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“Expectation is the root of all heartache”

31 May

I stole that quote from Shakespeare. What a clever bard he was. It’s been in my head a lot lately. I think I’m going through a period of reflection, a self review if you will. Time will do that too you, too much of it and your brain overthinks everything, the microscope monkeys come out and slide every speck of life under the lens to examine again and again.

The expectations in question don’t refer to my health. For once, thankfully, in that area everything is on the mend (touch everything wood based I can find and hold it tightly – does MDF count?). And by on the mend I mean that I am now officially half robot. I have completed the bionic transformation with two, yes two, new hips to match my two new (Ish) boobs (long story, one for another time….) So nope, it’s not my health thats got me thinking about expectations it’s my head, or more specifically, my heart.

At what point do you accept that the expectations you have aren’t your reality? And once you’ve accepted that can you ever be ok with it? Can you simply adapt, accept it and agree to adjust. For many, this could be a viable option, especially if you have something you think is worth adjusting for, something you could make sacrifices for, change and adapt for. But say you make those sacrfices, you wave goodbye to the expectations and adjust, can you ever really be truly happy, or have you just admitted defeat? Are you settling for less than you really want, do those hopeful expectations every really go away?

I’ve always had high expectations of everything, especially love. I’m not sure what girl doesn’t. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, movies have a lot to answer for – dam you Ryan Gosling and your beautifulness. But it isn’t just in the movies, it’s life, it’s everywhere. My friend recently celebrated her one year wedding anniversary and I got to see the wedding highlights video for the first time. It was everything the day itself was, simply magical. However amongst the magical montage of their beautiful day one part in particular struck me. Looking back I’m not sure why it didn’t hit me at the time – I can only assume it was because the whole experience was like being in an actual movie and I wasn’t focused on me or my situation – just them.

But now, with time wrapped around me like a thick fog I can’t shake off, this one thing stood out so clearly it was like a beam of light, penetrating the fog and helping me see clearly for the first time.

The bit in question was a small snippet from the grooms toast to his new bride. In it, he said simply, that “Love, isn’t about finding someone you can live with, it’s about finding someone you can’t live without”.

I’ve been thinking about that line and his total declaration of love for his stunning new bride ever since. Don’t we all deserve to feel that much, to have someone feel that much for you and to share it so completely in return? That utter certainty, that unshakeable feeling that you have found completion with someone else. Falling in love should be all consuming, it should leave you feeling free, lifted, hopeful and full of excitement for the unknown future ahead – even with all the challenges that may arise. Because, if together, you truly are better, then the future shouldn’t leave you uncertain or unsure. It should stretch out in front of you like a great adventure. One you can’t wait face together. One you simply can’t imagine, facing without each other. For this bride and groom it wasn’t enough to find someone they could face it with, they wanted to find someone they could’t imagine facing it without.

So the question remains, are expectations a good thing in love – are they the very thing that lead you to your own ‘can’t live without’ moment, or, actually, is there also something to be said for adapting, adjusting and waving those weighty expectations goodbye. After all, finding someone you can live with, that you’d be willing to do all that for…..maybe that’s worth just as much too.

Ok, late night ramblings over, at 2.30am, nothing makes sense any more and the microscope monkeys have fallen asleep on the lens. They aren’t a pretty sight in usual lighting but magnified they’re much worse. Time for bed little monkeys.

Here’s hoping you all have someone you can’t live without who holds you just as tightly in return.

Robot girl over and out.

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The BOGOF girl

2 Sep

It’s blinking at me. Blink, blink blink. Like an impatient toddler pressing on a doorbell desperate for someone to answer. Blink, blink, blink.

It’s expectant, it’s ready, it’s waiting. Blink, blink, blink.

I hover over my keyboard. Watching the blinking type icon dance on the spot ready for me to type a letter. Any letter will do. Something, just type something. Anything will do. Blink, Blink, blink. Maybe I’ll surprise it and type ALL IN CAPITALS or I’ll just punch in my favourite thing on the keyboard and create a whole line of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Ah the exclamation mark. How I love thee. Simple yet impactful. !

So little blinky line, why am I so hesitant to tap away? Well, it’s because I left you. I left you for a very long time. I totally abandoned you, completely walked away. I know you’ve been here. Waiting for me to come back. And believe me when I say I didn’t think either of us thought it’d take this long. But it has. I could have come back sooner, many times. I thought about it, a lot in fact, like all the time. Like some ex I was trying to ignore and couldn’t get out of my head. I’d get tipsy and tell people about you. Draft little notes for you. Compare you to other ones, but it was never the same.You were still there, blinking away. Waiting for me.

The problem was that last year, back in May, when I submitted my last post I was in a funk. An honest to goodness funk. I was Fed up. Pissed off. In a total huff. There were noises (of the huffing and sighing kind) rolled eyes at any opportunity and full on, armed crossed, sulking. Normally my moods pass as quickly as one of Britney’s marriages but not this one, not the one between me & you blinky. I just didn’t want to come back. I didn’t want to see you. I didn’t want to write. To open up. To keep talking. To talk about ‘IT’, C-Monkey, the never-ending operations, ‘frankenboob’ – all of it. Stupid, sodding, boring cancer, again and again and again. I was done. Simple.

But here I am. The truth is I missed you. I missed this, you blinking at me, me tapping absolute rubbish that only my Nan and mum will read. It’s peaceful, it’s you and me blinky. You and me together. Who cares what we talk about, it’s all nonsense anyway. So while I make amends maybe we should take some time to re-acquaint ourselves. You can tell me what’s been happening with all that blinking time you’ve had off and I’ll run through the various ups and downs of mine.

Ok so first things first, the boobs are looking good. I’m now up to five operations, yes five (oh the joy) because perfection, or anywhere close to it, is actually bloody difficult and seriously, as I’ve said before, boobs are very (!) complicated things. I really do wish they’d told me all this at the beginning. I mean two years on and I’m still having operations – that information would have been useful, AT THE BEGINNING! Talk about managing expectations. Jeez!

The last one was in February. It was the glamorously titled – fat transfer. I know what you’re thinking blinky, what a great opportunity to suck out all the wobbly chunk and achieve the svelte thigh gap legs I’ve always wanted, whilst also making Lefty nice and soft and a bit rounder. Sadly not. Not only was it bloody painful, resulting in me walking like John Wayne for two weeks in serious leg compression stockings (not the sexy kind) but I didn’t lose an inch from my thighs. Not an inch. How is that possible, have you seen my thighs?!

Couldn’t they have sucked out a little more, just to be kind. I mean come on, do a girl a favour, you’re taking it anyway, why not just take a little more and while you’re there feel free to take it from my ass, my tummy or what about those horrible wobbly arm bit – you can help yourself to that Mr. Go for it, suck it all out! But no. They took what they needed, left me with extremely bruised thighs and a slightly softer, rounder Leftie. The bugger is that this procedure doesn’t really take that well so I may need to have it a few times. Next time I’m going to try to bribe the surgeon to take some more fat. Or maybe I’ll drawn large circles on myself with a big purple felt tip pen, complete with helpful hints and arrows – suck fat here ‘0’. That should get their attention.

In other news I now have a nice man, who loves me, scars and all. Which has been incredible and also really weird. I think I spent so long worrying about what someone else would think I didn’t consider I’d be the one with the hangups. But I am. Turns out buys are pretty simple, I have boobs, he likes them. That’s it. Doesn’t care about anything else. So why do I? It’s a kicker and something I’m trying to work through, but I guess it’ll take time. Until then it’s wonderful having someone to boast my confidence and who makes me feel so cared for. In that respect I’m very lucky.

In other areas not so much. In fact I’d go so far as to say I’ve been really unfuckinglucky. Which I hope means I’m going to win the lottery. There really isn’t any other way to explain why I’ve had another pile of crap dumped on me, unless it’s because something amazing is just about to happen and karma doesn’t want me to get all big for my boots. So while I wait for my numbers to come up (note to self, must buy ticket) here’s the unlucky part….my health has taken another knock back.

C Monkey has a new friend to play with. Not another C Monkey thankfully but something that will undoubtedly play havoc with my life all over again. So I’ve been feeling pretty greedy when it comes to diseases. Yeap, why have one when you can have two! I am the BOGOF girl of illness. What a title.

I’m not sure how much I’m gonna tell you just yet blinky, I may keep this one to myself, or tell you all next time, who knows.

Now where’s my lottery ticket!

 

 

Has anyone seen my Monkey?

16 Jan

“Um yes, I actually had a bye bye boobie party for my left breast….we made cookies in the shape of boobies….with little dolly mixture sweets on top, for the nipple…” – I can not believe these words are coming out of my mouth, but they are. What’s more surprising is the person I’m saying them to is Jeremy Paxman……yes Jeremy bloody Paxman, of Newsnight! Because there I am, on Newsnight, live on the bloody BBC talking about Lefty, my imaginary Cancer character C-Monkey and boob shaped cookies…oh dear god.

This was not another morphine moment, I wasn’t hallucinating, I was sitting in a studio, in front of the legend that is Jeremy Paxman talking about, well, everything – my C-Monkey and his incessant ramblings, drunken bye bye boobie parties, mastectomies and how my blog has helped me. In all honesty I’m not really sure he knew what to say or what to think of the bonkers girl in front of him rabbiting on, but he was very sweet actually, he smiled a lot, I think he may have even laughed. (Well you can’t be mean to someone who’s had cancer can you, I’m pretty sure there’s a rule about that somewhere.)

I didn’t think I’d be able to do it at first. So I said no. No way. No thanks. I was tired, run down, feeling a bit emotional and worried it might all go horribly wrong. Worried I’d end up a blubbering mess, sobbing in Jeremy’s arms, snotting all over his nice jacket about my lovely Lefty and my nice bras that don’t fit any more….on live TV! Oh dear god that would be so humiliating. Poor Jeremy! No, definitely not. So instead I suggested they call my friend Tessa Cunningham. Tessa interviewed me a while ago and is simply lovely. Tessa would be articulate, well-mannered, there would be no risk of swearing, crying or making a tit of it with Tessa (excuse the pun), no she’d be perfect.

So decision made, that was that. Except it wasn’t of course. Because a few hours later there I was talking to Paxman about Lefty and boob shaped cookies. I’m not entirely sure what happened but two things definitely helped to change my mind, a conversation I had with my boss and also, of course, C-Monkey. Both reminded me what I’d come through and that although I was tired it was because I was trying to get my life back on track – I was tired because I was working hard, working on getting back to the old me. Living my life, going out, doing…stuff. Normal every day life stuff. And what a bloody privilege that is. C-Monkey told me I couldn’t do it which was the final push I needed, god I hate him. So that was that. I was going on Newsnight!

And I’m glad I did because for those few hours I felt really brave. And I didn’t make a tit of myself, or cry or stare mutely at the camera, caught speechless, the moment he started speaking to me. (Which for those who know me would be hugely unlikely anyway….me, silent?! Pah! I’m just surprised he managed to get a word in!)

The high afterwards was incredible, amazing even. I couldn’t sleep for all the adrenaline and excitement that was rushing through me. Wow, what an experience, what an achievement. I couldn’t believe how far I’d come since that horrible day back in the summer – take that C-Monkey! High fives all round, even one for Jeremy. Well no, maybe not, I don’t think he’s a high-five kind of person.

That was back in October. Almost three months ago. And I haven’t written since.

I’ve love to say it was because I was out there, going crazy, seizing every moment of life, carpe diem all over the place, in everyone’s face. But no. Far from it.

You see what I’ve actually been doing is a really good job of pretending everything is ‘fine’. I’m fine, it’s fine, everything’s fine. I’d thrown myself into action mode when the diagnosis got made, started writing, moved house, got the first two big operations out-of-the-way, started a new job, got a new boob, started a Facebook page for other girlies like me…..But what I hadn’t done, not properly anyway, was stop and really deal with any of it. Sure there were moments, of course, the odd sad day but I don’t really like being sad, so the “I’m fine” shake off dance would quickly kick in.

To back up a little, Lefty, when we last left him had been reborn! And all was marvelous. Except of course, it kind of wasn’t, but I was too busy being “I’m fine” to really face it. The implant was great don’t get me wrong, it’s just, well they still didn’t match. Not at all. I can see how that might sound really superficial but it really does matter. Every single day, several times a day you see your body and when somethings not right you can try to ignore it or overcome it as much as possible but it’s hard. And when you’ve convinced yourself that just “one more op…, just one more” will fix it, and it doesn’t well you get seriously deflated (me not the boob).

So I stopped writing. I didn’t want to talk about it or think about it any more. I wanted to forget and be fine. Instead I resolutely buried myself into every distraction I could. I wanted to continue pretending I was fine, totally fine, while I silently counted the days to the next operation in December. Yes another one.

I’m now three operations in from when this all began and things are starting to look a bit better. Much better in fact. But there’s going to be at least another one….after that I don’t know. I’ve stopped saying “there will only be one more, then I’ll be done” because, well, one has turned in to three, three big operations in 6months and now there’s another on the horizon. Exhausted, doesn’t even touch the sides. But seriously, I’m fine….really. Ok so that sounds like a big lie, and maybe it is but it’s starting to become a much smaller one these days.

C-Monkey and me are now more at peace with each other too. Well I say at peace, we just sort of just ignore each other. I’ve stopped letting him in and he’s stopped screaming so loudly. It’s more of a quiet despair now. Silent companions if you will. A curt nod at each other, a mumble here and there, a few barely audible rants in the shower (it’s still his favourite place), but mostly we just sort of stay silent. I know he’s there, he know’s I’ve tuned him out. It is what it is.

On the plus side he has given me back my gym kit, so I’m going to get my wobbly (not in the right places) self back to the gym for some gentle exercise which may help with all the PMA bollocks.

And I’m going to write. Because it helps. Because I like it. And when I’m not writing it just means I’m hiding, which isn’t good.

So then C-Monkey, I know you’re still there and I know we are not completely fine….yet…but we bloody well will be. Oh yes, 2013, I’m coming to get you!

And the gold medal goes to…Wonky!

2 Aug

Lonely.

Worried.

Broken.

Sad.

Weak.

Scared.

Guilty.

I’m pretty sure these aren’t the motivational words rattling around our Olympians heads right now, thank goodness, we’d be a pretty miserable sight if they were. These are the words written on my notepad. I stare at them, tears rolling down my cheek. Then I drawn a box around the top word, making it bolder and bolder until the word itself is almost hidden by the thick lines of blue ink.

I shouldn’t feel any of these things, but I do. I am surrounded by family and friends who love me dearly and yet they are helpless. They are left to watch from the sidelines while I battle these horrid feelings, alone.

I don’t want to but there isn’t a choice. This is happening to me. Not them. It’s a selfish, all consuming thing that swallows me up and pulls me away. It doesn’t matter how many physical people there are around me, there’s no shaking the loneliness that C-Monkey has brought with him. He wraps it around me like a blanket I can’t shake off. (I’m not even a blanket person, I’ve always found them a bit…musty. They always remind me of old people and wet dogs…)

I know it would only take a word, a mere glance in their direction and they’d all be here, in a shot, running in fact, to stick the kettle on, give me a hug and chat for hours on end. I know how lucky I am to have them and that they’re all there, just waiting for the word, the sign that it’s ok to approach….

But there are days when I just can’t do it.

It’s such an alien feeling not wanting to talk. I like to talk. A lot actually. All the time in fact. I once flew to Australia by myself which involved two pretty epic flights alone, not talking. To anyone. For hours and hours and hours. It was torture. By the time I landed in Singapore I was fit to burst. The poor lady in the duty free shop got it all in one go, she only asked how I was. By the time I’d taken a breath she’d pretty much heard my life story, including why I was going to Australia (to mend a broken heart), who I was visiting (my oldest best friend Faye, born two days before me, our mums are best friends, my middle name is Faye by the way…) and the story line from the five, yes five, films I’d watched on the plane.

I’m like an old lady at a bus stop, just waiting for some unsuspecting youth to walk past so I can regale them with tales from my youth, even though there’s probably only 10 years between us….

If talking were an Olympic sport I’m pretty sure I’d be world class. Move over Wiggins, here I come, making my bid for Gold in the freestyle talking nonsense relay – complete with signature hand gestures, accents and facial expressions. The Italians, who, lets face it, would be the only real competition, wouldn’t even come close!

Even up on the podium I’d be chatting away “Oh isn’t this lovely, I really don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. Completely speechless. Wow…..This medal is actually quite heavy, I mean seriously. Feel it, go on, it’s really heavy isn’t it. Is yours heavy, can I try it on?  The silver one is nice, it really suits you. I mean obviously I love the Gold, but Silver is still such an achievement too, you should be really proud. Where are you from again? Oh, I’ve never been, I’d love to though. It’s meant to be beautiful. I think my sister may have been once or maybe it was my friend…yes it was definitely my friend because my sister doesn’t like flying, she’s ok on boats though. I hate boats, I always think about what’s underneath all that water. All those big fish, sharks mostly, just waiting….you know, to eat you up, chomp chomp chomp! (small chomping hand gesture) I think I’m still scarred from Jaws. I love that film, it’s probably one of my all time favourites, Spielberg is a genius. I did also fall in to a fish pond when I was little, so that might explain why fish kind of freak me out. I like to eat them though. Have you ever had  fish & chips, you’ll love it. Make sure you get loads of salt & vinegar on top, but not so much that the batter goes soggy, that’s a bit gross. I like your flag…. oh here come the anthems. Yours is really good, very lively. Can I sing along?”

You see, I love to talk, just chatting away happily, it’s nice. You’re never really lonely if you’re able to have a good natter with people. Ask questions, be friendly. But now. Well for the first time ever I really don’t want to talk. At all. I don’t know how to get the words out properly. I mean how the hell can I, it’s all so much. My head is literally rammed full with every thought, emotion and feeling possible. I’m exhausted by it all. It weighs me down but I can’t seem to let it out. I just want to be quiet.

Also if you start to talk, well then you have to deal with the consequences. Other people’s emotions, reactions, thoughts, suggestions, advice. Nope, can’t do it. Don’t want to make them sad or hear how it’s all going to be ok. I know it will. I really do. It is already so much better than it was before and I should think of the positives, I’m so lucky, it could have been so much worse….and then here it comes…..GUILT! Big wet guilt ball, right in the face. Nice.

The weekly pumps are still continuing. I thought I was on track, inflating nicely and filling out in all the right places. Less wonky water balloon, more small, if slightly odd looking, grapefruit. But it turns out I might have jumped the gun. Apparently I’m not pumped enough. It might only be a small delay, a few weeks, a month at best. So nothing to stress about.

Nothing to stress about at all. But I can feel my stack of cards shaking.  I can see the knock on effects of the delay. The set back to my plan to get back to me as quickly as possible. It’s rippling through everything I’m desperately trying to keep steady, to hold on to. My life, work, money all that “stuff” that shouldn’t matter but it does. The smallest shift and it feels like everything could come tumbling down.

OK, OK, that’s enough now. Step away from the panic button. Breath in and out. No more caffeine for me. I will not panic or loose control over this, it’s a minor set back. In the grand scheme of things all it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. I am very, very lucky. I just need to remember that. (Dodges another guilt ball attack)

C-Monkey needs to let it go too. He’s like a dog with an old chewed up ball, he won’t spit the damm thing out, maybe he’ll choke on it. Here’s hoping.

I guess he’s a bit like me, he won’t spit it out when he needs to, just keeps chewing it over and over into a thousand little pieces, all over the carpet. Well I’m not cleaning up his mess, I only hoovered yesterday.

Ok so maybe I’m not ready to spit it all out just yet either, or give that gold medal in talking a go, but there’s nothing to say I can’t cheat a bit and write it down instead. After all, talking to myself is still talking, right?

And who knows, maybe I’ll win a gold medal in something else, like eating cheese….now that would be good!

I can’t stop staring at boobs!

26 Jul

Pump up the jam, pump it up… while your feet are….something…and the jam is something else….

This is the song that comes in to my head every time I go to the hospital to get inflated. I have absolutely no control over it. It’s absurd. I think there may be something wrong with me. I even found myself humming it while I got undressed last time. Seriously, is there something wrong with me?!

I’m up to about three pumps now, three lots of solution have gone in and little Lefty is finally starting to take shape. It’s not quite a fully fledged boob yet, it’s still looking a little like a wonky water balloon, but it’s my water balloon and as long as it keeps growing and doesn’t explode that’s fine by me.

My surgeon reckons I’ve got another two or three more to go then I should be ready for the next operation. It’s amazing how quickly it’s all happening really. It was just over a month ago that someone said ‘you have breast cancer’, a week after that they took my breast and now here I am growing a new one. There are times when it all feels a bit removed, like it’s happening to someone else and any moment I’ll wake up and realise it’s all been a horrible, horrible nightmare. Except it’s not.

The dreams I’m having at the moment are brilliant though, when C-Monkey lets me sleep the drugs have an awesome time kicking up some pretty bonkers stuff. My favourite so far involved me sitting on top of a giant plastic boob taking part in some sort of carnival, I think I may have been the carnival Queen. The boob Queen. My giant boob float passed along the street, music blaring, people cheering. Then I woke up. Complete madness. But who knows, maybe my subconscious has struck on to something, in years to come there could well be a Breast Cancer parade and there I’ll be, on top of my own giant Lefty, cheering and smiling. (Ok, might be time to come off the painkillers.)

The next operation should be pretty straight forward, well, as much as any operation can be I suppose. They’ll take out the temporary implant which has been stretching the muscles and swap it for the permanent one which should look more realistic in shape – so less like a weird water balloon with a side pump thing under my skin. I’m very happy about this, that pump has been quite uncomfortable and strange, especially when I’m doing my exercises and can feel it moving about. Blurgh!

They’ll go in through the same cut as before and then it’s simply a case of whipping one out and putting one in. Then bobs your uncle, new bouncy Lefty. Then all that’s left to do is the decoration, the cherry on top if you like, which should be done in time for Christmas. Jingle bells all the way.

So really, I shouldn’t really be fretting about it at all…..it’s a simple swap the boobie job. But I am. I really am. C-Monkey keeps reminding me of the pain, that horrible pain that I woke up to after the first operation, the weight of it all crushing down on me. How battered, bruised and savaged I felt. How alien and broken my body felt. The sane side of my brain, the one that doesn’t belong to C-Monkey, knows it shouldn’t be any where near as bad, how could it be, surely the worst bit has been done already? But I can’t shake the fear. And it’s exhausting. Will there ever be a time in all this when I’m not afraid? Afriad of the next step, afraid of more news, afraid life as I knew it will never quite be the same again.

Fear is a funny thing. Not really funny ha ha, that would be wrong, more funny strange. It’s probably one of the emotions I’ve felt most during all this. All consuming fear. Yet people keep telling me how brave I’m being. I can’t quite reconcile that as most of the time I don’t feel brave in the slightest, most of the time I feel small and frightened. I think I’m pretty good at being outwardly Ok and maybe that’s the thing that jars because there are so many times when I’m not, Ok. In these moments, I’m a bit of a mess, blind panic, fear or guilt ripple through me and just swallow me up.

Yeap there’s that word again guilt. Guilt and fear. They have become C-Monkey’s evil sidekicks. For every positive feeling I get, every time I feel happy or upbeat, he’ll lob a guilt ball in my face and suddenly I’m covered in it. Horrid sticky guilt over everything, the good diagnosis – why am I ok when so many amazing women aren’t, guilt for making such a fuss, guilty for not being better yet, guilty for not wanting to see people sometimes and just hide away. But mostly, mostly I feel guilty for putting my family through this. I hate that it has upset them so much, that they’ve had to worry so much, that it’s affected them and made them so sad. I wish everyday that it didn’t happen, everyday, not for me but for them.

But I’m over the worst and it shouldn’t come back (touching or rather gripping the wooden table as I write that) so I need to start letting go of the guilt, the fear, the worry and stress and try to be the brave person everyone thinks I am.

I also need to stop staring at other women’s boobs. Yes staring, unashamed starting. It’s something I’ve realised I do now! I’m like a dirty old man, or rather a dirty young man, actually, just a man. Any man. I am suddenly fascinated by them. And they’re everywhere. You can’t move for boobs. I’m serious. Big ones, small ones, perky ones, saggy ones. They are all glorious and just….everywhere! Boobs really are brilliant. Well done ladies. I promise I’m not being a pervert, of course I am looking with a slight envious curiosity but mostly I’m wondering if these women have had Breast Cancer. Because you really can’t tell. My friends keep telling me that they can’t tell, that I look ok, that ‘they’ (my slightly strange not quite matching pair) look normal. Which is crazy considering I feel like I’m walking around with a giant neon sign above my head that says – ‘One boob, she’s only got one real boob’. But they’re right. When I’m dressed and now that Lefty is a bit more pumped up, you can’t really tell.

Think about it, women who’ve faced their own horrible C-Monkey are walking around every day, right now, all around you and you can’t tell! It’s like an amazing secret society of strong, beautiful, determined women with wonderful boobs. Real ones, fake ones and even those that are gone but not forgotten. They are everywhere and it’s marvelous. But you can’t tell. You don’t know who these wonderful women are. And there’s something really powerful in that. One day I secretly hope someone catches me having a good old look and gives me a little nod or wink that just lets me know – yeap I’m one of those ladies and so are you, well done.

Either that or I’ll get arrested for being a bit of pervert…

13year old me = grumpy with one little boob

19 Jul

Why did I have to be such a loud mouth?

Why did I think that writing it all down would be such a good idea?

I mean it’s one thing to keep a private diary but to put it all out there…. just laid bare, every graphic detail, for all to read, what the hell was I thinking?!

Oh hi, my name’s Jodie, you don’t know me world but I’m just dying (sorry bad term of phrase!) to tell you that I have breast cancer, yes I do, oh but it doesn’t stop there, noooooo. Come on in, take a seat, I’m gonna tell you ALL about it, there may even be pictures, a small dance and possibly some mime.

Christ when will I ever learn to just shut the hell up.

You see the trouble is, when you’ve spent the past few weeks screaming from a roof top “FUCK! I have Cancer! Oi you! Yes you – I have cancer!!”  hiding away, becomes a little difficult. Not because people pester you, god no, it’s because you feel guilty. Yes guilty. At not being ok, for wanting to throw your own pity party for one, for not returning the texts, phone calls, for not saying thank you for the cards or flowers. I know I should have, I thought about it, a lot. But no. I just hid. I hid from everyone. Family, friends, flatmates, the postman, you name it. Hiding became the only thing I could do.

I didn’t want to hear the get well messages, or the stories that started “You know so and so, who used to live next door to whats her name, well she had cancer and she’s fine now, won the lottery, walked on the moon and married a George Michael look-a-like” I didn’t care and worst of all it made me angry.

I had officially become myself aged 13. Complete with tantrums, general huffing, sleeping for hours on end and muttering only a few grumpy words at mum. What a joy I was to be around. Luckily Mum had the foresight to whisk me away so I couldn’t irrecoverably offend too many people. Running away was the best thing we could have done. I stayed in my PJ’s for days, I didn’t shower, didn’t wear make up, didn’t put in the terrible fake boob they’d given me (oh yes, I said fake boob) I basically didn’t give a crap how truly terrible I looked. And it was such a huge, wonderful relief. I didn’t have to pretend to be ok. I could look crap and feel crap and that was absolutely fine.

The pain was starting ease which meant I could, at long last, get some good sleep. Not having sleep really does send you truly bonkers. C-Monkey loves it when I don’t sleep, he’s like a 3 year old who’s just eaten a bag of Skittles. Not good. I’d also been doing my exercises and noticed each day that I could do a little more. Small triumphs included putting clothes on by myself, brushing my hair and even tying it up in a bun, yeap fancy! I also start to carry a handbag again – it might only contain a wallet and phone but still, I could carry it, for a bit, on the other arm. Impressive I know. It was these small triumphs that kept me going. Each one got me a little bit closer to me BCM (Before.C.Monkey).

The exercises are horrible though. They included moves like ‘rocking the baby’, where you grip your elbows and make a swaying action as if, you guessed it, rocking a baby – The exercises are all a bit ‘say what you see’ or rather ‘do the friggin obvious’. The other one I hated was Incy Wincy Spider. For this I had to make my arm/fingers creep up the wall, as far as I could possibly stretch, which wasn’t that far, then slide my hand slowly back down. AGONY. I had to do this several time a day and it sucked. The other one that was just insane was the windmill, circling my arm around like….a windmill. Honestly, I don’t know how they come up with these names, amazing really. I wasn’t quite a windmill, more a small broken hand fan with a battery that was running down. Pathetic really. Anyway I kept at it. It wasn’t pleasant but totally necessary.

After a few days we had to come back for my first reconstruction appointment. My adrenaline was running on overtime. I wasn’t quiet sure what to expect and couldn’t decide if I was terrified – potentially more pain… or excited – here comes my new boob! The pain wasn’t that bad actually, although at one point I did accidentally grab the surgeon’s hand in a defiant “get..your…hands…off…me!” reaction – complete with death stare. He didn’t look best pleased. For the most part though it was do-able. The worst bit was when they took the dressings off. It doesn’t matter how old you are, ripping a plaster off bloody hurts. Now these were pretty big plasters covering a very, very sore area so multiply the usual plaster ripping pain by 10, no make that 5o or 100, or just try putting a plaster over say the most private part of your body you can imagine, leave it there for a week or so, then rip it off, slowly – yes now you’re with me. PAIN.

The inflation itself was really clever. I’d kind of envisaged some sort of medical bicycle pump thing which would gradually pump me up bit by bit. Obviously it was a bit more technical than that. The best way to describe it is to imagine a popper on a dress. One part is just under my skin, which is connected to a tube, again all under my skin, which goes into the implant. The other part of the popper (I’m sure there’s a much better technical term for it!) is on the surgeons needle. So he just popped them in to place, which was weird but ok, then gradually started to inflate me by pumping in some solution. I was expecting to be able to see the new boob grow, magically before my very eyes, bigger and bigger and bigger until…POP! But no, of course not. They only put a small amount in each week so it’s not massively noticeable but that’s ok, they’ll add more in each week until it’s ready for the proper implant.

I have to say it’s pretty exciting! My small mound is starting to look a little more boob like, albeit a very small and oddly shaped boob. But still, my 13year old self is very proud “look mum, look, it does look a bit bigger doesn’t it, it really does….wow, ah little new boob”

Not one to be out done I have noticed Righty showing off a bit lately. You see, I can’t wear a normal bra at the moment it’s just way to uncomfortable, so I’ve resorted to these soft crop top bras – yes, yes I know, step up the 13 year old again. Where’s my Bros mix tape?? But they are very comfy so fashion goes out the window. The only problem is that they don’t really support me that much, or keep me….warm. So I’ll be walking about then suddenly notice old Righty having a great time, nipple on full alert, just showing off – “Oooo look at me, look what I can do….” It’s just making new Lefty feel bad.

But not for long. The process has started and after a few more sessions of the bicycle pump I should be nearly ready for the proper implant. Look out Jordon, here we come!

I’ve also got a bit braver at seeing the wider world, people, friends, the postman (he really missed me). I’ve shifted the rock I’ve been hiding under and am slowly creeping out. And it’s ok, it’s not too bad. I’m sure there will still be days, weeks even, when I’ll want my rock back, but that’s ok, I’m gonna keep it close by just in case.

The final countdown…

28 Jun

On Monday morning I got a call to say my Op had been postponed until Friday. At first I was a bit bummed out. I’d kind of been psyching myself up for D-day, or should that be C-Day?! But after a moments reflection and a little glance down at Lefty a big smile spread across my face. Me & Lefty were living on borrowed time. This was good news.

It’s like when the Governor runs in to save the guy on death row about to get the lethal injection – “Noooooo George, wait! Lefty ain’t going down today….no sir”

Anyway, so there we were, me & Lefty. On borrowed time. Exciting. Maybe we could flee the country and just carry on for ever, Lefty and I, adventures all over the world…..but no, that’s not really very practical and I’m pretty sure wherever we went that dam C-Monkey would show his face. Suncream and sombrero in hand, waving merrily at us…..he really is such an annoying little C…..

So, three days. That’s all we had. Just three more days of my body, just the way it is. That was quite a sobering thought.  So we set about making a plan, a master plan to fill those three days with fun, laughter, a tiny bit of sadness (ok, ok maybe a lot of sadness, because stupid C-Monkey seems to insist on in at every turn!), some nice girly stuff and then, then we’d have ourselves a big old send off for Lefty with the official – Bye, Bye Boobie party!

But more on that later.

So in a nutshell here’s what we did:

1. Dinner / drinks / coffee and chats with numerous amazing, gorgeous and loving friends, colleagues and family – who continue to prop me up and make sure I’m not in a crumpled heap on the floor crying over my favourite bra. They love Lefty just as much as me and their words, hugs, tears, chats, giggles and love are keeping me strong.

2. Some pampering – Obviously this was essential, who’s to say this whole C thing isn’t some kind of really elaborate (if slightly mean) plan for me to meet Mr ZomesertBoy! Of course he doesn’t has to be from Zomerset and I’d rather he was a man than a boy but that’s by the by. Maybe he’ll be a dashing doctor, or nurse (Cute), or maybe he’ll be the person who tattoos my new nipple on – oooh errr. Anyway my hair is now as glossy and shiny as a little pony and my nails look pretty so I’m good to go.

3. Admin, or rather Cancer admin. No one ever warns you about this but there is a whole lot of admin that comes with Cancer. Seriously it’s like a second job, my to-do list is massive. It goes something like this – Number 1. Say thank you to everyone for all their lovely messages. Of course this is absolutely crucial, but it’s sort of like the ‘thank you’ cards you always means to send out after your birthday or Christmas or something. But I’m doing them, if you haven’t got yours yet it’s coming, it’s coming I promise – and thank you!! Number 2. Return the phone calls / text messages – There is a constant stream of calls with nurses or the health care people about general C-Monkey stuff. Of course again I know this is critical stuff and needs to be done. it’s just I’ve only got three days with Lefty, we want to be out running across London Sans Bra, bouncing freely in the wind, showing the world how glorious he is – not stuck on the phone….

4. Panicking. Ok so time to admit I’m bloody terrified. Three days to appreciate Lefty also means three more days to slightly loose my mind over what it’s going to be like, you know, when they take him. The lack of sleep is still also a bit of a pain. Pretty sure I have lost a few of my marbles now, C-Monkey has them, he likes to play with them. I’m hoping he chokes on one. So I try to take my mind off the lack of sleep with other stuff, like this rambling nonsense and planning the Bye Bye Boobie Party.

In hindsight I probably could have done more with Lefty, maybe taken it to see some sights, shown him off in some seriously sexy bras or tried my first ever nipple tassel, maybe I could have slept with as many men as possible to show it off one more time (note to self, this isn’t really possible when you’re a crying, mascara stained mess, blabbing on about ‘old Lefty’ – not really a turn on, no, not so much), maybe I could have had my breasts cast in bronze, oh now that would have been awesome! But no, we just did normal stuff and now the day is nearly here.

But the Bye Bye Boobie Party is happening tonight and that’s something to be excited by. The night before the op was always going to be horrible, fucking horrible actually, but now I get to spend it with my lovely friends and family laughing, eating, drinking (yes I can, I checked, I can go crazy until midnight, then I turn into a cancer pumpkin – boo!), talking about boobs and generally trying to keep me “perky” until morning. Sorry couldn’t resist that one.

Then after the party, that’s it. Time will have officially run out and Lefty will be gone. At 6.30am on Friday 29th June I go in to hospital for three days and everything after that will always be different.

Terrified doesn’t come close.

Shit bags.

I heart Wendi

20 Jul

Wowzers

Mr Murdoch you have got yourself one hell of a lady there. Not only is she half your age and gorgeous but it turns out she has some secret ninja moves. Dainty but dangerous she’s on a constant state of alert ready to leap into on coming foam pies and save her man. What a woman.

I’m not a Murdoch fan, that’s not where I’m going, trust me. But I love that Wendi leaped up, without a moments hesitation  and with one bitch slap of her hand said to the world “back the F off my man or face my wrath!”.

We hear a lot of stories of men standing by their ladies, defending their honour or protecting them from certain peril (which in this day and age normally means things like shielding us from the drunk on the tube, offering to carry that really heavy bag or lending us a jacket when we’ve worn entirely the wrong thing and the heavens open – those sorts of perilous things…). But rarely do see such moments when a woman has stood up, starred fear in the face (or foam) and protected her man.

Quite right too. I would like to think that my feisty nature, oh yes I have one, would come flying to the fore should my man (when I have one) be in need of protection. In fact I think I’d do a pretty good line of protection. No one would see it coming, but with the speed of a panther and a flick of my hair I’d disarm and calm. Situation sorted.

So there you go girls. With one move Wendi has sent out a message – “Ladies when your man needs you, you better be ready, cause he ain’t taking no foam in the face today!”

Wendi the ninja moves in

10 Things you didn’t know about Wendi…..

http://www.stylist.co.uk/people/wendi-deng-10-things-you-didnt-know#image-rotator-2

Switched on but turned off….

17 Jul

Ok so confession time….

I have been sort if hiding away for a bit having my very own self-pity party. It mostly involved eating crappy food, giving myself a hard time, crying (a lot) and attempting to down my sorrows with red wine. It wasn’t actually a very fun party. In fact it sucked. I have no idea where the self imposed pity party came from, I don’t remember sending out invitations or putting the “feel crap about yourself” date in my diary but there it was. Like a big black cloud following me about.

All the while I’ve been attempting to lift my spirits by cracking the internet dating thing. But I’ve actually discovered it left me feeling cold, which may be part of the problem.

Since I launched in to it I’ve had lots of lovely emails, messages, compliments etc and after a few weeks decided that it was time to go on my first date.

So that was it decision made. The guy in question was a 32year old teacher, very funny, pretty good-looking and actually really charming….all be it on email anyway?! So when he asked me out I agreed. We started texting a bit and I was pretty excited about meeting him. I spent the night before panicking about what to where, what to do if he was a) horrible b) smelly c) boring or d) absolutely gorgeous?! I was nervous, very nervous. But then….he cancelled. Apparently he was sick. Ok….no problem I said, I hope you feel better soon…..so a week later we tried again, a date was booked in, my outfit chosen, nerves pretty steady….then he cancelled AGAIN?!!! This time his car had broken down. Yeap, broken down.

Now by this point I was just over it. Obviously he’d got cold feet, or reread my profile/looked at my pics and decided I was a ug-bug and not worthy of a date. Whatever it was it made me feel crap. Which is ridiculous because I don’t even know this guy?!

And that’s when it hit me. Why am I doing this? I don’t really enjoy the forced process thing, I know I’m not ready to actually meet anyone and it all feels so cold and cringeworthy. So again, why am I doing this? Do I really want to be doing this right now?!

The answer came back as a big fat NO. Nope. No thanks.

So I’ve made a decision to sack it in and just have fun the old fashion way – meeting random guys in bars, yeap that’s much more fun! ;0)

And boys aside….because life is about way more than that!!!….it’s time for some summer fun – so that’s my plan, fill my time with fun, big massive bags of fun.

It’s time to get happy again.

Shopping for boys….

4 Jul

So I’ve gone and done it.

I am officially doing the online dating thing. Well I say doing it, technically I have written a profile and uploaded some pics….I have yet to go on my first date.

The profile bit was as expected, very painful. Only after several glasses of wine did I actually save it. It’s a really tricky thing to do, you know whatever you say is going to be read and judged by a whole load of strangers – talk about pressure.

I tried to strike the balance between normal, but not dull, fun but not annoying so, interesting but not predictable, sane and not a total freak. I even wrote in the first line that it was hard to do this without making yourself sound like a total prat….I’m not sure that was the smartest move but it’s true.

It’s all a bit weird though. It’s like setting out a little shop. You decorate your window with pictures of yourself then stick up a load of signs “funny, easy-going, not mental” in the hope some passing male browser will say “hey, I like the look of that window, I’m gonna go in and see what’s on offer…”

All the time you’re there, eagerly waiting for someone to pass by, take a peek and hopefully say they like what they see. It’s torture. And my god there are some freaky looking peeps out there. Seriously! Now I know it’s all about whats on the inside but seriously, sometimes, it just isn’t!

And it’s weird, looking for boys. You’re literally window shopping for men.

Clicking through the images with all the heart of Simon Cowell, a resounding”next!” ringing out with each click. Nope not for me…..too fat, too thin, too ginger, too pointy, too keen, too many fingers?! It’s so heartless.

But let me just tell you this. It is absolutely addictive. Shopping for boys. Such a fun way to pass the time!

So there I am. Clicking away and being clicked on (which sounds much ruder than I mean it to) so where’s it all got me…. well I’ve had some very nice messages, some ok but not quite right messages and some messages that, well, lets just say they made me feel a bit wrong….blurgh!!

But at some point, you have to progress from the messaging stage to the actual date.

Shit sticks.

So that’s where I’m at. I have a date. A date with a guy from the Internet.

If he turns out to be a total freak I’m blaming you!

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