It is now 15 months since my surgery and I had thought that I was learning to live with altered facial features. But,today and tonight I know that I have a long way to go. Some people have worse disfigurement and difficuties post- treatment than I do and say how grateful they are to be alive but I still wonder if I would have had any surgery if I'd known what I would look like afterwards. It's particularly bad when I look at photos and see how my being in them has spoilt them. I take no comfort when people say it's not that bad or when my husband tells me I'm beautiful. I know they are trying to make me feel better. I think I will investigate whether plastic surgery can help . My big problem is a distorted eye . If this sounds like self pity, that is because it is just that. I'm not like this all the time, but on and off .Tomorrow it may not seem as bad and the next day it may be even worse. Apologies to anyone that is in a more critical situation but it is easier to say this here than to people close to me. They can get sick of it but you can ignore it if you choose.
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Frequent Contributor
...or we can choose not to ignore it and reply... I am sure there is a huge adjustment to make if you look different, and people saying 'It's okay' does not help one little bit. I gather there are lots of supports and advice for the 'looking good' part of recovery, maybe you could follow them up? And maybe plastic surgery is a real consideration. Just from what you have written I think if I were in your position I would be getting cosmetic surgery done as a priority. I would not think of myself as vain or self-pitying in doing that. I would see it as part of the treatment, which in fact makes 'cosmetic' the wrong word. Fine with me. Perhaps no photos for a while? Is it happening because everyone is wanting to be seen as bending over backwards to accommodate you? If so, tell them what you want and see how accommodating they are then. I'm not saying they won't, I just get the feeling you didn't choose the photos. I may be way off. if so, then tell me. H
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Occasional Contributor
Hey Silly - if its affecting YOU , then its valid. Dont apologize. And your hubby does love you, you silly goose - he loves YOU, not what you look like. I've never met you, dont know what you look like, dont care. The person I know here is OK, I got no complaints. What you look like, tis but a small part of who you are. Yep, hassle for a plastic surgeon, see what can be done. Keep us posted on the process - maybe someone here has been through it, and can stick their head up with some information. Andrew the oldhippy.
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Contributor
Hey Silly...don't be silly! How you feel is how you feel and it's important and relevant. A bit of self pity now and then is good for the soul I'm sure. No suggestions as have never been in your shoes but I really appreciate your honesty. Hope you feel a bit chirpier soon. Hugs Terese.
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Super Contributor
Thanks so much for your repies. The photos were including last Christmas, Mothers' Day and my grandaughter's christening . I have decided to turn side-on and avoid as many as I can also. I will check out plastic surgery. I'm sure others on this site must have similar issues.
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Contributor
Hi Silly, A couple of years ago, one of my rams broke 1 of my front teeth in half. The concussion I could handle, but looking in the mirror at someone who was different to who I thought I was - ridiculously hard to take, even though it was only a tooth. Needless to say, I had it fixed ASAP. It sounds like you've been through hell and I imagine it would take an awfully long time, with lots of good and bad days and ups and downs along the road to recovery. Not really sure why I'm telling you about the ram and my tooth, but for me it was just a very slight glimpse into what you must have to go through every day. I too, am a teacher and know what it's like to face little kids. To me, if you're out and about, which it sounds like you are, you are a very brave woman.
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Super Contributor
Thanks for your story and kind words. Sometimes I think it is brave of me to be in certain situations where I'm not comfortable but I don't think I am really brave.I guess I try to do what I ought and make the best of it. Do you still teach ?I had been doing relief work for about 12 years and there were very few days that I didn't enjoy.
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Contributor
Yep, I'm still teaching. A friend and I run a tutoring centre which is one-on-one and I love it. If you're even a little bit scared/uncomfortable and you're getting out there, you're brave and an inspiration 🙂 I'm glad we've met, even though it's in these circumstances.
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Contributor
hey there its interesting to hear this from a patients point of view.. i try and tell me boyfriend im still %100 attracted to him, but its like he doesnt believe me even though i honestly mean it.. he has a colostomy bag and we've fought about the fact that he wont take his top off and stuff in front of me.. though baby steps he has strated getting changed in front of me which i like.. it doesnt turn me off not one bit, i just wish he'd believe me that i still think he's handsome 😞
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Super Contributor
It's good to talk to you too.
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Super Contributor
It sounds like true love to me , Maddie. These physical changes skake our self confidence and it's sometimes difficult to believe others can find us attractive when we feel unattractive.
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Occasional Contributor
Hi Maddie(and others) yes, isn't it amazing that the old body taboos are still part of us, even tho they dont mean a Rats Arse at this stage in our lives. The self image crap we have picked up over a lifetime of conditioning - whatever you look like, its not right, and we can sell you something to make it better... worse for females, alas. We kid ourselves we are "mature adults" and so can recognise and ignore bullshit when we see it - rubbish, its so pervasive we dont have any choice. Besides, its been programmed in as an EMOTIONAL response rather than a rational "this is bullshit" response. Plastic (or, its proper name) Reconstructive Surgery was pioneered for things like what we are discussing here - it wasn't about "Beauty" it was about giving people some dignity back so they could have a life. Massive advances in WW2, lots of people being shot up etc etc. Burns treatment got its modern beginnings there too. So, why are we hesitant? - the medical specialty has been brought into disrepute as a boob job / face lift procedure. So we think it might be seen as vanity. Its so much more than that, real work is being done, - but if its not got any (big) boob pics or "famous" people attached to it, No publicity. Wonder why? Anyway, my thoughts on the matter. Andrew the oldhippy.
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Super Contributor
Andrew , I always enjoy your replies .You have a way of getting to the heart of the matter. Thanks for your response. I don't think I'm vain ,just want to look normal but I think it sounds like vanity,like I'm shallow. I sometimes feel ashamed when I read about much worse damage this thing called cancer has has done to others.It is easy to forget this when I see myself in the mirror getting ready to go out and mixing with normal looking people. Sometimes I feel like I want to say to strangers that I used to "look like you-normal. Cancer did this!I didn't always look like this" or "it could happen to you." You're right about women .We want to fit in and some want to stand out ,but ony by looking good.
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New Contributor
Hi Silly You took the words right out of my mouth That is exactly how i feel I dont look in the mirror unless i have to + some days just want to hide away from the world Other days i am fine + think if they dont like the look of me thats their problem
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