What is acceptance? By definition: the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be in a group.
Acceptance. What does it mean to you?
I had a friend ask me tonight; what was it like going from pregnancy to being sick to being in recovery.
I’m going to be blunt in saying; it was fucking hard. I went from being someone who was borderline obese, by societal standards, this is where I had accepted my body. I accepted the fact that no matter how healthy I ate or how much I exercised, I would always be heavy because I never saw results. I was healthy, I was just overweight. I accepted it.
Throughout both of my pregnancies, I only gained baby weight. I enjoyed being pregnant, I enjoyed holding and snuggling my new baby. I loved how Hailey loved on Hadley in the first 3 weeks we had Hadley and I was home. I accepted my post pregnancy body. I was there, I was happy, I accepted it, loved it, and moved on.
That is, until cancer came along. Until cancer just about took my life, until cancer took 6 months of my life away from me, it took 6 months away from my girls, it took the newborn milestones that I will never get back. Cancer took 90!!!!!!!!!!! Pounds from me (I’m not overly sad about this), but I’m sad that now, according to societal standards, I’m too skinny. I’m sickly looking. I’m sad that people stare at me, they stare at my scars, at my once bald head and now the head in which my hair goes a thousand different directions, I’m sad that people look at me and see a sick person, but they don’t know what I’ve overcome.
They don’t know what cancer took from me. They don’t know that cancer put me into menopause at 27 years old, because tumours the size of cantaloupes decided to invade my ovaries. They don’t know that I have an ileostomy now because it saved my life.
What strangers can count on, is me defying the odds, just like I did. Over and over again. I may be missing organs, my life may be different, my body is certainly different, both inside and out. But strangers cannot take my acceptance away. I have accepted my new body, scars, missing organs and all. My body grew two beautiful red headed babies, it fought for me when I was in a coma, it fought for me through 5 rounds of very aggressive chemotherapy, it fought to keep me alive. I owe my body acceptance, it fought to keep me here for my girls and my husband. I love my body – even with all its flaws – like saggy boobs that fall into my armpits when I lay down, scars riddling the right side of my neck, my short hair, my ileostomy, and a large scar from belly button to pubic bone. These flaws, they kept me alive, they helped my body fight for me, okay maybe my boobs didn’t but still, you get my point.
Accept your body for what it is because you only get one. You only get the skin you’re in, so what’s the point in hating or disliking it? What’s the point in picking it apart? What does that teach you, or your children? Embrace what you were given, embrace the journey to self love and acceptance. You are enough. Societal standards are bullshit.
I’ve added some pictures pre-Burkitts Lymphoma, and some after pictures. The first two pictures are pre-pregnancy #1, and definitely pre-BL. The baby bump with the orange shirt is 38 weeks pregnant with Hailey, the following is post-pregnancy. The boudoir photos are 7 months post partum after Hailey was born. The picture with the heart shirt is 35 weeks along with Hadley, then we get into the after photos. The after Burkitts Lymphoma photos. I was down to 110lbs in the picture of me in a skirt with a purple shirt. I’m now up to about 130lbs in the photo of me in jeans.
Look at how different my face looks. How much I have changed. How much my body has changed, but how much it has done for me. Appreciate what you have people.