There are people who love to star-gaze; I love to smile-gaze. I miss my smile, it’s difficult to look back on pictures and see how vibrant my smile was, and how beautiful my teeth were when I smiled. Yesterday I was looking for the picture…
What the hell is beauty anyway? It seems the world in general is quick to measure something none of us can really define. I mean let’s be real here, I adore the classic look of Jackie Kennedy, while some of my best friends think she looked stuffy and too conservative. And what about the color of your kitchen-Do you love it? Maybe I don’t love it, but I love that YOU love it. I think something is beautiful because I say it is, not because the world does. If I say the scars on my breasts, or the droopy face I am forced to live with is beautiful, then it is. I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘beauty’ why it matters, or what it means. Maybe because I was told as I child I was not beautiful; ‘boobless’ was a common phrase sent my way. My life was ugly growing up, I was marred by deceit, anger, trauma and pain.
My body is riddled with scars, some are visible to most people, some are hidden deep within my soul. The story behind each and every one of my scars has molded me and helped me become the woman who I am today-someone I like. I for one do not want to live in a world where beauty is limited to what other people say it is? Do you want to live in a world where we try to contain beauty into a small little box? Beauty is undefinable and some may say uncontrollable, it is an experience not a ‘thing’
I chose to make my own rules, define my own beauty, dismantle the boxes, and break all the celebrity rules, I am and should always be defined by my self-worth, my integrity and the love I have for all of God’s creatures……and when I say ‘creatures’ I’m including the human race, seemingly the hardest critics of all. It wasn’t until I lost my smile that I realized I had always took my smile for granted. I want to smile so badly, I want to belly laugh with my girls, I hope they will remember me with a smile.
Lights, camera, action …..Hollywood has decided that beauty is in the glossy pages of a magazine, or a wafer thin model. Beauty has become superficial; eye color, hair texture, and the number on the scale. Beauty has become something to be weighed and measured. I may have fed into that before I was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured over 41 surgeries in 8 years. I no longer see beauty as merely something flawless or perfect. To me beauty is a grace point between what hurts and what heals, between the shadow of tragedy and the light of joy. I see beauty in my scars, emotional and physical. Doesn’t everyone have some scars? Whether freckles from sun damage, triggers- hearing, tasting or smelling a reminder of the past. Maybe you’ve had a broken heart or a broken bone. Whatever it is, or when it comes (and it will) live with no regrets, do what you can to protect yourself, but love the scar it may leave on you.
Scars, I mean my scars are beautiful, it means I’ve lived an amazing life, I’m a fighter they remind me of my inner strength and propel me to want to be a warrior and survivor.
This is the REAL Dr. Lettieri–my Flip Phone Doctor is back-with his Converse, humor and beautiful blue eyes. After assessing my bruising and clotting, we have decided to wait a couple of weeks to see how it looks-we are not afraid of the blood clots traveling. My face feels like it did when I had Capsular Contracture in my breasts–extremely hard to the touch–but the bruising is almost gone. Dr. Lettieri said because of how much work he needed to do my face will take longer to heal. I will be undergoing a few more surgeries this year. My sinus reconstruction will be toward the end of the year, and Dr. Lettieri referred me to someone he said he would “allow to operate on his family’ If knew Dr. Lettieri like I do that is quite a compliment. He picked up his handy dandy flip phone and contacted Dr. Howard’s office to send me asap. It’s nice to have a surgeon who is humble enough to understand there maybe another doctor (who was trained by Lettieri) he trusts and admires. I told him how nervous I was to see a different surgeon, he explained to me on the next surgery Dr. Lettieri will be in attendance, but not for the nasal reconstruction, to perform the rest of the facial reconstruction. (and possibly to check in on me) So three surgeries in one if if works out.–Can’t wait for that recovery; if it wasn’t for my perfectionist surgeon he would have kicked my out and given up on my by now.
Dr. Lettieri is Italian and loves Canolis–so this is what I brought him today. The plate says “Be Happy Always”
As I waited for Dr. Lettieri, I realized they brought me into a surgical procedure room. This is the bright light he uses to see EVERYTHING–it’s pretty bright.
One time on my way to MIHS to visit with Dr. Lettieri, I watched 2 teens having full on sex under this tree. I honked; many times yelling at them to stop. I seriously would have given anything to have a hose and spray them down likes dogs in heat. I told Dr.Lettieri since it was happening just outside his window but off campus; his answer “Nothing surprises me here, I’ve seen it all” I shouldn’t have been surprised either; it did shock me. Today as I was leaving the Clinic I watched a van open and police officers escort a prisoner in an orange jump suit and shackled by his feet, secured with handcuffs on his arms.
I didn’t judge him, he was typical looking nothing to scare or offend me, in fact it made me want to show compassion for him, especially not knowing is story or the journey he has been on.
Yes I am definitely in a surgical room–what are they going to do to me today?
Bored……? Yes, soon Dr. Lettieri entered the room, stuck his large hands into my mouth to feel for the blood clot, and I’m pretty sure created another bruise. However, we are getting close to perfection he was very happy with the surgery outcome; still he has some follow up-but we need the swelling and bruising to go down, he thinks he can work on it at the same time Dr. Howard performs my nasal reconstruction; not crossing my fingers on that one. Dr. Lettieri hugged me and said “I will see you soon, we have been through a lot together but remember I’d let Dr. Howard work on me, you need to listen to me she’s good” I now have an appointment with her in the end of June–but l’m not having another surgery until I decide.
Sometimes it’s good to sit back and enjoy an ordinary, normal day. It is a treasure to be completely aware of who you are and where you are going. I love to learn from other people, I’d love to learn from you!