After having had a mastectomy, I have often wondered if the center for shopping in women resides in the breasts. I will admit that I have less urges to shop and less interest in watching QVC. Women shop for all sort of reasons. I shop for what I need, for what I think I may need, and for what I think will no longer be available if I don’t buy it right now! I own Spanx at my ideal body weight just in case that changes. Retail therapy, they call it. Unfortunately, it does work. How can the smell of new leather boots with studs and fancy buckle not perk one up? No, I am not talking about breasts, no pun intended.
Having breast cancer opens up a whole new market for shopping. Head gear, wigs, bright lipsticks to off set the bald head, scarves to look more feminine without hair, new skin products since skin dries up with chemo, some pink breast cancer awareness stuff, charms for the Pandora bracelet, inspirational necklaces, and of course a new hand bag to carry the stuff around! Honestly, its a lot of fun.
You can probably tell that I have somewhat of a shopping addiction. Okay, I do, since I have tried to give up shopping, but it hasn’t worked. Three months is the longest I have stayed “sober.” Building the “mastectomy nest” was also a lot of fun with a cozy blanket, reading material (gotta have new books for recovery time), spray-on lotion (my legs get itchy), fuzzy socks, front open pajamas (can’t move your arm much post op), chocolate-covered coffee beans and pain meds. Oh yeah! Besides the pain of course, it was nice to laze around in a La-Z-Boy recliner and take naps!
I know that many people get all Zen and all after having cancer. But I can’t help it, I really love my stuff. I was so happy when my daughter was born, an heir to my hand bag collection. I know its great to live simply and to have less things, but when you know that you may have fewer days, you gotta have something to hold on to. I would much rather unstuff my life of emotional baggage, of dead-beat relationships, of toxic people. That to me, is much more valuable.
Cancer does help you sort through the maze of complex relationships and helps achieve clarity of who is worthy of your time. I feel more ready to decline invitations to parties I don’t want to go to, to say no more easily to time-draining, emotionally stressful adventures, and value my time more. Yes stuff is investment of money, but what I worry about now, is investment of time and the return it will bring me. It means selling all the dead emotional stocks and freeing myself. Yes, I need emotional chemotherapy too! It takes time but I am ready like never before. As I am writing this, I notice that a clump of my hair in my hand. Oh, the shedding has begun. Gotta log off, I forgot to buy the wig liner, and I have to dye the hair pink before it’s all gone.