How often do we take something like a trip to the beach for granted? After reading this article, you may think twice about walking-on-by the next time you see someone sitting a bit anxiously on a beach towel. Perhaps a smile is all it will take to put that person at ease and make their beach experience a great one, again. You may never know how bumpy their road in life is but a friendly smile can make their trip easier, even if only for the day. Healing starts one second, one minute, and one day at a time. And… after reading this story, you may never look at chicken cutlets the same way again.
It is my pleasure to share an amazing writer with you.
My guest writer today is Connie Bramer who, like me, is a breast cancer survivor/thriver and an author who wrote the snarkiest book, How Connie Got Her Rack Back, (most of the time I tried not to fall out of my chair laughing) about her experiences concerning everyday-life during cancer treatment and her ultimate survival to become a Thought Leader. Today Connie helps other cancer patients and their families during and after treatment.
I believe anyone who laughs at themselves laughs with the world.
Laughter is a big part of the healing process. So laugh ‘till it heals while reading this article. Walking hand-in-hand with her while I read how Connie got her rack back was an honor. I now share this honor with you, my readers, with the hope that Connie’s sense of humor lifts your spirits and brings a chuckle to your heart.
A Trip to the Beach
We all have our insecurities, and perhaps I’m mentioning the beach bit now – in the middle of winter no less – because I just got back from a beach vacation. No one wants to run full-on Bo Derek down the sandy edge of the ocean after eating Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookies, and all the penne a la vodka in between. In this case, we are talking about me. Or are you in this scenario also?
Anyway, here is the drill.
You spend copious amounts of time and postage buying bathing suits, throwing them on and saying under-your-breath “WTF was I thinking,” only to toss them back in the bag, throw on your boots and take a trip to the post office to return. Sound familiar? You finally find the most “suitable” no-pun-intended suit for your body, because there is no designer on earth that nails it perfectly for every varying body that God and our eating and exercise habits has bestowed upon us. By the way, men, do you struggle with this at all? Or do you not care? Which is it?
So you squeeze into your suit, throw on a cover-up and head to the beach.
You sit down on your towel; strip off the cover-up and think, “Is anyone looking at me?” I noticed this the other day as I did much the same on my hombre blue towel only to notice that no one gave two shi** about the girl from NY stripping away her cover-up on the beach.
But here is one aspect we breast cancer (and many other types of cancer) survivors don’t voice. Some of us have deformities where once a strong part of our bodies used to reside. Me, I know my breasts are not perfect now after umpteen surgeries to rid myself of my cancer and to reconstruct my new “rack,” but whose breasts are once you pass your mid-forties and have birthed two children?
I think of the women I know and those I don’t know who chose not to have reconstruction or those who chose to have one mastectomy and have what we call a “chicken-cutlet” prosthesis on one side. My mom had that, and I know that it used to get too hot on her chest so sometimes she would take it out and put it in the kitchen table! And no, not for chicken dinner as my younger brother once decided to inquire.
So why am I writing all of this? What is the point? Here is the epiphany if you will.
We all come in different shapes and sizes, backgrounds and experiences. We are all imperfect, so why do we continue to beat ourselves up about it? And moreover, WHO CARES?
We are our own worst enemies.
Take what you will from this short story of self-reflection. My only ask is that you lighten up on yourself a little because that’s what I’m going to do. They say that misery loves company but so does happiness. So, be a little kinder to yourself.
Thank you, Connie Bramer, for sharing your deep insights on self-reflection with us. Yes, it is our choice with what and whom we surround ourselves. And since we are always wherever we go, perhaps we should lighten up on ourselves to promote our own happiness. Connie, it is my hope that you will share more of your wisdom with us in the near future.
Guest Writer Bio: Constance (Connie) Bramer is a Breast Cancer Survivor and author of How Connie Got Her Rack Back. She is the Founder/CEO of Get Your Rack Back Inc. which supports cancer patients and their families. Learn more about Connie HERE.
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