Saturday, April 17, 2021

A Circle that Feeds Itself

Body image seems to be an unescapable topic after one has sacrificed a visible chunk to cancer. After months (or years) of breast cancer treatment, some bodies go through significant changes: hair grows back different (well, hello bald spots!), eyebrows are thin or nonexistent, there is weight gain or weight loss (I’m a member of the chunkalicious group right now), muscles and bones hurt, some immune systems never fully recover, vision and teeth are affected, scars itch and hurt and seem to multiply when one isn’t looking, some stop finding physical beauty in themselves, others feel betrayed by their bodies.

The last one I can’t quite understand. Your body is fighting a formidable disease and it’s still alive and kicking! So, where’s the betrayal? On my really bad days (when I’m feeling particularly ill), I do not resent my body. Instead, I show my body the most love. Not just because it makes sense to me, but also because love and laughter and such... fill the body with happy hormones.

So, when you are feeling like your body doesn’t love you enough, give it extra love—laugh with friends, go outside, exercise, have sex, do something pleasurable; love your body by giving it what it needs, and your body will love you back in the shape of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, will to live… Yep, love between body and self is a circle that feeds itself.

flesh and bones
always love you,
if you do

- for for Poets and Storytellers United--Writers’ Pantry #66: A Bat and a Haiku Walk into a Bar…

41 comments:

  1. Yay, just what I needed to hear right now! Thank you. You're awesome.

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  2. This is a difficult read, Magaly, because it hurts to think of anyone I know (even if only on-line) and consider a friend suffering in any way, shape or form. But it also makes me smile because you are such a cheerful survivor, and you don’t let it get you down. I love the way you shout your beauty, love your body, and fill it with ‘happy hormones’. I’m taking your advice seriously, getting out there today with my walking stick, going to have lunch and my first cappuccino at a little café (at an outside table, of course) since last year and maybe, when we get home, we might do something else you suggested. 😉 Your haiku is like a happy pill.

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  3. It is possible to accept cancer's presence and ignore it and try to live and enjoy life as normal as possible. My wife had Myeloma and fought it like a trouper. Sadly she did succumb but lasted 7 years taking any treatment on offer and living a life as normal as she could.

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    1. Ignoring disease would never work. But I think I know what you mean. There are people who start digging their own graves the moment they get diagnosed with a dangerous disease, especially is such disease is emotionally and physically taxing. For me, what works is making the treatment of disease part of my life. Then I go from there. I suspect your wife did something similar for as long as she could. That is all we can do.

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  4. it's a lovely circle, isn't it? you love your body and your body will love you.
    I love the inspirational message you put out today.

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  5. Very positive and encouraging haibun Magaly. Thanks

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  6. My goodness!!! what a blessing to be able to laugh and love.

    Happy Sunday Magaly

    Much💛love

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  7. I believe in laughter, exercise, sex, dopamine, everything you suggested. Here's to health! Sending love your way, Magaly.

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  8. I love this and will take it to heart as I struggle with the frustration of my body's limitation. A refreshing perspective.

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    1. That's the only thing we can do, for our body and our peace of mind.

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  9. That's the right attitude to have! I've never understood this "betrayal" viewpoint either. So, so negative and ungrateful for years of life.

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  10. I think I need to bookmark this one for those extra tough days. I have been working on showing my body a little gentleness when it needs it (thank goodness for massage gadgets!)

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    1. Massage gadgets (or shoulder masturbator, as I call it) rock!

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  11. Oh girl. This is so very true. Its a simple cause and effect. I think your message could (no, should) be applied to the entire world. Not just self body love on bad days, but love from one body (human) to another. every day. Alas, it will never happen. But....taking care of one's self is a good way to be near perfect, to make a self happy happen. Good ink here.

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    1. It might not happen all around, but we can help make it happen one person at a time...

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  12. It's not my remark that's insightful, it's your words! Words to really take to heart, to recall to mind when we doubt our bodies.

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  13. You are so wonderfully wise ....

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  14. "if you do" The most attractive people are those with sparkling eyes, a ready, natural smile and laugh, and an ear for listening to what others have to say. We are always happy to be around them and think they are beautiful because they make us feel beautiful. Hugs to you for these words we should remember every day!

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    1. I completely agree. And thank you for the hugs. Sending some gentle ones your way.

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  15. Giving my body a huge hug for always being there for me. Sending a big one to you too to share the love.

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  16. Like you EVER needed a reason to dance outside and have sex in a garden (not necessarily your own) ;D , but you just gave me an awesome excuse for the police :D XXX

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    1. Bwahahaha! "Sorry officer, it's for my health, you see."

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  17. I guess for some people the body acts more as a servant/slave that is supposed to function without complaints. This is where a lot of the "You can make your body look any way you want it to" stuff comes into play. (I like to think of mine as a pet.)

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    1. Goodness, I don't think I ever thought of it that way. How terrifying. Not that you're right, but the idea of one's body as a slave. Shudder.

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  18. Oh sooo very nice, Magaly. I don't know anyone closely with such a terrible bought with the cancer other than you. You are a good role model for others. My niece had breast cancer but in about a year she and the medical folk "conquered" it early this year. She was prepared for the surgery but her doctor convinced her to wait. And she didn't need it.
    Thank you for hosting today,
    ..

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  19. You got me crying girl!! This is so true! Love is the answer to everything! Big Hugs!

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