Wednesday 20 July 2016

Drain gain. What's Pain?

Well fuck me it's hot! The amount of sweaty crotches circumnavigating the UK right now aren't the only thing on the rise. As the temperature hits 33 (my age) and our eyes are awarded a Buffett of naked flesh ranging from rare to extremely over cooked, I have become aware that I can now say 'flipping heck my tit is sweaty'. Along with 'you are getting right on my tit'. 
Scouse and I were shopping a while back and we saw some 'Hooters' t.shirts and he remarked I should buy one and cross off the 's'. I think this is brilliant so if any of you make t.shirts....send me a 'Hooter' top.

Anyway, I now have one boob. I'm not guna lie, it's a bit weird. Especially when its a 36H. Can you imagine what that looks like in a top? I feel like I'm walking around leading with the boob, trying to even myself out a bit. 
The foam dome (fake stuffed booby thing) I've got isn't the same size as my real boob. This is because you'd need the entire contents of a sofa to stuff that bad boy. 
It kind of does the job for now, It's just my chest looks on the piss, squwhiff like. 

So how did this all happen then?

Well I've hoped the big slice and dice was coming for a long time... It's a positive to reach surgery my friends.
At Christmas it was looking like it wasn't going to happen. Voldertit was fiercely unbridled at that point. 
When you have a mastectomy for IBC (Inflammtory breast cancer) you need to be sure you won't leave anything behind on the chest. So there needs to be a gap (margin) between the good and the Badlands. 
At Christmas, there was no gap. 
The chemo and other drugs I have had this year, created that gap, allowing for the boob to be removed. 

So, I was given a date for surgery and then got myself prepared.
How did I do this? 
Well I wrote and rehearsed a speech for my cousins wedding (click here for the Bristolian version of Warren G Regulate) and delivered it 3 days before the chop. 
I also jumped out of a plane, took the kids on a tractor ride and attended a Fair-well party for the hunk of flesh that had been trying to kill me for a year.

How did I prepare mentally? Well I didn't need to. I'm all good with it. Do you know why? Because physical pain is just physical pain. It can be managed with a pill. There is no pill to deal with the pain I feel every day at the loss of Ally. If there was, I'd be gobbling them by the handful. 
I feel pretty equipped to deal with pain, losing a boob, looking different, because I don't care. Mentally, it's nothing comparatively for me.
I was emotional about my friends and family though. I cried about how brilliant they've been. I know they are going through hell with me, not just alongside me. 
That kind of shit really overwhelms me. 
Every time someone writes a message on my blog, i get a feeling of kindness and love. Those feelings are being sent from people I'm close with to people I will never know. Remarkable and hugely appreciated. 

Anyway, I'm waffling on....'get to the juicy bits' I hear you cry.

So I rocked up at 7am and was shipped into my little pre-op room. A lovely nurse went through the forms with me. I basically signed to say I'm all good with complete removal of my right breast, the tissue, the nipple, the skin and the lymph-nodes. The operation would take 2 hours and then I'd be 'out of it' for a while afterwards. The nurse then gave me a bag with these minging socks in that I needed to wear to prevent DVT. (Deep vein thrombosis) They were pre-sealed. I opened the pack to try them on and then became confused 'excuse me but I've got a problem....(as I waved Nora Battys footwear in the air).... Two legs, one sock'.... 
There was only one sock. 
Oh shit!!!! 
Have I just signed a form that said 'removal of right leg' not breast??? Oh no!!!
'Oh that's unusual. I'll go get another pack' says the nurse. I think 'welcome to Heidi land. Nothing usual happens around me.' Thankfully one becomes two and I'm able to live out my dream of becoming fashion forward.... 
It takes effort to look this good.

It's time to go. 
Scouse announces he's off for a bacon sandwich at Costa (looser, I'd have gone with Tiffin, yes even in the morning, don't you judge me) and I walk down to the theatre. 
I've always thought theatre was an odd name for a room of surgical shenanigans. I start picturing the nurses dressed as jesters and Elizabethan town folk, and the surgeon dressed up as a King shouting 'off with her breast' whilst weilding a sword above his head. Someone is playing a flute in the corner while others are drinking mead and eating chicken legs. 
But this was no Shakespearian tragedy.  
This was little old me. 
This was my drama. 

I lie on the bed and look up at the big silver circle thing that looks like a spaceship (I think it's a light). The anaesthetist is trying to get a Cannula into my ever-decreasing veins. Chemo has knackered them so they are flat. I stare up at the spaceship and think about the last time I was in a very similar position ....Ally's birth.
 I was very scared then. I didn't know what would happen when she was born, I hoped she would cry, she did, I hoped she would know me, she did, I hoped for her to have an amazing long life, she didn't. Things don't always go how they should. 
Was I scared now? No. Of course I hoped to wake up. I thought of my boys and I hoped to wake up. But I wasn't scared for the boob. It's just a boob. I said goodbye in my mind and i drifted off to sleep. 

Not unlike apparating in at Hogwarts, I went from one room with one set of people, to another room with another set of people. It's kind of cool. 
As I came around I used my left hand to feel across my chest, my eyes were firmly closed, and sure enough, where Mt Snowdon used to be, was now that famous square on the ordinance survey map of north Lincolsnshire....a whole lot of nothing. 

My right hand then reached out and found Scouse's. I knew it was his because all the fingernails had been bitten off. Not unlike a 13 year old dumped by her first boyfriend; Scouse eats his feelings. We've had a lot happen in the last 10 months ergo what were once fingers are now a palm surrounded by five stumps. 

I wake up fully and am instantly introduced to my two boob-juice collectors who I quickly name Drain and Drainetta Slob. Their jobs are to collect all the fluid around the surgery site. They are stitched into my side. I have a bag to carry them in when I'm mobile. What if shop security asks to look in the bag? They'd get a right shock! Actually that would be brilliant!!! (Must look dodgy at next trip to Primark.)
Drain and Drainetta Slob.
Rocking my drains. 
I'm out of hospital the next day after a night of playing cards and eating pizza. When I get home the first thing Noah asks is to see my poorly boob. I show him and he says 'wow' and then goes back to picking his nose. (And wiping it in my mums couch) 
Tait comes up for a cuddle and then actually head butts me right in the shark bite. You couldn't make it up right. 

I spend the next few days chilling out and emptying Drainetta. (Drain was taken out before I left hospital) I notice that the contents goes from Strawberry Daiquiri to medium white wine. I'm sure it doesn't taste as good but I did enjoy looking at it though...I'm gross like that.
Drains poking out, me breathing in. Showing off my lovely drain bag.
It's the first time I've really stopped since all this started and I can confirm that time in my own head isn't the best. I'm defiantly a person that needs to be kept busy. I've felt petty sad over the last two weeks. I miss her. I'm angry she's not here. She would be 7 months old now. I can see how she would be, what she'd be wearing, what she'd be doing. Now that hurts. 

With the weather being the way it is, I have the window open at night and I can see the stars. I wonder, can they see me? 

The weather is cold. Then it is hot. Then it rains. Then there's a storm. Then there's a rainbow. How primitive. How raw. How symbolic.

Covet your heart...a tit is just a tit. 

Monday 4 July 2016

Dear Boob

Dear Boob,

In a time of uncertainty with this  EU referendum Schizzle where we are now considering the possibility of CIF returning to JIF,  bananas going bendy again and wondering if we will now have to call 'Magic Stars'  'Supernatural Pentagrams', our future is somewhat unclear....what a shocker! An 'unclear future' is something we all face, everyday and will always face because no one has a crystal Ball. (Or Cubic zirconia sphere)

I tell you one thing that is certain Boob, tomorrow you are leaving me. 

I've known you since I was about 12. I remember being an 11 year old. I had a lot of puppy fat (my brother called it Great Dane fat as there was so much). I had a ginger Bob and shoulders about a hundred metres wide....I was pretty tall and yeah I basically looked like a prop on the English rugby team. 
So I remember asking for you. I wanted you to be large, you and your twin. I had great hopes for how you would turn things around for me in the looks department. 
Then you arrived and you were everything I hoped for. I went from butch school girl to Heidi with the big boobs. 
As the years progressed you got me into nightclubs, underage. You got me free drinks, 5th place in a wet t.shirt competition (I think there were 6 of us in the event) and basically gave me some well needed confidence. 

Later on down the line, you nourished my children, grew longer and sustained 5 months of being bitten repeatedly by Tait until I could only feed him from the other side. I somethings wonder if Taits biting was telling me something.... Was he warning me that all was not well with you? That you were ill? That something was attacking you from the inside. That Cancer was ravishing you. 
You began to change. 
You weren't that happy go lucky boob you'd been up until this point. You became red and angry. You grew and grew. You weren't lumpy which is why I never suspected anything sinister was happening. The Drs said you were fine when I took you to see them. So we carried on. Towards the end your nip started to retreat and your surface looked like an orange. I took your back to the Drs for the 3rd time and we discovered that in fact your were very poorly. I was told from the beginning that you would have to leave at some point. 
And that point is tomorrow.

So I'm left wondering what I should do on my last day with you. Let's be honest you haven't aged well so I'll not be showing you off to people. If a builder shouted to me "show me your tits" I'd literally just have to lift up the hem of my trousers. 
You are covered in stretch marks to the point that if I found myself lost in London I could consult you for a central line train to Walthamstow.
When I lie down, you gracefully slide under my armpit. 
So really today is just another day. I will take my children out to play and spend time with them. As always. 

I'm just wondering if I'll miss you? I think I'll miss the memories we made together but actually you serve no purpose anymore. I know that Scouse loves me with or without you. I know that my children won't even notice that you've gone and I know that you simply can't stay because you're killing me. 
I know it's not your fault. You didn't want this, but it's happened. 
There are many things in life that happen that we don't want, that we fear. Then they happen. 
What do you do? 
You have to deal with it because quite frankly what other option do you have? 
So I'm sorry but you have to go. 

My friends from school who have known you your whole life, threw you a going away party last night. We met at the curry house ( if you watch sons of anarchy this is akin to that table where they make all their important team decisions and discuss important issues) and they bought me this amazing blanket with loads of our pictures on it. 

I cried.

Then at the end of the meal, out comes one of the chaps singing happy birthday!!! 

Anna is shouting "no no it's not her's for something it's a cake for ummm she's ill and ummm it's not her birthday". 
I'm cracking up at this point as I'm thinking how do you sing 'goodbye right tit la la la you're being chopped off la la la' . 
The chap starts mumbling something about 'keeping it in the box as not to upset the other customers.' I'm wondering why on earth it would offend anyone, when two huge tits with candles in are plonked in front of me. 
The nipples are massive!!!! Gemma says 'oh look they're just like my nipples', to me they look like witches hats. It was brilliant! The girls are all laughing and so am I. We discuss what people might think about what we are celebrating and whether people would consider them terrible friends. On the contrary, they are incredible. 
This is exactly what I would want, and exactly how we all are. 
This is why they are my friends.
I then proceeded to cut up the right boob and dish it out to everyone. We all eat it, together, as a team. 

I've never felt alone at a point of this shit-uation and that is largely down to the friends and family I have. 
What a perfect way to say goodbye to you boob. 
And I actually think you appreciated it too. 

Tomorrow I will lie down and look to my right armpit and see you for the last time. Then I will go to sleep and when I wake up you'll be gone. Every part of you. And what will be left is a scar that is curved. The scar will look just like a smile, they said. 
Oh the irony. 
But when I look in the mirror and see that place you used to be, I will think of all the great things you did for me and I'll smile right back.