"They gave me hope.” ~ Briana M.
“You can become so focused on fighting to survive that you don’t think about what happens after. What will I be like after cancer? After the damaging treatments? After losing my breasts?
The doctors also seem to be focused on survival… not so much on the After. They’re carving off your curves, your femininity, and your confidence. They aren’t thinking about making you beautiful. They aren’t making anything “new.” They aren’t going to be standing with you in the After.
In the After, it’s hard to look in the mirror. It’s hard to look down. It’s hard to buy bras and clothes. It’s hard to stop crying. It’s hard to want to wear a swimsuit again. To date again. To want to be intimate again. The After feels ugly. Which isn’t fair when you’ve fought so hard and your strength and heart have grown hundredfold. Your outside doesn’t match your inside and you don’t know how to live this After life.
Ink Ribbon Foundation met me in the After. They gave me art in place of the scars. They gave me the ability to look at myself and see beauty instead of the battle. They gave me a body that I can love. One that I think someone else might love some day. They gave me hope.”
~ Briana M.