Healing and tattooing

The past few weeks have taught me that this healing lark is a slow process, and to look for weekly improvements, rather than daily. However, when I saw my nurse four weeks after surgery she was very pleased with my progress and I am set to start my radiotherapy as planned.

Our local train service is suffering with a lot of disruption at the moment, but I very nearly gave some long-suffering commuters a day to remember!

I have become so accustomed to stripping to the waist whenever a nurse or doctor comes into the room, that during this check up I had almost everything off, when both the nurse and I suddenly realised that the blinds were open, and we were looking into the faces of a train full of passengers that had pulled up on the track behind the clinic! Cue a frantic dash by both of us for the blind cords, me still with my top off! Then we just fell into the chairs laughing, thinking of a Reggie Perrin type going home and telling a long suffering spouse about his unusual train journey.

Also during this visit I swapped my bra for a different size and was delighted that the new one is black! The reason for this change of size is because following surgery I have developed wings! Sadly these are not the angelic feathered variety, but are due to body tissue that was held in place by my breasts migrating to my armpits (much as my breasts used to do when I laid down).

In this last week I have worn my “cumfies” for the first time and it felt quite strange to have breasts again. I have my crumb collecting shelf back, and am aware that as they are so synthetic that I will have to be careful that I don’t do a “Mrs Doubtfire” when I am cooking!

A friend told me about a wonderful charity called “Knitted Knockers” that runs in both the UK and USA. Lovely volunteers knit breasts for women that have had a mastectomy, and they even have optional nipples! I now have a pair ( black of course) and have bought a wooden box to keep them in.

My first trip out with my “cumfies” was to my measuring appointment, ready to start my radiotherapy. At this appointment a CT scan is done to measure where they want the treatment area to be, and once that is decided a couple of dots are tattooed, so that when I go for my daily treatments they just have to line up the dots rather than measure me every time.

As the technician was about to warn me that there would be a sharp scratch as she did the tattoos, her eyes alighted on my two tattooed half sleeves and she said “but I guess you will be ok with that!”.

This visit also showed the importance of doing my daily exercises, as if I hadn’t been able to get my arm up and behind my head my treatment would have been delayed. I start radiotherapy next week and if all goes according to plan it will finish the day before Christmas Eve, perfect timing!