Body Changes: Who’s That Girl?
It’s easy to dance with pink gloves and make notorious videos if you don’t have to look at your bald self in the mirror, wishing you could put eye make up on but not doing so because you are worried the last few eyelashes and signs of femininity will disappear down the drain. Yeah, that is what I thought one of the many mornings, when I shuffled to the bathroom from my bed, shivering in the 68 degree apartment and wishing I had a bathrobe to put on. Why hadn’t I bought one yet anyway?
I only wore a T-shirt and underwear as my nighttime attire and as I leaned on the sink countertop, I stared at myself in the mirror, looking at the peach fuzz like hairs covering my skull. They were longer around the ears, and darker in certain spots on the head. I felt like there should be a chain link fence blocking my face and I should have a tattoo on my forearm. The circles under my eyes and the spindly arms sticking out of the T-shirt sleeves certainly enhanced this image.
I decided to weigh myself. I pulled out the scale and pressed on it with my slippered foot. When it came to life, I stepped on the frigid glass surface. The digital readout immediately informed me I weighed 120.8, no 120.6, yeah, that’s what it settled on. So I guess measuring 5’9”, now I could make it in the modeling world. I lost 10 pounds since this ordeal began and I could tell. Even my head looked weirdly sunken in certain spots.
I looked at myself in the mirror again, examining my face. Thank god I always had naturally bushy eyebrows. Even though I must have lost more than half their volume, I still had a full arch over each blue eye. My eyelashes were trying to hold on like melting icicles hanging off a rooftop. I could tell more than half their teammates gave up and let go a long time ago. My skin was surprisingly clear. For now.
I took off my T-shirt, getting ready for the shower and glimpsed the two misshapen mounds that took place of my breasts. They were definitely bigger than my barely B-cup real versions that got gutted out more than 3 months ago. They jutted out of my torso like two half grapefruits, hard and not moving no matter how much I jumped or wiggled. My skin stretched tightly over them, interrupted by 3 inch horizontal scars. Irregular, red, blotchy scars. Right there, smack in the middle. Going through that no man land where nipples were supposed to be. I had smooth, hard globes with long red scars. But they were C-cup size. Now that I lost weight, they looked alien on my narrow torso with protruding rib bones. I could only hope that when the reconstructive surgeon switched those hard blobs for real implants, I could pass for a woman again.
I took off my underwear. I still had a few pubic hairs left. The outline was still visible but, oh, so much less of them, just a hint. Just a hint of femininity. Just a shadow of the mythical area that most boys try to reach by a third date. I also had not had a period in almost two months despite not having any sex. There went a trip to the store for feminine products.
I turned on the shower and waited for it to get hot before I stepped in. I let the water touch my chest first and slowly turned around and bent my head back to let it warm up my head. I reached for the soap and as I glided my hands over my skin, I felt another bump, right under my collar bone. I almost forgot. The port. The three-prong, half an inch mound sewn securely under my skin, but protruding outward and very visible. As I washed my neck, I tried to not think about the plastic tube that snaked its way from the port under my skin, into the vein, and then directly into my heart.
I felt the familiar burn that started after my third chemotherapy each time any amount of soap touched the sensitive tissues in my private parts. It got so bad, I grabbed the shower off the hook and sprayed any remaining soap off real quick. How am I ever going to have sex again?
How am I ever going to feel sexy to have sex again?
I washed my legs and counted 6 bruises on the left one. I remembered I ran into the bed frame once but where did the other ones come from?
I blew my nose. My palm was covered with blood. I let the shower wash it away. As it swirled in the drain, I thought of the movie Carrie. Except I didn’t have to worry about my period, who knows when I would ever get one again.
I stood in the shower a little longer, letting the hot water drum on the top of my head. I felt my heart beating faster and the first threads of anxiety gripping my thoughts.