In my own pool, I throw caution to the wind and hop in topless (slathered in copious amounts of sunscreen, of course). But this last weekend when my family found itself on a little stay-cation at a water park/resort, I found myself stumped on what to wear to a public pool. Its not like I can just wear a top and appear completely flat chested because I have folds and piles of skin and tissue(being saved for reconstruction) lumped all over the place. I put my daughter in a full sleeved swimming suit that practically covers her entire body, sun safety trumps cute bikinis everyday in my book. God I sound old. So I figured maybe I would get one of those long sleeved shirts and swim in that? It would hide the disaster that is my chest and besides its practically cancer proof! I certainly am not going to drop hundreds of dollars on a prosthetic swim suit. Then I thought, screw it! I am going topless to the water park. I don't even have nipples for heavens sake! I dare somebody to say something. I actually started feeling compelled to go topless, like I needed to prove something. What? Well, I'm not completely sure.
The Susan M Turley Foundation had gifted us with this weekend resort stay. Susan was a stunning 25 year old that died of colon cancer. Her family and their foundation gifts young cancer fighters with a weekend away. The resort that we stayed at had a water park attached and at night they had a movie in the pool. While Adam watched the kids, I wandered over to the empty hot tub for some quiet time. As I soaked in the over chlorinated bubbles, my mind kept wandering back to Susan. What she wouldn't give to be at a resort with her family, boobs or no boobs. Suddenly all the anger I had been feeling as I watched women prance around in their cute bikinis seemed insignificant. Whatever point I felt needed proving by marching my bare scarred chest around in public now seemed somewhat self indulgent. And in that moment, I thanked Susan. For giving me this weekend with my family, for showing me how insanely lucky I am in every moment simply to be alive. Susan and I had a moment that night in the hot tub and I was left with a higher understanding of what matters. And it certainly isn't swimsuits or boobs, or lack their of. She granted me the confidence to wear whatever the hell I wanted that weekend and walk with my head held high. Thank you, Susan.
|Susan M Turley|
|Zoie and I in our matching cancer-proof suits.|
|My chicken loves hotels!|
|Best brother/sister duo ever!|
Side note: I have been feverishly writing a book which is the reason I haven't posted as much recently. I was asked to tell a candid version of what its like to be young and living with cancer. There was so much unbelievable crazy that went on this past year that I wasn't comfortable blogging about. It's juicy! Can't wait to share it with you! Coming 2015!