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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

No Scars to Your Beautiful

By Jayita Chatterjee



[This one is for me, for my pink cancer friends that went through lumpectomy, mastectomy and/or reconstruction, and really anyone else that needs to hear this.]


If you feel horrible, looking like a Frankenstein, with giant stitches all across your body… I am here to tell you it is OK to feel how you feel! It is NOT vain. If your partner or others say that you look beautiful, but you don’t like how you look right now, it’s OK. If you don’t want to look at your body right now, it’s OK.


You went through a lot. You went through multiple surgeries, chemo, maybe radiation, immunotherapy. And yes, you are alive. But we are allowed to mourn our old self… not just the body, but the person we were the day before we were told we had cancer. Yes, it’s physical changes, but that’s on TOP of so many other life-altering moments. One day you’re just living your life, and the next you’re talking to oncologists, geneticists, and surgeons. The world will tell you that you’re supposed to be grateful for being alive, and how you look does not matter. But it DOES.


Even when we get a haircut or get our nails done, we are anxious. Breast cancer surgery is not the same as a haircut or manicure, as hair and nails typically grow out. Chopping off a body part that you will never get back is huge! And having to make that decision is huge! You lose your hair from chemo, and you might want to wear wigs to feel a bit more normal. You have incisions all over from surgery or you have no breasts anymore, and you cannot wear your old clothes. Or you need prosthetics to fit into clothes to look and to feel good, and you want tattoos to cover your multiple scars, and you cry when you look at yourself in the mirror and you research makeup to draw on eyebrows, which you lost to chemo. So disregard when people say “Just be thankful you are alive"… we ARE allowed to mourn, and we do not have to dismiss our emotions. I always tell people that cancer is a journey that is not just physical, but mental and psychological as well.


You normally wouldn’t have looked and felt like this. So is that our new normal? Yes, it is. Unfortunately, our new normal is now forever different. Having said that, equally true is that these battle scars will fade in time, and the hair will likely grow back eventually. So, yes, mourn. Mourning is healthy, mourning cleanses the soul, mourning ushers acceptance into our hearts. Mourn… but then keep living on. And wear the scars proudly!


I’ll sign off here with an excerpt from Alessia Cara’s song, “Scars to Your Beautiful”:


But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark

You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are

And you don’t have to change a thing

The world could change its heart

No scars to your beautiful

We’re stars and we’re beautiful

No better you than the you that you are

(No better you than the you that you are)

No better life than the life we’re living

(No better life than the life we’re living)

No better time for your shine, you’re a star

(No better time for your shine, you’re a star)

Oh, you’re beautiful, oh, you’re beautiful.





Read More:





On the Podcast: Breast Cancer Conversations


Discovering Your Divine Purpose with Dr. Sophia Edwards-Bennett






Connect with Jayita:


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