It feels weird to openly say that I want to feel pretty, that I miss feeling pretty, that the way I look is often on my mind. It feels weird to say this, but since chemo ‘pretty’ is what’s been weighing me down.
It sounds vain, it sounds trivial in the grand scheme of what my body went through and how hard it’s been working to rebuild- but just because it sounds trivial, doesn’t mean it feels trivial.
In a way, my body has potentially ‘beat MS’. I have not been cured, but the goal of the treatment was to halt the progress of the disease the best way we know how.
I don’t know how long it will be halted for, it might be five years it might be life. But right now I have the potential to be a winner. A winner who doesn’t feel good in her new body.
I used to attach some of my identity to me ‘big personality, bigger hair’. I loved my beautiful thick long curly hair. I would get compliments on it. Now I get stopped so people can offer their condolences for a disease that I don’t have.
I get stared at. I get pity. I sometimes stare back in some type of staring contest. I hope it makes them as uncomfortable as it makes me. When I catch my reflection, I feel sad. I start to feel normal, and then I see myself. A visual representation of how my body let me down.
I try to combat this by getting my nails done. It helps- but only to an extent. I lost my eyebrows and lashes, something that not even my wig can cover-up. So I started to put on my wig, get eyebrow extensions and put on makeup. And I gotta say- not having people stare felt nice. But man oh man I am looking forward to the day when I don’t have to put so much effort into not being stared at.
It will come