Getting kind of used to having my boobs out, I think.
Hey y'all, hope this finds you well this Wednesday evening! I'm doing good today, pretty tired and some joint pain but all in all, dead on. Radiotherapy session number 6 ticked off and we're powering on.
As the title suggests, I thought I'd try to convey how I feel about the fact that I'm topless every day in front of people I've never met and what comes with that. This has obviously been a very regular occurrence since my diagnosis in Oct 2016 and quite a few people have examined my breasts since then. Now, I'm not saying I get awfully embarrassed by it because I don't, and these are healthcare professionals who are most certainly treating me with dignity and respect :-) It is however strange when I think about it and my confidence has changed somewhat in this time.
At the start there were examinations and scans so a lot of poking and prodding, as the saying goes, to locate the tumour, squeeze you into machines and take numerous biopsies. Then came the surgeries where part of my breast was cut away changing the shape, feel and appearance. More examinations following surgery and then preparation for Radiotherapy which included scans, a lot of drawing and then the little tattooed dots as reference points for the zapping. These days, I have gotten used to taking off my (non underwired) bra and seeing felt tip marks over my chest, breast and armpit, kind of like a child has been let loose on me with a sharpie!
These things are the norm now and I don't want it to seem like I'm in any way complaining as I'm most certainly NOT! They can poke and prod to their hearts content, it's belts and braces time to make sure I'm cancer free so it's all good! I did however notice today how straight after the treatment, I was keen to cover up. Now I'm sure at one point or another in everyone's lives, they have undergone some sort of a physical examination (by a healthcare professional!) where you've had to expose a more private part of your anatomy. Some people are more modest and maybe find it uncomfortable, whereas others may not.
I would class myself in the latter category and admit that being a Nurse definitely helps with that as we see different people's bodies on a regular basis and understand how it is from the other side which is absolutely fine. I did however realise today that I'm becoming a little bit more modest about my breasts and I think that's because I haven't quite gotten used to what the poor wee thing has been through and the change in it. It's not a huge change but it's there and it's my breast. Of course I'm grateful that I didn't need a mastectomy (even though I'd happily have had them both whipped off if need be), but that doesn't mean I don't feel something about it and that something isn't small. I mean, there was cancer in there up until a couple of months ago, what the fuck?! Head cannot compute at times.
Something was going on in my body that I didn't know about for I don't know how long and in a few short months, so much has happened that it makes my head spin sometimes. As I've said before, I'm getting on with it all as best I can and thank my lucky stars we caught it when we did (on that note, get groping!) :-)
I'm not sure if it's 'normal' to feel like you have to defend your vulnerability in these situations but sometimes it feels like I do. That may be in my own head because I want to be as stoical as I can but it's impossible to carry on like that without doing yourself damage in the long run and I'm in no way prepared to do that to myself! Sometimes, you have to simply give yourself a break, take your time and do what's right for you.
So yeah, I feel a bit funny about the boob now and am a bit more modest about it than before. Even at yoga last night, I covered up more than I normally would and find I'm pulling up tops I've worn a hundred times as I don't feel comfortable with a neckline that's anywhere near my (very modest) cleavage! Comes with the territory I guess and sure that's grand :-) It's a case of taking each day and doing what you can with it in the best way, accept whatever feelings come your way and deal with them as you see fit. And to finish, whatever your battling, know that you are the only one who knows how you feel and don't put pressure on yourself to move any quicker than feels right...go at your own speed, look after yourself and yep, give yourself a break. Positivity to y'all xxx