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As usual I will be posting a few reflective posts in the coming couple of weeks. About my own blogging milestones, as well as shouting out about my fellow sex bloggers and writers. I plan to articulate my goals for 2020 too. But this post reflects on 2019 for me personally. The ways in which I have struggled, but also where I feel I have grown as a person.

The end of 2018 was pretty shitty. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September and had a mastectomy in October. The very end of the year was somewhat brighter with my son’s wedding on 29th December. But I didn’t exactly feel good about myself. I’m not keen on the photos taken of me on the day partly because my dress definitely didn’t flatter. But also my makeup was wrong my mum caused me a lot of stress. It was a lovely day and I was a proud mum of the groom, but it was that day that set up how 2019 needed to be different.

I have always been someone who puts others first. I worry about what other people need and then consider myself. But in January I was waiting for my radiotherapy treatment to start, so prepared others that I would need to put that first. From 10th January, for 15 days we travelled to the cancer centre for treatment. But the effects; fatigue, soreness and general malaise lasted well into February. The emotional recovery though has taken much longer. It’s only now I can say that I am over the psychological effects of the cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment.

The impact of having one breast

Before I’d had breast cancer, I didn’t understand just how important a complete body is. I’ve been overweight for the past 10 years or more, but can usually find a way to feel good in my body despite it. I’d never had surgery, so other than a few stretch marks, no blemishes. My tits were pretty good for a woman of my age. Losing one of them has at times felt like a tragedy. It has led to me feeling less happy with the remaining breast and in me losing interest in it being touched. Weird I used to be able to orgasm through nipple play. I’m sure this is a psychological, not physical thing. But it does relate to the knowledge that the right breast is missing and that what remains is numb. A physical reality and not a psychological one.

Overcoming my fears

Being a sex blogger who posts photos of herself has been useful in my recovery. It’s true I could have shut myself away and not spoken of it to anyone. But that isn’t me. First and foremost I blogged about my recovery for me. I wanted to show others what it looked like and to demonstrate that while a mastectomy is a horrible thing to have to go through, there is life afterwards. At my son’s wedding I felt incomplete even though no one could tell. I bought a dress with a higher neckline than suits me because I didn’t want to show cleavage. I guess it was just too soon.

Eroticon helped my recovery journey immensely. I got the opportunity to take part in a group photo and went topless for it. That was the first time I had shown anyone other than health professionals and Master my new body. That occasion and the response to it helped drive me on. And since then I’ve been back to CMnf, taken my clothes off in a hot tub with others present and been naked at a couple of play events. I have also begun to post photos on my blog that show me breast, scars and all. I feel self conscious when naked in front of people, but am able to forget and be myself.

Weirdly though, while on holiday with my mum, I was very careful not to show her my body. I’m not sure why. But maybe it has more to do with our relationship than the fact I have only one tit. After all it isn’t as if she doesn’t know. I also find I prefer wearing a bra rather than going lop sided. Even though I doubt most people would even notice. This made my holidays this summer hot and uncomfortable at times.

The future isn’t plain sailing

I’m on the waiting list for a DIEP reconstruction. This will mean surgery to my abdomen to taken fat and skin for reconstruction as a breast. A huge operation which will give me more scars and a new breast that looks different from the other. But in clothes I will be able to look ‘normal’ again.

At least this surgery is planned. There will be time to talk to others who have had surgery. Time also to lose weight. My tummy will be flatter afterwards which has to be a great side effect. But this won’t give me my body back and make me look as I did before. I’ll need to have a nipple created later and this will include a tattoo.

Looking back I was feeling pretty fragile this time last year. Even though I’d been told I was cured, the uncertainties around the diagnosis lingered around me. Treatment was physically tiring and emotionally draining. But I was focused on getting through and in coming to terms with what had happened. I might not be wild about how I look right now, but I am in a much better place to cope with whatever the future throws my way and that is a massive achievement.

Thank you to all of my fellow bloggers that have helped me along the way, particularly May More, Molly Moore and Posy Churchgate, all of whom have been there for me along the way.

My Breast Cancer Posts are here

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9 thoughts on “Personal reflections on 2019”

  1. I’m so glad that you decided to link up to SB4MH. I can only imagine what you went through and sharing it IMO is a healthy way of dealing, coping and healing with it all. You’re bringing awareness to breast cancer and being a survivor. And you are a strong, beautiful woman.
    Happy Holidays,

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes. No one ever knows how deep our suffering is but ourselves, and you have done a wonderful thing to share it with us, to have us join your journey, and even then most of us don’t understand the depth of what you have gone through. I know I have said it many times before, but thank you so much for sharing this with us, Julie.

    Rebel xox

  3. I too had tears in my eyes reading this.
    I can not express how much respect and admiration I have for the person you are.
    Your strength is like a beacon – you have karma on your side and lots of good times ahead xx

  4. Ohh Julie – what a journey you describe, so many bumps in the road you’ve navigated with positivity and practicality. It is humbling that you’ve mentioned me as I don’t feel I did much, but I am happy to have helped. Certainly I read you post and was reminded of stages of my own diagnosis and recovery.

    A post like this, so frank and practical, can only help and encourage people in similar situations. Sharing how you have coped with the milestones provides encouragement and marks you as a brave woman and I’m heartened by your attitude to changes in your body and future plans for its transformation.

    You Julie, are my hero, big love and hugs xx

  5. I love that you blog about your journey with your body and health. It is a part of sexuality that needs its story told. It’s not all sunshine and roses, and readers of all sorts look to you for truth and experience. I applaud you and thank you for sharing.

  6. I’m always stunned by the reserves of courage and confidence found by women facing this challenge – I’ve know a few. You’re absolutely rolling down the road to healing and lighting the way for anyone seeking a way forward after a hard blow. And your writing, incidentally, is crystal clear and rings like a bell. Keep on keeping on.

  7. That’s a hell of a lot to go through. It’s a long process, not just the treatment and immediate recovery. The emotional recovery sounds to be exceedingly rough, especially coming to terms with self image.

    Your positive outlook reminds me of my mother in similar circumstances. I look forward to reading further advances in health and confidence 🌹

  8. Pingback: 2020 - Goals and plans for the New Year - Masters Pleasing Bitch

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