Who knows being off balance than a mono-boob but that is what keeps me mindful of my balance, physical and mental. Having cancer has been a reminder of the importance concept of “balance” in my life. Well, being a psychiatrist and all, its something that I don’t think has ever been far from me but certainly cancer has reinforced its importance some more. Balance, between work and play, between love and distance, between self and other, between healthy and unhealthy. Every day presents with so many choices, from do I take a nap or spend time helping my son solve a crossword puzzle, or watch Dora with my little girl, do I eat what I like or choose what is more nutritious? Do I think about the 30% women who don’t make it to 5 years after their diagnosis or 70% that will ? Its a balancing act all the time. However, unlike being on the balance ball, I am not getting abs that are stronger. A stronger mind? May be!
In my attempt to regain balance, I headed to the intimate shop that fits for prosthesis and mastectomy bras last week. I had an appointment with an older lady who has been doing this for 25 years, she told me. She handed me a silicon prosthesis (fake boob) and said “feel it”. Yep, that is what had been missing in my life, feeling a silicon boob, “doesn’t it feel like real?” she said with excitement, ” I want you to get comfortable with it”, so despite my modesty and reservations, she plopped this thing in my hands. I wasn’t sure for how long or how much did the “feeling” need to occur. The good thing , someone called for her and she excused herself. Seems like someone needs a lesson in diversity as this thing was very pink, very unlike my skin color. Anyways she returned, this time with a variety of bras in different sizes. She had me try one of them with the prosthesis of course, I must have had a puzzled look on my face, ” The first thing they notice is projection, and I think its just right”. Well you got me sold lady! So for about an hour and half between this lady and the seamstress staring at parts of me that were once reserved only for private viewing, I came home with a pink carrying case of “balance”.
And that is okay, because sometimes its OKAY to get some help from others, when you feel out balance. After all life is a balancing act!