A public diary

Diaries are personal, and somewhat secretive. They contain thoughts and experiences that we shy away from sharing.

Today I came across a notebook, in the MRI waiting area, titled “Draw while you wait.”

The notebook was simple in design, a modest brown cover, with the words written in black.

As I started to flip through the worn pages, there were messages written by survivors, elderly people, caregivers, sick people’s children and people starting their journey into the unknown world of illness.

A few of the messages struck me.

People I had never met wrote messages I could relate to. The messages made me feel like all of these people experienced what I experience and understand.

A few of the messages stood out. One woman said “I had the C’s twice in my twenties. And now I’m in my early thirties but I don’t think it’s coming back anytime soon.”

Another man wrote “I was given 6 months to live but it’ll be 5 years next month.”

Someone else wrote “I feel alone and afraid. I want to go to heaven but I also don’t want to leave my kids and my husband but I’m in so much pain.”

Another lady wrote “A day above ground in a good day.”

The pages were filled with words and feelings that made me feel at home.

What a neat idea to start public diaries in places where people lose their voice. In places where writing, as tears run down our face, is liberating and empowering.

When things get hard, and life seems to throw awful and unfair situations your way – write.

Write when you feel sad, write when you feel happy and write when your thoughts are too heavy to bare.

To know your story is helping others, in similar situations, while bringing personal peace of mind.

Let the struggles of others make you strong, empathetic and accepting.

Use your words, and not necessarily your voice, to help shape the world around you.

I challenge you to start your own public diary, in the form of thoughtful words.

Xox Anyse

Happiness is embraced not achieved

The sun is shining through my apartment window when it dawns on me, I want to make sharing my thoughts a priority.

As I sit at my desk, with my little notepad out ready to take on today’s tasks, my fingers finally find their way back to Permanently Pink.

As per usual, everyday activities got in the way of a hobby I started when my life got a little bit bumpy. 

I underwent a skin sparing prophylactic mastectomy in July, followed by reconstructive surgery, just under two months ago. This journey was shared through various Instagram posts, which I will link below.

Last December, as Christmas approached, I received a call concerning my abdominal region. “Hello, is this Anyse?” As the voice repeated itself, it was unclear who the person was on the other line. “Yes, this is she. May I ask who’s calling?” The voice replied: Doctor Kim. Strange, I thought to myself.

The conversation progressed and something abnormal came up on one of my scans. 

This brings us to today.

I’m sitting here sharing this with you because in spite of the scan, and the news that will be soon to follow, I am content.

I am content that regardless of the news life is still bright.

The warmth I feel, when the sun touches my face, I will hold with me.

I use these moments and feelings to remind myself that happiness is in everything wI experience, if I so choose to embrace it.

Just remember happiness isn’t something you achieve, happiness is something you simply choose to embrace.

I challenge you to embrace happiness, today and everyday regardless of your circumstances.

Xo Anyse

View this post on Instagram

Some will argue this picture is inappropriate because I’m exposed, but I think it’s empowering. I think it’s empowering to read about other women’s struggles. It shows us that struggles make strong, driven, successful & authentic women. This picture makes me feel feminine in a strange way. I’ve never mistreated my body, I’ve always appreciated & loved it for what it was but now I see it as a sign of life. These changes are not an option for me, I don’t get to choose the outcome because of my circumstances. I want people to know that struggle & pain bring light. Some people spend their whole lives trying to achieve happiness as if it’s this object that can be captured. Happiness is so much more than that, happiness is in everything we experience. Happiness is all around us, in every shape and size. You don’t achieve happiness, you choose to embrace it-ALWAYS✨#internationalwomensday

A post shared by Anyse (@anyselebeau) on

View this post on Instagram

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about if posting a picture like this was appropriate (because of the way breasts are perceived) but I decided it has an important message that someone might benefit from. So here it goes, I’m 20 have an unsymmetrical face & now no longer have breasts or nipples. The breasts that I have are pockets of saline that feel like boulders on my chest & are numb to the touch. The scars are sometimes hard to look at because it reminds me of the things I have lost. With all that being said self image is a big topic these days which is why I wanted to share this picture. Women of all ages have a hard time loving their bodies because they neglect to see deeper than the surface. I want to challenge you to look at yourself completely naked in the mirror & pick three things you love about yourself instead of all the things you hate. Self image is so important because it essentially shapes are self esteem which also shapes the way we behave in various situations. Of course I rather have real nipples but frick I went from 97% likely to get breast cancer to 5% & I think that’s the biggest win of all. Am I right?? P.S. Scars are tattoos with better stories so I’ve heard #FoobsForTheWin 🥳💕

A post shared by Anyse (@anyselebeau) on

you’re not the norm- you’re the exception

Lump, bump, spot, legion and tumour all evoke the same response: fear, anger, distress and cancer (I use cancer as if it’s an emotion lol but in any case it translates to a wide range of emotions so I can justify including it in my list.)

That’s how my appointments went last week; I left with all the above while trying to focus on the assurance that was given to me.

Assurance is something I cling to, we all do, naturally. We like to be reassured that what we’re going through will be okay. In my case, the usual assurance is that my health will continue on a promising path, at least for a brief period of time allowing me to live.

Everyone knows I live for all the little things. The feeling of the sun on my face or the breeze that makes its way under my coat.

The life I am living feels so much more intense.

Today as I ride the bus, I’m trying to understand how I can influence people to feel the sun instead of just seeing it. 

Stop trying to see and understand things just FEEL them.

Sometimes experiences are meant to feel straight up awful- like when your childhood pet dies or you lose a family member. These events are meant to evoke emotions like sadness and frustration. It’s meant to feel awful but that doesn’t mean you should shut out experiencing it.

It allows you to learn and grow as a person.

For your own sake FEEL everything that comes your way: good, bad, awful or wonderful. 

We’ve all heard “just because your problems aren’t as bad as someone else’s doesn’t make yours any less real.” 

This is true and I stand by that but it’s important to acknowledge that people do have it worse than you. Heck I’ve met tons of people that have it worse than me. 

It doesn’t mean your problems aren’t as important or real but it does mean they could potentially be easier to deal with and that is unarguable.

So experience your problems but be sure if you overcome them you realize you’re not the norm you’re the exception.

Celebrate the milestones in your life- big, small & everything in between.

Xox Anyse 

Double Trouble Update

For those who don’t have Instagram; here is a little update on my bilateral mastectomy coming up.

If you’re interested in my daily life @anyselebeau on Instagram is a good place to start.

I’m not usually one for sharing pictures like this because I don’t like the idea of being reassured by likes for my body. My body deserves so much more than likes on a social platform. But I’m posting this one because today I met with 2 surgeons for a bilateral mastectomy: one completes the removal of my breasts and the other one reconstructs my chest. I’m sharing this because we spend so much time hating things about our body but there’s people out there (aka people like me) that would happily take the small oddly shaped boobs or a little bit of extra skin over completely losing sensation. This surgery is particularly different than my mandible removal/reconstruction. My face may be what everyone sees but breasts are a part of ourselves that only few see. Those we have romantic relations with. There’s no doubt in my mind that the person I share these moments with should love me for me but there’s something about losing complete feeling of your chest. I don’t feel like it’s life changing but I definitely feel like l’m losing a part of my sensuality by losing complete sensation. All of this to say, today when you get undressed and put your comfy pjs on- look in the mirror and smile at all the little things you claim as imperfections. Remember sometimes we strive so hard for perfection that we forget that imperfection is happiness🌱💓

Double the trouble

Its been awhile. It’s almost like when I feel good, I get so caught up in living I forget to share.

It’s something I need to work on because sharing is so rewarding, whether my story resignates or not, it allows me to let go of everything I’m feeling.

So here is my current obstacle: a double mastectomy.

Double is good when it comes to double the snacks, double the dogs, double the time but NOT when it comes to double mastectomies.

When talk of a double mastectomy first arose, during the end of my chemotherapy treatments, my boyfriend tried to enlighten the conversation by telling my oncologist (may I add pediatric oncologist)  “at least she can get the fake boobs she’s always dreamt about.” In that moment I was MOST definitely embaressed. That was far too much information for my oncologist yet he laughed & I too did.

The conversation was short, for the current battle was beating the cancer I had already been diagnosed with, not PREVENTING a new one.

But here we are, almost a year and a half post active treatment and these preventative steps are now on the forefront.

I saw my new genetic doctor just over a month ago and I already have an appointment with both the surgeon who removes the breast tissue & the surgeon who completes the reconstruction.

The thought of losing my natural breasts doesn’t make me feel like any less of a woman BUT it still sucks (a whole frickin lot.)

I can’t feel half my face (no change there) but now losing feeling in part of my chest is daunting & somewhat overwhelming.

Follow along for this new adventure (I use the term adventure loosely.)

But basically, by the end of this journey, I’ll be a bionic woman.

xox Anyse

365 days

As I sit in front of my computer the memories begin to fill my mind but the idea of re living them through words almost seems too much to handle. I’ve spent a few hours staring at my computer screen; 365 days, 365 days, 365 days, 365 days… THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE DAYS.

WOW.

A number that has been continuously running through my mind since I woke up on January 30th.

It’s one of those thoughts I just can’t seem to shake off. 
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Bold is beautiful- Benefit cosmetics

{I’m pre warning you that this blog post is 100% directed towards my makeup junkie followers (Awesome I know eee)}

Benefit cosmetics (flawless brows, small pores & overall flawless skin) partners with numerous nonprofit organizations to help girls and women alike who are going through hard times.

A big group of the women that the Bold and Beautiful campaign helps, are those suffering from physical changes due to cancer. This group of girls/women hits close to home for me, seeing I witnessed first hand what it’s like to be a woman and lose your physical appearance to cancer.

Weight gain due to steroids, loss of hair due to chemotherapy, burns marks due to radiation, scars due to intense surgeries and all other extreme physical changes make the journey even more difficult than it already is.

I’m happy to share that I was chosen as the face of this campaign for Canada. I’m looking forward to being a face of strength for women- I want more women to embrace their flaws.

The bold and beautiful campaign donates 100% of the profits from their eyebrow waxing, during the month of May, to none profit charities that help girls and women alike.

To learn more about this AWESOME campaign simply click Bold is Beautiful

What’s better than a fresh pair of brows??! A pair of brows that help put smiles on the faces of women going through hardships.

Hehehe let those caterpillars grow.

Xo