a short while ago and know exactly how you feel.

This is what worked for me!

We had some good food, good wine, good walks and just relaxed and did nothing but be together. We turned the light out, had a kiss and a cuddle and just took it from there. We didn’t set the world on fire but shared our love for each other and that was the best!

Have a great weekend!

DaisyGirl xx

Angielav - can’t think of anything to say that will raise your spirits so here is a BIG HUG instead!!!

hi all

thanks so much. it just helps to know you are not alone. have taken all advice on board. I think you feel like it is not worth buying new undies etc as you feel so low self esteemed, but i need to “get a grip” and go for it. I like the “not setting the world alight” as it takes the pressure off completely. we have our wine packed, as it so expensive there!

Angielav, we wont look this forever, thats one thing i am sure of.

thanks again, its so good to get others feelings who are going through the same x

Thanks … you’re right … so I’m off for a manicure!

Jenben - I’ve felt the same way too. I think I look awful, really fat, bald, no pubic hair, pasty, ugly and disfigured.

I’ve worked very hard on it not affecting our sex life but it definitely has, he doesn’t ever seem to come on to me now, I think he senses it. And when I am “in the mood” I find it harder to release because I’m acutely aware of how I feel about myself. Then I feel very frustrated.

Also, he only goes for the remaining healthy boob, which reminds me every time he does that! But I don’t want to say anything to him because it’ll put him right off touching either of them. I’vre had a WLE but it was a large tumour, it’s lopsided now and I still have blue mark on boob. It’s not good.

I feel like I look ridiculous when I dress up now was well, like a man in drag. It’s hard to describe, the wig makes me self concious, my clothes are straining, I have several fat chins.

EK, I have had to deal with the boob problem and thinking about it this way helped:

Suppose we had always been into me sucking his toes and then he had to have 3 on one foot amputated. Would I just go for the foot that had not had to go through the trauma, not because I was repulsed by the other one but because I would be concerned about hurting it. The answer is yes, probably.

Your OH may just think you don’t want him to go for both now! I don’t have a nipple on my WLE boob so I am not sure how much I would enjoy the attention now anyway…

It’s not easy is it?

DaisyGirl xx

Sitting on exeter station platform waiting for a train with tears on my face.

Jen you ARE still a woman, and a lovely one at that! Get angry with the cancer treatment if that helps. Tell him that you’re feeling delicate and hear him when he tells you he loves you. Did you do a lgfb session? Book one if not. Get some beautiful earrings and a necklace and find something to wear on ebay so you don’t feel bad about spending money on “fat” clothes.

And if setting the world alight is a bit much, just light a candle or two.

Huge hugs, if you don’t mind them being rather damp ones. Now where did I put those bloody tissues!

This may be really stupid, and show I don’t get it at all, but reading some of these posts brought to mind a scene near the end of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ where Jamal kisses Latika’s scar and there is a kind of super fast retelling of the story… the message being that kissing the scar symbolises so much about love and acceptance.

I suspect that if OHs could just kiss the scar, or the nippleless breast (or suck the toes on the dmaaged foot, to extend the analogy) it would say so much… but perhaps, as has been said, their own fear stops them.

As others have said, and it’s worth repeating - you are still women, you are still beautiful and you deserve some pampering.

I’m a couple of months on from finishing chemo now, and I seem to be turning into a werewolf! Happy with the hair growing on my head, but there seems to be far too much hair growing everywhere else!

I think all that goes to show is that I’m never happy, as I wasn’t best pleased with being bald all over either…

Some good advice from others on here about treating yourself to nice jewellery, clothes, undies etc. And definitely go on a look good feel better session if you haven’t already.

Al x

With regards the scar kissing (!) I haven’t actually had my op yet - but know that my OH would cover me with kisses at the drop of a hat and I know he loves me and he says he loves me even more now and that this has brought us closer together - which I do believe. BUT the problems lies completely within me - and I assume that will be a common theme. No amount of scar kissing or him saying (and meaning) the right things will make me feel better if I can’t accept the changes and come to terms with them myself. It’s very hard to feel sexy and sexual if you’re not feeling happy with your body. And maybe you can blame the media which makes us feel as though we should be slim, blemimsh free etc. I’m certainly walking around with body and hair envy this summer!! (Not in a nasty way! Just wishing I could swish my hair around like that, or wear that low cut dress like her etc. I do worry that if I feel like this now, how much worse is it going to be when I have my double mastectomy… BUT we (OH and myself) will deal with that when it comes to it (2 months of cleavage bearing clothing coming up!).

Nails look amazing … shame I’ve nobody to show them to!! Right, that’s enough self pity… having a clear out then gonna pamper myself and fake tan … Tomorrow, high heels, wig, makeup, nice clothes and a wander round the shopping centre - so there!

Oh, I can relate to so much of what many of you are saying and yet I know I should consider myself very lucky. I had a wide local excision and a reduction on my ‘good boob’ and they look very good. But it is how I percieve them and how they feel within to me, that is the issue. When I was daignosed I joked about losing another piece of my feminity. I had my womb and ovaries removed 8 years ago for other reasons. I know this was very black humour and probably a bit of hysteria. During my chemo when I lost my hair was when I felt the worst. I looked in the mirror and saw someone I didn’t recognise and didn’t even want to. I am getting a bit better. I have a very supportive husband who has said all the right things and tells me how attractive I am to him. However, it is how we percieve ourselves that really is the battle we face. I am getting there, but it is a ‘new me’ who is emerging. I am still very dependant on my lovely wig, high heels, painted nails and make up to see someone that I can accept. Sorry about the ramblings, but I just feel this so strongly and can’t imagine how it must be for people with more extreme surgery and much younger. I am the grand old age of 50! Best wishes to everyone and try to do as I do, think about the beauty we see within others and accept that they in turn do that with us. J.

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