As most of you know I finally had my surgery. Last week the doctors performed a double mastectomy that lasted close to 6 hours. It would be a few days before I had my first glimpse in the mirror. I was not shocked with the drastic changes to my body. I had viewed enough online images to prepare myself for that moment, but I can honestly say that I was sad when I saw my face looking back at me. Nothing can really prepare you for that.
Today we returned to the hospital to meet with my plastic surgeon for my first post op visit. He was rather pleased with the outcome thus far and was able to remove two tubes plus a vacuum dressing from my chest leaving only two drains to manage from home. He also explained that there would be some time before he could start expanding the skin for permanent implants. Sadly, I’m still in the early phases of reconstruction and still getting used to this new normal. My next step will be to meet with my team of doctors to decide my treatment plan before reconstruction is complete.
It was during this appointment that I happened to become aware of everyone in the room, my doctor, two nurses, my mother and my husband. I started to cry as the tape, gauze and tubes were removed and asked for a blanket to cover up. Even though I was covered from the waste below, I felt naked and ashamed. The nurse laughed softly noting she’s never met a woman who after experiencing all I had gone through be concerned with covering up. Even after so much exposure I needed to feel a little modesty and a sense of decency.
Do women become numb to this? Do we become desensitized to standing so exposed before others? I wondered if I would ever come to a place when that would ever feel comfortable. I’m sure once the construction phase is over I would not be expected to walk around topless to show off the beautiful work the doctor promises. Yet it was acceptable to sit there with fresh wounds, no breasts, and broken inside for all to see. Why was viewing me so broken easy? It sure wasn’t easy for me sitting there. It was as if my pain was as visible to them as my wounds were.
Is this how Eve felt before God when the Bible said she found herself naked and ashamed after the fall of man? Before Eve ate of the fruit, it reads in Genesis that both Adam and Eve were naked before God and were unashamed. It was completely normal. Having nothing to hide, being completely open was in a sense the most beautiful and purest form of intimacy. What a beautiful picture of how God had intended our life to be.
Can such an open and trusting relationship exist today or was that lost to us forever? If Christ came to redeem, to set things right and to restore our relationship back to God’s original intent I do believe it’s possible to have such an open relationship with God today.
It was because of His grace and mercy He then clothed Eve and in the same way He clothes us today in His righteousness.
I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. ~ Isaiah 61:10
Isn’t that the reason why the gospel message is still the greatest love story ever told? That our God in heaven would wrap us in His love forever?
I may be under construction on this side of heaven, but praise be to God that despite my outwardly appearance I am covered in a love so pure only because of Jesus.
It didn’t matter what I saw in the mirror…
I am beautiful in His sight. ~ Song of Solomon