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Mastectomy - breast amputation surgery - cripples body and soul. Desperate women often say: I have ceased to be a woman because of my cancer. Is that so? Was your life worth just having a full body organ? How to come to terms with breast amputation? Psycho-oncologist Mariola Kosowicz talks about how mastectomy changes life.

-Mastectomy , breast loss is very often compared by women to loss of femininity - says Mariola Kosowicz, a psycho-oncologist. - In a sense it is understandable, because for centuries the breast has been an attribute of the female body. In today's world, women compete in breast surgery and some cannot imagine how it was possible to live without such an option before. And we hurt ourselves, because femininity does not consist of breasts and ovaries. Femininity is something delicate, elusive. Its shape, or more the image, depends on what we learn about the role of a woman from an early age.

A great influence on building a woman's identity is the family home, environment and cultural area in which she matures. Until recently, a girl full of warmth, caring for loved ones, well-groomed, devoid of vulgarity was considered feminine. Today it is supposed to be a hit, deal with everything, earn money, look attractive. The modern world wants such a woman, but that does not mean that women like it.

In crisis situations, it is natural to shake the relationship with the world and loved ones

A serious illness, but also any other difficult situation, robs us of our illusions. It shows not only who you can count on, but also how we've lived so far. A crisis that occurs due to illness, death or rejection verifies life so far. Some of us motivate to action, while others it overwhelms. Usually, we look for the causes of trouble outside, not inside ourselves. It's so much easier.


Find beauty in yourself

Breast amputation has not only a physical dimension, but also a psychological one. We remember our body from before the disease and need time to accept changes. Many difficult emotions arise, thoughts swirling about how it will end. Some women adapt to the new situation, do not reject their relatives, take more care of themselves, and others remain in the role of "thismissing ”and they constantly compare themselves to others or live their memories as it used to be. The problem is that "sometime" was not always as good as we want to believe it. Building your own value only on an attractive appearance, focusing on the body does not work in life, because they give rise to a lot of frustration. But you don't need cancer to find out. When we understand that beauty and attractiveness are not only a smooth face, a proportional figure, we will find ourselves. And hence the straight path to being satisfied and faithful to your ideals. To be able to fully experience the joy of your femininity, you need to allow yourself to feel it fully - also in the psychological aspect.

- Low self-esteem occurs in women who, before the disease, did not allow themselves to think that they had the right to dream and joy - says Mariola Kosowicz. - It is only before the therapist that they confess that they have agreed to bad treatment, unworthy behavior towards themselves, against themselves. One of my patients said that after returning from the hospital, she heard from her husband: "I will not leave you, because I would be the last bastard, but you must agree that I will also be with another woman." Out of fear of loneliness and rejection, she agreed to this offer. Time passed, and she was tormented by nightmares, she became depressed from depression. She came to therapy to find out why. "Probably because of the cancer," she justified the toxic situation. She did not identify her emotional state and situation with the situation she had agreed to years ago. In the past, she did not react when her dignity was taken away in everyday life. During the meetings, she realized that the disease and the lack of breasts had nothing to do with her frustrations. She admitted that she was putting herself in a losing position, because she agreed to solutions that did not fit - let's call it - within the limits of good manners. When we finished the therapy after 2 years, she said: “I regained my balance, I put everything in order, finally I feel like a real woman. I'm afraid of the new one, but I don't want to go back to the woman I used to be. "

Femininity consists of many elements - building warmth, closeness, delicacy, resourcefulness and consent to weakness, motherhood, sex, taking care of our appearance, the work we do, but also awareness of what we want to be, whether we are your idea.

- It's hard to expect a positive reception of our femininity when we treat ourselves badly - says Mariola Kosowicz

- I often hear from women: I'm fat as a pig, I have saggy tits, at this age I don't have to please. Then I grab my head. What is this? I am asking where is the delicacy, self-respect. And whenI am definitely opposed to such a perception of myself, I can see surprise on the faces of women. The breast can be reconstructed, the prosthesis can be worn in a nice bra, but this is not what makes it feminine.

The body is beautiful not because it is young and smooth, but because it radiates the beauty that flows from within. By accepting our femininity, we are well-groomed even at home by the kitchen, we want to smile, we perform our daily tasks not because we have to, but because it is our choice. We are able to enjoy not only beautiful items, but also what is most ordinary and common. We also know how to enjoy our body, and closeness with a husband or friend is not a duty, but a beautiful and deeply lived experience.

Many women after mastectomy want to change their lives

We see everything sharper through the prism of the disease. We look at work, unfriendly friends, the functioning of the home and relationships with friends differently. We evaluate the value of these contacts. Sometimes you have to admit that we have badly invested in feelings, friendship, connections. It can be painful, but it helps you regain your balance. It is also so that in illness we discover a different, better face of a man with whom we seemingly had little in common, who seemed indifferent and distanced. Now, in a time of hard trial, when you need your support the most, he's by your side. No spectacular proofs of love, but simply, humanly. Simple, everyday gestures express an extremely important thought - I am with you because you are important to me, I am here because I like to talk to you, keep silent and laugh. And it doesn't matter to me how many breasts you have. It is not the disease that is destroying us! We destroy ourselves by not striving for good relations with ourselves and other people every day. The disease only reveals the truth about us and the bonds that bind us to the world.

monthly "Zdrowie"

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