Keeping Abreast of it
Introducing Droopy & Pert... (An intimate but honest look at the aftermath of breast surgery)
As I finished writing this I was on the journey home from Charing Cross. I must be looking ok because (despite just having had chemo dose number three) I had to stand all the way on the tube and wait for three buses to go while other people pushed in and squeezed on to the already packed vehicles. I'm not feeling particularly ok but I've definitely felt worse. And yesterday the very beautiful (in soul as well as looks) young woman I sat next to on the tube, asked me if I was a practising Buddhist!
With any luck (and a following wind) I'm now half way through the whole chemo course and totally finished with the FEC cocktail (NB if you see this cocktail on any bar or nightclub price list avoid it at all costs. It doesn't come with any little bits of fruit or veg, there's not a paper umbrella in sight and it burns worse than the roughest whiskey - my vein's still sore from the first lot six weeks ago!). There's the small matter of a check-up with Dr Lowdell (charming but self effacing Oncology Consultant) to get through first though...
But way back in the beautiful, balmy days of July, (ah, that long, hot summer... Remember?!) after the registrar had broken the news regarding my lymph nodes and the need to remove them all in a second operation, Vanessa (brilliant breast care nurse) removed my dressings.
What can I say?
I had thought that my bosoms were pretty good for my age. Considering I'd breast fed two babies. I mean, they were hardly knee shooters (or whatever the current term for saggy boobs is?). But as Vanessa carefully removed the surgical dressings, (which were more than a little bit ripe for removal after the week and a half since the op) it became clear that I'd been wrong. About my boobs not being saggy. Because one of them still was. The other one, the one which had harboured the Lump and now looked (with the eight macabre whiskers of the stitches still protruding at evenly spaced intervals around the circumference of my areole) like something from the as yet unmade horror film "Mother of Frankenstein". But it was also decidedly more "perky" than the right one. In fact where the right one looked a little bit like it was having a really good sulk, the left one was somehow looking rather pleased with itself... And the areole (I've never had to write this word before but I'm quite enjoying it!) was enormous! In fact it's still so ridiculously large (it must've stretched when they sewed it back together) that a bit of dark pink appears over the top of even my most modest bra.
One of the young (male) registrars tried to tell me that over time they would even up. They won't. There is still a 2cm difference in the height of my nipples and they now point in widely different directions. It was my oldest son, Henry who observed, when I was wandering around the flat one morning in my PJs (and perhaps a little bit on the chilly side - if you know what I mean?) that my boobs now looked "boss eyed"...
Mr Hadjiminas (worldly wise consultant breast surgeon) has offered to even them up if they're still wonky after a year (he conceded that they probably would be). But I'm not at all sure about going under the knife just for the sake of equal knockers... Besides which I feel quite sorry for the right one and more than a little bit nostalgic for the pair of imperfect but perfectly serviceable thrupenny bits I had before the aliens landed (please see blog instalment number 10 for an explanation of this seemingly incongruous comment). Yes. I think I'd like to keep the right one in its natural state as a reminder of the good old days.
Which means I'm probably going to have a mammary mismatch for the rest my life. Oh well... At least I've got a title for the show I'm now writing...
So, without further ado (but a lot more writing to do) I'd like to announce the forthcoming (at some vague point in the not too distant future) tragicomic production:
"Droopy & Pert in a Tale of Two Titties"
There will be puppets of various sizes and shapes. There will be small featured roles for my dearly departed, brave little Lymph Nodes. And now there will definitely have to be naughty little aliens too. There will be laughter and maybe a little tiny bit of crying too.
Watch this space for news on production progress. And also the date and venue of my standup debut at an open mic night - it'll probably be in November...
And if you haven't already and would like to help me raise money for Macmillan, please visit my JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Annabel-Wood3/