Oh, so pretty!” What a silly song, I used to think. Now, how I long for the days when I felt pretty, hot, sexy, and sometimes cool. While some of this can be attributed to age and parenthood (yawn), this hit me so hard after my double mastectomy. Before my surgery, not knowing the prognosis of the cancer diagnosis, I emotionally prepared to lose my breasts, possibly lose my nipples, have no feeling where my breasts would have been, and not know how long I would have to go without the reconstructed version that was supposed to trick my mind into feeling “normal”. When I woke up in the hospital bed, drowsy drunk on anesthesia, chest wrapped in bandages, I was overwhelmed by the thoughtful package of “girly” gifts a breast cancer organization had prepared for me and other patients like me. I was probably more overwhelmed by how much it meant to me. There were sparkly bracelets meant to be stacked and worn high on the wrist, eye brightener and mascara from Thrive Causemetics, and other baubles and pampering things that I don’t ever use. Not BBC (before breast cancer), at least.
Thankfully, they were able to place tissue expanders during the surgery, so I would be on the road to reconstruction. Unfortunately, They were completely deflated so as to let my barely b-cup skin heal and regain blood supply. In the words of my husband (do not judge this sweet man, my rock for this comment) I looked like “Frankenstein.” We were all coping with this process and the changes. We laughed. We cried. We knew it would be temporary, but oh, god, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a grieving process. I grieved my sensuality, my femininity, my proud, saggy badge of motherhood. It was a loss that I didn’t expect to take so long to recover from.
The implants I had put in 4 months later were welcome, the removal of my ovaries seemed harmless enough. I did not know that surgical menopause would be like a second, more silent train wreck. Again, havoc on all of the things that made me identify as young, vibrant, strong, and woman. Feeling pretty. I just needed to feel silly, stupid pretty if I couldn’t feel like myself.
Two years later, and I am still working on feeling good in my body. I am a lot further than a year or even 3 months ago. This is also why I jumped right into Color Street nail strips and now am a stylist. I feel pretty, oh so pretty. With color on my nails, salon-quality looks, shellac-durability at a D-I-Y, rebuilding-my-wealth-can’t-splurge-on-manis budget, these nails make me so damn giddy. It’s simple. It’s fun. It opens up doors to rekindle friendships. If you know a woman who needs simple, affordable pleasure, get her these nail strips. If you are that woman, get you some. Color Street