I’M BEAUTIFUL WITHOUT BREASTS: My interview with DeAnna Miller
A few weeks ago I got a new Instagram follower @deedoll1966 aka DeAnna Miller. One of those really supportive followers who just ‘feels’ every post you make and is championing all the words you say. (They are my fave followers #soznotsoz).
She mentioned in a dm that she’d love to come to my retreat but can’t because she lives in Houston, Texas and is currently undergoing management treatment as now she is in remission from breast cancer which started last year & she has brca2 gene mutation. Clearly, we got to talking…
Since starting The Chachi Power Project I’ve become interested in speaking to people who have suffered from a disease. How do they deal with body confidence or being happy about their body when it has played games with their life?
I used to, and know so many people who, hate their perfectly healthy, normal bodies. Now that I don’t hate mine anymore I am surprised daily, at how pretty much everyone does have an issue with their bodies in some way. It really is a demonstration of just how brainwashed we all are. These days I’m really horrified at how I could have been so hard on my body when it was so good to me. I don’t linger over thinking back because, clearly…. I’ve wasted enough time.
Now I’m intrigued to know more about how people going through a disease feel about their body, then, when in recovery how does that feeling change or does it change? Is there mistrust, resentment, fear, lack of control, a sense of pride, guilt or wonder? Is the messaging we receive so strong we can’t get away from it even if we are a survivor? Do our priorities change or do we still feel the need to lose weight, be better, be prettier when we have overcome a massive ordeal?
I can’t imagine what I’d do if I was having to deal with something I was being subjected to inside or on my body. So I asked DeAnna some of her thoughts… Ready to get blown away?
What she has been through:
“I had a bilateral mastectomy and lymph nodes removed. I had tissue expanders inserted for future breast reconstructive surgery. I’ve had chemotherapy & radiation therapy. I had a total hysterectomy in December. I’m taking a daily chemotherapy pill to help reduce my chances of cancer returning. I have no breast, radiation burns, scars, my hair recently started growing back. I’m leaning towards not have reconstructive surgery and going totally flat chest. I love the body I’m in. My only goal is to ease the bone, joint and muscle pain I experience daily. I want to live a healthy, happy life. My quality of life is what I’m chasing these days.
On her body image:
“I’ve never been “perfect” but I’ve always loved who I am. I’m really comfortable with the skin I’m in. I wholeheartedly believe I’m beautiful without breasts, without hair, without ovaries & uterus, with all my new scars, on all my drugs, with a chemo brain 😅🤣😂 I am worthy of joy, happiness, laughter, love and a LIFE fulfilled! 😘❤️ Those body parts never defined me. They were nice and I liked them. But that was the old me, the me I can never get back. RIP DeAnna before cancer ⚰️🖤 I’m enjoying getting to know the new me. So far I love her too!”
On her journey when fighting cancer:
“This is me every morning while on chemotherapy. I awoke feeling awful sick, swollen and disoriented. Each morning when I looked in the mirror I never thought about “being pretty” I only wanted to feel better. When I was my sickest I never worried about my weight, my hair, what I looked like, or what people thought of me. My only worry was survival 😊”
She told me her Life Motto’s:
“First thing: You must absolutely LOVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONALLY ✨
Secondly: ONLY YOUR OPINION COUNTS✨
Thirdly: BE WHO/ WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY ✨
Fourth: OWN IT! OWN IT! ✨❤️”
On self compassion:
“We should support ourselves and give a high five for our efforts & daily accomplishments”
“I never owned a scale in my life until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to weigh myself daily while on chemotherapy & steroids. I’ve weighed myself 3 times this year. Then I decided not to weigh in. Went back to my old habit weigh only in the doctors office. It’s mind boggling what I have endured in the last 15 months. Honestly, weighing was never bothersome. It was the least of my worries.”
When I was in awe of her because I have zero pain threshold and can’t imagine what she has experienced:
“You have super strength & it only shows up when you really need it! WOMEN! We are the biggest overcomers ever! I had no idea I could battle cancer the way I have 😅 BUT let me tell you I’m soooo proud of myself everyday! It is the battle no one could fight for me. I DID IT!! 🥇💐👏 It’s not over, I’m still fighting to prevent recurrence. YOU ARE FAR BIGGER THAN ANY OF YOUR PROBLEMS!! This my dear is a true statement, believe me! Whatever you believe mentally becomes your ultimate truth.”
“Don’t get me wrong I have ups and downs. Far more ups than down! I’m still a crazy human”
When talking about how other’s deal with a disease or disability:
“When I go to rehabilitation therapy I “SEE” patients with part of their skull missing, no arms, no legs, totally dismembered with wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.. When I sit beside them and “TALK” I “HEAR” funny, compassionate people with dreams and desires. We talk about silly shit and we laugh uncontrollably. I swear they’re strong as hell! They don’t feel sorry for themselves. How amazing is that! At some point they accepted their fate and moved on. So did I 😅”
DeAnna before her diagnosis
When I told her I was in awe of her:
“I love your IG page, it is so important to encourage girls & women to love & embrace every aspect of their bodies. I wish all women knew their value & loved themselves unconditionally.”
So now I think I need to run a retreat in Houston and DeAnna NEEDS be my special guest. Her message is so inspiring. So strong and powerful. It's a reality check for all of us. It confirms my new found understanding that WE ARE NOT OUR BODIES. We are made up of souls and minds and language and thoughts and beauty all wrapped up in some skin and bones. We are infinite beings. It's kinda magical eh?
Big love, Danni xx