Fear and Trust

This week is Sinful Sunday prompt weak, but I just don’t have anything movie related to share. So, I’ve decided to show an unseen photo and combine it with this week’s Quote Quest prompt.

Standing naked infront of a mirror. The image is black and white and was taken at a dungeon.

“Right on the edge of fear was where trust could grow.”

― Cherise Sinclair

There’s no doubt I’ve come a long way since I started this blog. There is no way I would have posted naked photos of myself online 8 years ago. Nor would I have posted my face on this blog. But somewhere along the line I began to trust myself and my audience with images like this. The fear that I would be found and outed receded and my confidence in my own body grew.

It helped of course to be with a man who loves to photograph me at my most vulnerable. He started to show images of me on his Tumblr blog (usually without my face back then) and would put them amongst other photos of what turned him on. This was a big thing for me. Because many of those other women were slimmer or younger than me. But here Master was, telling me and the world that I was as (if not more) appealing to him as them.

Since my mastectomy my confidence has taken a knock. It might seem that I am happy with my naked body, but I do prefer my old one. However I believe it is right to show myself as I am now. To promote body positivity for people like me who are now disfigured. To show that there is life after a diagnosis of breast cancer. But mostly to show that it is still possible to be a sexual human being loved and desired.

In this photo though, I am hiding myself a little. The position of my hands and phone mean that you have to look carefully to see I only have one boob. I wonder why I took the photo in this way. I was feeling happy and proud that morning, the photo is one of several I took in March in the Hoxton Dungeon. So, there’s no reason to hide. It does give a hint though as to the way I live my life now. I could go out without a bra on, but it feels weird and I am fearful people would notice.

I want nice lingerie but it’s difficult to find, I want bras from the Knicker Fairy. But I am not sure they are suitable, so I am going to try one or more which have pockets for people to add more padding. You see, even if you can see that what’s inside the bra is false it might still make me feel good. I want to show myself with pride and to feel good in the process. Watch this space for the end results.

Nipple (singular)

Blogging A-Z - N

I hadn’t expected that the only two categories beginning with N would involve the word nipple(s). But since that’s what it is, I feel compelled to write about it.

Things in the nipple department feel a lot different now I only have the one. I’m not in love with my remaining boob in the way I was when I had two. My nipple is still pierced and I have new jewellery. But I am tardy with changing it. I have no problems in looking at my body, and do so every day. However I don’t really look at my remaining boob, much less the nipple. I do still self examine, but not as much as I did. I’m on oestrogen inhibitors so I am not expecting anything to appear. Plus I’m sure I’d recognise the signs. No, I always look at my scars, at the way the skin changes colour around them. How well they are healed. The fact you can still see where I had radiotherapy.

Master approaches things from the opposite direction

He still finds my tit and nipple attractive and bought me the new jewellery He loves to touch, squeeze and suck. I love it too, while it’s happening. I do still get off through nipple play. But not as much as before. I’m pretty sure it’s psychological. Something about the breast cancer and mastectomy I’m kind of blocking out. The photos on my blog of me topless since my mastectomy are taken to show I’m happy to be seen. That I’m not ashamed of my body and I’m not. But I struggle to be proud of what remains, and that seems a shame. Maybe I’m too hard on myself.

A new boob

The surgery to get a new boob is huge. I’ve been lucky to make a friend through this blog who has advised me on the reality. Teri contacted me through the blog and I was lucky enough to meet her during Eroticon weekend (even though the event was cancelled we were both in London). The operation is extensive, the recovery long and potential side effects serious. But the time we met, Teri was about 6 months post op. She could finally say she was pleased with it her new boob and the fact she can now go braless. That is a key thing for me too. Right now I don’t feel happy braless. It just feels weird.

Surgery involves taking some of your tummy fat and putting it under the flap that is left of the breast. There isn’t quite enough flesh so people end up with a patch. what you don’t get at this point is a nipple. This is fashioned later and then the area is tattooed. From photos I have seen, the effect looks fabulous. If and when it’s ever done and completed I’m sure my tits will look great again. Especially as one of the things they’ll do is to perk the other one up a bit (middle aged sag etc).

But a painted nipple isn’t really a nipple at all. No baby could be fed from it and there won’t be any feeling in it. This is the hard cold reality. Looks good but feels of nothing. Much like the right side of my chest right now, numb.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to be cured. Grateful too that these opportunities are available and that I don’t need to pay for them. But that doesn’t take away the sense of loss.

Who knows when?

The current pandemic has thrown routine surgery into the long grass. People requiring mastectomy are currently not offered immediate reconstruction. Those of us whose hospital / surgeons don’t offer that option can’t even get onto a waiting list. But the time this is over they will be months and months behind.

In a way this offers me the opportunity to get my head into an even better place. To decide for sure if I want it done. But also to try to get more enjoyment from the breast and nipple I have. Maybe, during the summer if the weather is right, go braless. In fact I think it’s something I’ll set myself a goal of doing. I don’t love my nipple any more, but I’m going to see if I can’t like it again.

Curves

Me in the bath showing my curves. Legs, and tummy rolls on show.
Bath colour caused by a Turmeric Latte bath bomb!

I am very curvy. I have curves in places I like, but also in places I don’t. For years I hated the sight of my body and would only look at it in a mirror that I found flattering. I also avoided the camera. This was helped along by the fact I always seemed to be the one behind the camera. Whole holidays passed with 60 photos of my son, a few of my husband and lots of the scenery. There’d be an occasional one of me, but if I felt I looked too fat, I’d hide it away or throw it out. We’re mainly talking pre-digital here, because those just never saw the light of day.

But things have changed. While I am still not sharing photos of myself in a swimsuit with family and friends I have no problem with showing my curves here on my blog. So, what has changed?

Writing about sex and kink

To begin with my posts were pretty much just words, though one of my first ever posts did contain a photo of me in a maid’s outfit. Gradually I introduced images, mainly those I found on Tumblr. But then I met Master and he took photos of me, some of which I liked more than others. S also took a few and they too appeared here, but there aren’t many. Now, I like to use a photo of or by me to illustrate my blog where possible.

Body positivity

I’ve definitely grown to like and love my curves more since I’ve been with Master. Partly because of his body positivity. He always tells me he loves my curves, loves to feel them, see them and photograph them. He loves the way I look in leather and other fetish gear. Admires my nipple piercing jewellery and me generally naked. In fact that’s the thing that set’s him apart from the other men I’ve had in my life. That he likes me naked. I’m not always so thrilled with the finished product. So, I’ll try and crop out what I think is the worst of my lumps and bumps.

Post mastectomy was a difficult time. But at the moment I feel happier posting a photo of my chest on my blog than going round without a bra. Go figure that one out!

Sensorship

There are few places that it’s ok to show photos of a naked body. It’s ok to show a man’s naked chest on Instagram, Facebook or Tumblr but not a woman’s. A self hosted blog and twitter for the moment are ok. But who knows when this creeping censorship will creep up on us further.

Sinful Sunday and February Photofest

It was really joining in with these two meme’s created and run by Molly Moore that sealed my place as a shower of my own curves. I’ve just completed my fourth February Photofest and am proud that I posted every day. Most of the images were of me. They ranged across the history of our relationship and if you look you’ll see that sometimes I have more curves than others. At the moment I’m proud to be shrinking down a little and that makes me happy.

As for Sinful Sunday. Often I’ll only post once or twice a week when I am busy or away travelling and one of those will usually be a Sinful Sunday. Our images aren’t always as creative as others but we try to make some effort.

When I look back over the almost 8 years of this blog I am amazed to see how far I’ve come. Not just in the quality and quantity of my writing but also in what I’m prepared to share of myself and our relationship. I can’t see that changing any time soon. I’m 57, I have had a mastectomy and I am a big curvy woman. And, I’m proud to share myself with anyone who would like to see me.

In Leather

Searching for a Throwback Thursday photo that also features lingerie I came upon this.

Me bursting out of a leather bra.

Photos like this make me both happy and sad. Happy because I had a fabulous pair of tits and loves to show them off. Happy too because Master buys me some brilliant things. This leather bra is no exception to that.

But the photo makes me sad too. I can’t wear this bra at the moment, though in many ways it will fit better (I’ve lost weight). When this was taken in summer 2018 I already had breast cancer, but didn’t know it. But I can’t be sad for long. This was taken while I unpacked some of my clothes after moving in with Master. The same afternoon we took this one! Sad to say, he currently fits some of my bras better than I do. But that will change and then there will be an update to this post!!

Master wearing a pale blue shirt with one of my bras peeking beneath. He looks suitably happy.

Self control

In so many ways I am good at exercising self control. I’m good at lists and planning and sometimes I can even stick to the plan. I don’t get easily annoyed, well not these days because it feels less necessary. I can also stick to a diet plan, avoid sweet things and alcohol until I just can’t. My self control is not infinite and at some point I will blow. My planning is not so good that I have stopped procrastinating. I guess though it’s part of being human.

Plan but don’t do

Now that I’m not working (most of the time) the days have little structure. Unless I create it. Using my planner helps especially if I decide I’ll write a blog post as 12, practice my French on Duolingo at 2 and then go to the shops etc. But often I’ll write a list of things to do and then transfer them to tomorrow’s plan. I’m good at spending time doing very little. But if I know there’s a deadline then I can exercise the necessary self control to get them done.

I’d tell you that this is new, but my to do lists at work were treated the same way. Items were often transferred and then I’d be chasing a deadline. I kind of need that to get my adrenaline flowing. But I am worse now, so at least once a week I make myself go into my little office, sit at my desk and produce the things listed in my planner. Tomorrow will be one of those days.

People and things irritate me

Not everyone and everything, though sometimes that is the case. I get less irritated these days. Partly because I don’t have to go to meetings and sit in rooms with people who state the obvious. Or who haven’t done what they said they’d do. Nor do I live with a man who lies to me and uses emotional blackmail to get me to do what he wants. Thankfully I extracted myself from that situation. But also I no longer allow myself to let people wind me up in the way I did. I walk away rather than confront. I also say no when I always said yes.

Age is of great benefit in being able to sort what is important from what is not. People upset you without knowing and even if they do know then how we deal with them is important. Retaliation is satisfying in the moment, but the feelings don’t last. So, maybe just walk away. This is important with social media because there are just too many people out there looking for a fight.

Control of what goes into my mouth

I have very publicly stated on here that I am in the process of losing weight. It’s been a goal for years, but I haven’t actually achieved it. However knowing I want to get my cleavage back in place is now the driver. I need a healthier BMI for surgery and so I am losing weight. Most days I exercise very good self control. The food and drink going into my mouth is healthy, light on carbs and doesn’t contain sugar. But there are days and Friday was one of them that I decide to have wine with lunch and then seem unable to control myself. Thankfully those days are fewer and the weight is gradually coming off. At least I have insight and so am able to make changes. Also I know that life would be very dull if I exercised that level of self control all the time.

The photo below was taken late on Friday night. We had both been middle aged adults behaving badly all day. We’d had too much to drink but no one was harmed and at the end we had a few nice photos for February Photofest and Sinful Sunday. What I’m saying is some good can come from letting your hair down once in a while and letting the control drift away. So long as you pick it up again the next day.

Late night pursuits

My problem with food

Plate of food - chicken salad

The thing is that my problem with food is that I like food too much and I pretty much like all food. Obviously I like some things better than others, but the only thing I can think of that I won’t eat is peanut butter. I like peanuts and butter, but together? Yuk!!

This post, for May’s new Life Matters Meme is cross posted on my own health blog. I hope that going forward we will be able to complement each other and build up resources for others to use. I’m planning my own meme next month, which I hope people will also join in with. But for now, the topic is food and problems with it.

As a child

My mum had a strong dislike of waste and my younger brother was picky and pretty lazy. He ate slowly and mucked about and we (my two brothers and I) weren’t allowed to get down until we had all eaten everything. So, I tended to help him out, especially with meat. There is a memorable occasion after I’d been elsewhere at dinner time and the next time she unloaded the washing machine she discovered an uneaten lamb chop in the pocket of his trousers. After that she offered more sausages, something he liked. But I trace my willingness to eat everything in sight to those days. Plus the fact I wasn’t faddy and just liked food. My appetite was healthy.

I never dieted until after I’d had my son

I was an active teenager and young adult. Not sporty but just busy. I could eat lots because I rarely stood or sat still. As a nurse, I spent a great deal of the day running around, up and down stairs and breaks were far and few between. I was a size 12 when I married, but put on weight on honeymoon. I wasn’t worried that I needed a size 14. Looking back I can see I was slim and healthy looking. But each new job was a little more sedentary, I drove instead of taking public transport and started to like wine.

We were married for 7 years before we had my son and had a reasonable amount of disposable income. There were lots of opportunities to socialise with friends and family, we ate out a fair bit. We also developed a taste for pizzas or other fast food that we could get in and cook at home. This was washed down with a bottle or so of wine.

I didn’t enjoy pregnancy and did a fair amount of comfort eating. I craved things like grapes which seemed healthy. Couldn’t drink coffee and often felt unwell. I had a few odd turns while eating out so did so rarely. I had pre-eclampsia and retained fluid. At the end of my pregnancy I’d put on 2 stone in weight. I became more active almost immediately. Breast fed and just by cutting a few things out got to my pre-pregnancy weight and in no time. If that was dieting, it was simple. Little did I know.

Yoyo dieting made me fat

Over the next 10 years I would settle into life, eat what I fancied and then decide I needed to lose some weight and do so. My son was a faddy eater like my brother but I didn’t make him eat everything up. I ate it for him in the kitchen. I also ate food as I cooked and more as I served up. By the time I approached my 40th birthday I was back at my 8 month pregnancy weight and this time it wasn’t falling off by just cutting back. I joined a Rosemary Conley club because it involved a half hour fitness class. I lost the weight in time for my birthday and decided I was done.

More time passed and I joined Slimming World. Here you could eat pasta or rice till it came out of your ears but you had to restrict fat and sugar. This brought me into the world of large portions of starchy carbohydrates and aspartame.

I’ve been a slimming world member on and off for over 10 years now. I’ve lost weight and put it back on. This time I’ve lost weight and put it back while still attending the group. I enjoy the friendship of my fellow group members, but the diet doesn’t work for me anymore. The company will tell you this is not a diet, but a way of life. But the problem is many of my fellow members eat a lot of highly processed food and tons of artificial sweeteners.

Getting cancer was a wake up call

There are people who will tell you that your diet causes cancer. That if you are over weight and also drink alcohol that causes cancer. It contributes but there are a lot of factors involved. However since my own diagnosis almost 18 months ago I have read a lot of books, articles and blogs about diet and health. I have begun to realise that the processes applied to food production to make them ‘healthier’ may well be harmful. I’ve begun to appreciate the taste of real food rather than artificial. I don’t plan to become obsessed with what I eat but the steps I’m taking right now are working.

Since November last year I’ve made some big changes. I’ve introduced intermittent fasting and stopped snacking. My fruit consumption has reduced, but I do still eat it, mainly berries. I’ve reduced my starchy carbohydrate input and eaten a lot more vegetables. I’ve eaten little sugar laden foods, indeed am finding them too sweet to eat. Though I had a small mince pie on Boxing Day and really enjoyed it. I had some chocolate at Christmas too and, it was a treat. I ate whole meal pasta last night and again felt it a treat.

I’m trying to change my relationship with food

Firstly to eat when hungry. I reckon I lost that ability when I was a child eating my brothers left overs. Whereas my son retains it. Now I eat lunch and dinner when I am hungry and not really before.

I’m trying to savour food, to enjoy the tastes. But also to eat real food. I want and need to lose weight for a specific purpose but this time I want it to be the last time. I’m committed to ending my dieting journey and instead finding something that I can sustain. Just because I like food I don’t have to eat it all!

Content warnings

Photo by Tyler B on Unsplash

Content Warning: Cancer – A discussion about whether blog posts mentioning my breast cancer diagnosis should contain content warnings.

Recently I’ve been a bit irritated by the hashtags a friend of mine uses every day on her instagram posts. These in turn a reposted on facebook and if you subscribe, to her YouTube account. This friend follows a pretty extreme diet, which she believes has helped her remission from stage 4 cancer. The first 3 or 4 hashtags have the word cancer in them. She looks fantastic and whether the diet is responsible or not, I am of course happy that she is so well. I don’t want to be the one to ask her to move the cancer related hashtags down the list (there’s usually about 20), but I do feel somewhat triggered. This got me thinking about content warnings on my blog.

Supporting evidence for content warnings

The Sex Bloggers for Mental Health site has this week reiterated the importance of using content warnings for posts where readers may find difficult to read or traumatic. Posts which could trigger trauma or PTSD. One of the subjects mentioned is cancer. The post there was originally written and posted on Melody’s blog by SwirlingFire. Indeed I only read that this week and have commented.

So, my question to myself and others if you care to respond is: Should I put content warnings on my posts about cancer? Also, should I do this retrospectively with what is already posted. Lets face it I have been very open and honest about my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Plus the body image issues it presents me with.

What’s more, this week a post was retweeted (my old post revived widget posts directly to twitter) and a fellow blogger didn’t realise it was an old post. This made me wonder if I should go back through old posts and label them so that it’s clear that they are old. Or else should I actually remove them from the posts that are revived?

Up until now I’ve never put a content warning on anything

I’ve always been of the opinion that when people read my blog they know what they are getting. I make it clear that I am a slave and have a master. Also that we participate in BDSM activities. I try to be careful about consent issues and don’t really write about non consent. Even though our relationship is based on power exchange / CNC. But perhaps I need to be more careful there too.

It’s easy to be blasé about this issue. Until it happens to you and I guess that is exactly what has happened. Thoughts welcome please.

Click the badge below to see who else is taking part in January Jumpstart.

Determining priorities

I’ve written a bit about the pressures I felt were on me in the run up to Christmas. I have loved family Christmas’ in the past and mourn their passing. Well, I thought I did. Because this festive period taught me that I need to be clearer about what is important and necessary and what would be nice. I also realised in my end of year reflections the extent to which I have started to revert to type. That is, trying to organise everyone and then being upset when everyone doesn’t welcome my efforts.

Master and I have spent far too much time over the past two weeks discussing what happened and what was wrong with it. For him, the priority is to be as stress free as possible. He says he hates Christmas, I don’t actually think he does. What he really dislikes is conforming to expectations, spending too much money, watching crap TV and over eating. All of which are symptoms of this time of year. He has no objection to spending time with others (i.e. my family members), but he wants to be in control of who, for how long and when.

These events now make me think of the rest of the year. How do we determine where our priorities lie and how do we ensure that we do what we want. We plan to focus much of this year around the knowledge I should have reconstruction surgery in the second part of the year. So we are thinking about what events we will attend, trips and holidays we will take and who else we need to consider in those plans. But those plans will only be for the first half of the year, until around July.

We’ve been fortunate since I gave up work, that we can be flexible with dates. Also that we are able to do so many things we want to do. We don’t have other dependents, though our priorities need to include others. Master, quite rightly wants to see his daughter more often than of late. Likewise I want to spend time with my son and daughter in law. Perhaps in past years we have prioritised ourselves. Plus of course in 2018 I was preparing to move, working my notice and getting diagnosed with breast cancer.

What I’ve come to realise is that getting my priorities wrong leads to anxiety and stress not only in me but in Master. By choice our life together is busy and because of that we need to build in down time and plenty of it. Time when we may be doing things together, but equally where we have our own priorities. We both like to spend time alone even if we are in the same house, or sometimes even the same room.

This needs to be factored in when we go and visit others. We spent two nights at my mum’s followed by one in a hotel. The two nights with mum were in hindsight a mistake. We struggled to escape from her misery, the TV and her smoking. The night in the hotel was bliss. But it wasn’t alone time, far from it. Instead we lunched with my son and daughter in law and spent the evening with her family.

Although I’ve used Christmas as the example here, this is about a much bigger issue. It’s about balancing my and our needs with those of others. And it is about planning how we better manage times that could prove stressful. I guess you could say that a plan is forming to make sure that happens.

Down a blogging rabbit hole

I had planned to write every day for Jumpstart January. But yesterday I found myself down a blogging rabbit hole. As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I have started a new blog – Big Fanfare:

Food, Fitness and Health

I set it up about 6 weeks ago, but December was a busy month and I hadn’t had the time to devote to it. Then after Christmas and over the past few days I have been writing every day. I have a lot I want to write about my thoughts of food and eating, on getting fitter and on health in general. I also feel that before I invite others to contribute their thoughts I ought to have a bit of material I’ve written myself.

But also I want it to look right and I wasn’t especially happy with how it looked (though I like the theme I’ve chosen on the while). So yesterday I decided to put together a front page and then crazily published it too early. Hours passed while I tried to fix things and so I spent all afternoon and half the evening down a WordPress plugin rabbit hole. It’s still not quite right but lets call it work in progress. Plus I want to write something here. Especially as the Wicked Wednesday post where I wrote about it as one of my goals was chosen in the round up by Marie. Plus she has kindly highlighted it. My plans for this new place are:

Plans for Food Fitness and Health

Provide a vanilla place for myself to write about my progress to maintaining my health and being ready for surgery. This will require me to lose some weight, but also to be fit for surgery. Then afterwards to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Provide a place where people might find my Breast Cancer journey (though it will still be here), I’m hoping to attract non Sex Bloggers as well as my lovely kinky friends.

Provide a space for others to write about their health goals and projects. To provide encouragement, advice and support to each other. This isn’t about saying we all have to conform to the same ideal. Since health means different things to different people.

To share recipe ideas. This won’t just be about eating food that might be considered ‘healthy’. Since feeling good also includes sweets, chocolate and carbs. But in the main I will be trying to find ways around sugar, food with fewer starchy carbohydrates etc. So any recipes to make me feel good while eating healthy will be fabulous.

Link to other sites such as Sex Bloggers for Mental Health, since mental health is as (if not more) important as physical health. Certainly one can’t happen without the other. Links to other health and food related blogs and sites I wouldn’t link to here.

Review books and try to weave through the crazy world of diets, weird fads and health crazes. Including calling out the downright dangerous, body and sex negative stuff that fills the internet.

In a few weeks

I’ll launch a meme (plus guest posts) over there for sharing food, fitness and health related articles, stories – good and bad. I hope you will come and join me there.

Personal reflections on 2019

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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