Bye bye baby breast
Bye-bye Baby Breast
My breasts have always been my least favourite bits of me. When I was a little girl, I used to go into our basement (when I was on my own) and go into the cedar chest and dig out my older half sister’s bra. She had moved to Portland many years before, but left behind this one 36 C white bra, and I would try it on and imagine what it would be like to fill it.
When my sister Judy, a year older than me, and I went with our neighbour Shirly Zabardino and her mother to her first bra fitting sessions, I was thrilled. She tried on the bra over her undershirt (vest) and was very proud that she was big enough to warrant a proper bra. She and Judy were about 11 at the time. Her mother looked at me and said, “Never mind, your turn will soon come.”
By 12 I was wearing a bra, 32 AA and padded. I was ashamed and so disappointed.
I cried when I first stripped in front of my to be husband, thinking he would be so disappointed in what I had to offer. But he covered up any disappointment very well, and showed me some of the more fun properties of my breasts.
The only time I reached the dizzy heights of wearing a C cup bra, and filling it out was when I breast fed my babies. And I was very sad when they returned to single Mac size afterwards.
But not long ago, fashion changed, and lots of the famous women in their low cut dresses expose breasts not any bigger than mine. And also as I grew older, I realised that the problem of heavy breasts drooping was a problem - one I didn’t have. My old breasts look pretty good to me.
As you who read my stuff know, breast cancer was not my worst nightmare, and the fact that when it was diagnosed it was very definitely put firmly in last place because of the other problems with the rest of my body. But now it is time to deal with it.
I never had a lump as such that I felt. I had no idea there was anything wrong with my breasts until the scan showed something that was “not quite normal”. My type of breast cancer is situated in the milk producing part of the breast, so more or less directly under the nipple. So it doesn’t change the shape of the breast in any way. And on my other breast, I can feel that even without cancer, the area under the nipple isn’t empty.
When it was first diagnosed, I was told that I would need surgery. It was stage 2, so no effect on the lymph glands, and about the size of an oval slightly fatter ginger biscuit - 40 mm in circumference. And it all had to wait until after my chemo treatment for the colon cancer had finished. But in the meantime they prescribed a medicine which blocks oestrogen from forming in the fat in the stomach area. And this was supposed to make sure it didn’t grow in the meantime. This type of cancer is oestrogen dependent.
I’ve had scans and mammograms recently and yesterday had my pre-op. The surgery is on March 27.
As part of the pre-op procedures, I had an ECG. The male nurse said, “Are you happy with me doing the procedure, or do you want the female nurse to do it.” I said I was OK with him.
“Take off your top layers,” he said, “but you can leave on your bra.”
“I’m not wearing one,” I said, and he scampered out of the room, shouting to the female nurse that she do me. I thought it was funny.
So just waiting now for nearly 3 weeks for the surgery and then I can tell you what it was like.