A Letter of Apology to My Body After Its Breast Cancer Diagnosis

My darling, I’m so sorry.

I behaved badly, as though you weren’t good enough for me.

Treating you with indifference. Turning the other way when bad habits were around.

Not realizing what was going on inside.

I put too much on you, made you go too fast, refused to say no to anyone or just be yourself.

I wouldn’t do that to a friend, and you just backed me up!

I criticized you, tortured you, gave you crap every time we came face to face.

I tried to help you, then bad-mouthed you behind your back — with no explanation, no opportunity for you to reply.

You are my family Body. You created the Boy and the Girl. You nourished them and after everything you’ve been through. You still nurtured them every day.

I let other people’s words define you. I let a Bodyless voice put ideas in my head about you.

When that lady said your legs were nice, I’m sorry I made excuses for you.

You’re strong. You work so well, everywhere, all the time, especially when you’re ill. In fact you work even harder then.

You’re constantly trying for me, for us. And here’s the kicker — although I pretend I can survive without ever switching off, you actually do!

You are also my work — you create calm and healing in people.

Have you any idea how much you rock? Of course you do.

How has it taken me so long to realize it, too?

And I’m so sorry I haven’t had faith in you. It’s so hard not knowing what’s going on inside you.

I don’t mean to make excuses. I know I’ve badgered you

“Are we well? Are we well? Are we well? Tell me! Are we well now? Are you sure that doesn’t mean we’re not well?”

I should have encouraged you by saying, “We are well, we are well, we are well now.”

I think I get it now. That my cheek skin isn’t as snug as before — it’s the prize I get for a million smiles.

And I’m glad you’ve taught me to smile more. I hadn’t realized it is my biggest marketing tool.

I know it sounds strange now but you know I used to think that your beauty was in your structure.

Your skin.

Not that peaceful place inside.

And this mostly came when I was scrutinizing a mirror, not catching myself in moments — giggling, dancing, staring at those little people I made.

I’m not afraid of approaching forty any more. I’m afraid of not approaching forty.

I am changing, getting older, yet I know that in forty more years, I’ll smile for the beauty I have now.

I just want you to know… I get it.

I promise, I will only use my own words when I think and talk about you. You’re so strong, determined and resilient Body.

It blows my mind.

Thank you for not giving up on us.

I will mind your feelings, Body. You do so much for me.

I need to not take you for granted because we won’t always be “you and I.”

Let’s promise to make the most of what we have left.

Love always,
Emi Lou

This post was originally published on Mummy One Boob.

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