Op. Day – 1. The Curtain Call

The knock of the knot –  Breast Cancer with Lacanian Angles

No Universal Reality

We arrived on the day of surgery, October 8th at 7:30, pretty much on the dot. Dot dot dash dash, yes it seemed a bit of a dash but no elaborate preparations were made. The appointment was for a “speedy” out-patients operation so no toothbrush, only my cell phone and a choice of after-op boneless non-scaffolded underwears. Despite doubting their efficacy they were purchased precisely for their purpose and weren’t that easy to hunt down. Bravisimo was the chosen retailer for obvious reasons. Although there is still little out there informing about fit and comfort for pre-op purchasing. In September Stella McCartney, whose mother passed away from breast cancer in 1998, launched her “Louise Listening Bra” sizes S/M.

Louise Listening Bra by Stella McCartney

 Quite a snazzy front zip fastening mastectomy compression bra, the proceeds from which will help benefit the Hello Beautiful Foundation. After much deliberation I chose a 32G maternity model the Royce Ava Bra (1154) that promised to accommodate my post lumpectomy breast. Without underwires it had a release catch (for breast feeding) but this seemed appropriate to relieve possible pain from pressure along the top of the chest and to give space for the surgical

maternity bra
Royce Ava Bra

gauze. The second design I preferred had a padded shell design. The cup was scaffolded to enable the breast to nestle in supported elevation and the side wires were set back more laterally against the ribs. Both of these bras needed customising with a scissor snip to cut away material under the arm. This was to avoid any clash and rub of stitching both animal, mine post surgery and mineral, the hemmed elasticated zigger zagger fabric in the underarm design.

Only a week ago I’d optimistically booked a batch of five yoga classes. Shockingly I managed just three on my “old-self” schedule: Wednesday and Saturday were part of my old-normality but the night before my hospitalisation the call to yoga was just irrelevant. So, essentially the guru yoga instructor is still in the dark as to the gravity of my seemingly casual absenteeism. This “mind before body” pre-op karmic choice, brings me one session closer to losing my toned arms and fitness. So instead of the chaturanga and chanting, the evening before the morning after involved a nice supper, easy chillax and a good grateful sleep. A clinging to just being. I’ve always, since birth, slept on my front so this too was a last chance to retire freely bellydown. A last sleep without pain. The last chance to be me before an unknown “x” that marks the spot. Nope, not even a pre-hospital hair appt. Neither preparation of an over night bag. All optimistic details, swamped out by just sucking in the last hours of normality, my normality…because is there ever a universal reality?

Zero Hour Arrives

The morning arrives and the taxi has little traffic to navigate. It all seems so ridiculously early. Up and active far earlier than a work day. Our timing was impeccable and we sat. Sitting in public. Sitting in the waiting room. Waiting to begin. Waiting as a pause. But isn’t sitting usually about waiting? Sitting involves anticipating, feeling the time, being “immersed in” the moment, whether it be travelling from here to there, driving or being driven, or taking in the time: sitting to relax, sitting back embraced by the hands of time, engulfed in the lap of time, gazing into the watch-face. Using the minutes to breathe, to be, to pause. Sitting as one waits: to eat, digest, or to hear the other person who sits and shares that time with you. (If you are, of course,  fortunate to have comfortable company). A companion to weigh the time with. Oh heavy hour. Be light with me.

Sitting, waiting: it’s actually unlike me not to make eye contact with others, but looking here into the eyes of those who reflected the same situation as me, looking at them seemed so inappropriate. An intimacy shared in a moment seared and pierced by the obscene audacity of gaze, of daring to look them in the eye. Risking seeing myself, my fears, my doubts, mirrored back. Stepping in, making that advance, that cut in their reality, invading the moment of the other. I didn’t look. The power of the “gaze” and the gaze-returned. The gaze of the other freezing us in time. Seeing myself perhaps as another rabbit willingly waiting to see where this road will lead. Not yet trapped in a path of no return but given hope to cross and continue. Let’s face those lights, it’s not bravery, but a combination of ignorance and trust. A faith in science. A belief in statistics. Each person waiting was mentally and emotionally preparing for a scalpel that could prove to save their life. In the headlights, the footlights, the theatrical light, waiting for the curtain to move and for their newly assigned role to begin.


Inner breast tourettes and self sabbotage

The knock of the knot & the not of the knocker.

A Breast Cancer Blog with Lacanian Angles Curves

The knock of ill fate has arrived. How could someone so damn healthy receive a diagnosis of breast cancer. Clearly not as healthy as you thought huh? As I write in my whole pre-surgery state, I am still reeling in shock. Well let’s not go there just yet, to the place of self criticism, the world of what-ifs. A breast cancer diagnosis is a shock but especially for anyone young, when those check up warning adverts often show more elderly women. At 48 I’m middle aged, so not young as such, born in the 60’s but still if you’re as old as you feel I’m certainly the younger side of the spectrum. Cancer in someone who is slight of frame, medium height, has never dieted but maintained a trim weight by sheer devotion to sensible exercise and joie de vivre. Living in the mediterranean for almost two decades must also have contributed to being pretty fit. https://flic.kr/p/fsept6Isn’t eating enough to go to the loo every day essential? Kiwis are remarkable for the digestion. Two a day to be reduced once clockwork 😉 is the keyword. Of course in my early twenties I would skip breakfast in favour of being a chain coffee drinker with powdered cuppa-soups on the go. Now half a slice of toast gets my metabolism going in the morning to break the fast. Yes with lashings of peanut butter. That first bathroom trip before commuting to work is essential to feeling unbloated. In fact my exercise plan is hardly a set plan because I self-sabbotage. I cannot force myself to do something without the inner-me rebelling with a “why should I”. So I set up a flexi-plan whereby I would never leave three (or in my later years four/five) days between a run, a swim or a sporty spot of cardio activity. There are things I never eat, not a fan of pastry or sauces that have lost their source. Some “foods” aren’t foods. Forget that old maxim of eating everything and “getting it down you lassie to be fit and strong”. If it’s too snacky, too processed, has zero nutrition or empty calories why consume it. Not really a fan of big brands either. If ever eating out who wouldn’t prefer to give their hard earned cash to a little independent business than feed money to the corporates? Eat-well exercise-well, never starve, never diet, never deprive, has always worked. It’s all about life style, “a way of life” not ‘fits and starts’ by jousting with fitness! As previously mentioned, I do drink an awful lot of water too. So maybe my downfall has been drinking all that water stored in plastic bottles, or an on/off use of anti-perspirant. I rarely use perfumes or sprays or make up. I used to drink powdered soup. Isn’t all that a tad carcinogenic? Again it’s about moderation.

Pot and Kettle

A daily arrow of eyeliner isn’t total abstention but better than creating excessively addictive beauty habits. The advertising makes it just dandy even for the youngest in society to slather on creams, gels and nail varnish. They say bras themselves can’t do any harm. There we have it! A few more “whys” and “what ifs” and plenty of research available.  Not that it helps when you are already the 1 in 8.

In my younger years my heavier chest just made me look bigger than I was. At school the nick-names began. Now since my diagnosis I have that inner voice screaming out breast insults! Yes a life long neural network – a veritable collage – of breast insults that have brought this new ‘breast tourettes’ bubbling to the surface. I googled a few and was surprised at how politically correct bloggers are these days. Less gawping, gaping and certainly no touching without permission or a court order. So let’s let off some steam and type out some breast related insults or compliments. Afterall with a fuller figure (above the waist at least) and youth on your side, the traffic stops!

Busty Girl Comics by Rampaige

Not so these days, not for me as I’m pushing 50 and so it should be. Us oldies move over for the sprite youths. It is hard though when once the traffic stopped and now you have to skip to avoid being run down as the green man is flashing. Growing older comes to us all. No time to stop and contemplate! But today’s girls, what a lot of insults they’ve missed by growing up in the twenty-first century. At school, as my buttons popped open, the first metaphor was Melons!

I wonder if I can find images for every insult (or twisted compliment) that I grew up with!  Not to take away the joy of a lively imagination.  🙂  And please do look at the Busty Girl Comics because really they hit the mark for the over-endowed.

Bazookers, tits, knockers, bad boys, the girls, ample bosom, jugs, dugs, orbs, gourds, sweater-stretchers, lung protectors, frost detectors, hooters2die4, honkers, zonkers, jogging partners, gazongas, fun bags, baps, ta-tas, boobies, boulders, busts, chest, cones, fried eggs, itty bitty titty, nice pair, bee stings, cup cakes, love apples, watermelons, big mammas, flans, mosquito bites, good rack, stacked, the double ds, storm in an E cup, cleavage, breasticles, brazons, lactation station, Cor what an eyeful, give us a handful, fancy a squeeze, get your tits out love, give us a grope!