I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I react when someone pays me a compliment, I think graciously accepting a compliment is so important. And if I want Emma Clare to have a healthy body image, I can’t constantly belittle myself when someone says something nice about me. Over the summer, we had the opportunity to visit family, seeing many who I hadn’t seen in a year or more. The last time they’d seen me I had long hair and no scars, visible or otherwise. (That pesky port scar is pretty visible when I wear tank tops and summer dresses, though to be clear, I really don’t care who sees it.) Most of the friends and family had followed this blog and Facebook during my treatment, so they’d seen pictures of me along the way. It was almost amusing to me the way, to a person, they all said that I looked great. I mean, again, a compliment is always wonderful, but it was almost like they didn’t expect me to look good– despite the pictures and the words I’d written, they expected me to look gaunt, sad, sick. And so for every nearly identical compliment I received, I replied in an identical manner. “Thank you, I feel great.” They didn’t want me to belittle myself, commenting that I sometimes wished I’d lost some weight during chemo instead of staying so “healthy,” that I missed my long, lovely locks, or that I hated the tissue expanders that were interrupting my sleep. They wanted to tell me that they were happy I was healthy, and I decided to let them know I was happy to be healthy, too.
Published by Jamie
A breast cancer researcher turned stay at home mom turned breast cancer patient, I'm navigating my way through cancer treatments and my quest for normalcy in its aftermath. Sometimes normal is hard, and sometimes it's as simple as going for a run, throwing on some lipstick, and heading out to chemo. Follow along at runlipstickchemo.com View all posts by Jamie