General frustrations

My laptop has been playing up big time and that has put me off of blogging so much recently. Coupled with a blog that spent as much time down as up this weekend and it is no wonder I have been absent. But my blog host has rebuilt their server and I have a new MacBook on order. The one I’m using now is over 6 years old and I think it may well be on it’s last legs.

We completed my tax return for the last tax year last week and I am due a reasonably large rebate. Big enough to allow for the extravagance of another Apple product! Anyway I digress from the main frustrations of life.

Weight loss

Friday was weigh day and I had lost 1lb. Despite filing my face with spinach, tomatoes and other salad stuff all week that is. Maybe looking back one or two bad habits had slipped back in (i.e more than one glass of wine), so that will be rectified this week. But anyway a loss is just that and I plough on.

Exercise

The weather last week was terrible. For several days it rained almost constantly, so although I walked to the pool on Tuesday my step count was down considerably. So, I have downloaded a fitness app and am now exercising 2-3 times a week in doors. The exercises so far seem good because I can feel them later, though have recovered the next day. Tomorrow is Tuesday and I plan to walk and swim again.

Work

So, just when I thought I wouldn’t be working this side of autumn I have a project to do. I’m reviewing some health services the other side of London for the next few weeks before we go to France. This is going to involve much time at the computer (hence the decision to buy the new laptop). It will also mean a night or two away, which will be worth it for getting things done quickly and not spending too much time driving. This week I am planning everything and will be out and about next week. Then I’ll take some of my holiday time to write up the report. As it’s through and agency I’ll be getting paid weekly and that is a great bonus.

Health

Last week I saw one of the surgeons, they alternate with the oncologists. He seemed pretty happy with progress which was great. I am due my first annual mammogram in October which will be a landmark event. My plastic surgery appointment about the reconstruction is in September, so I am now free from health appointments for the summer.

So that is my FFF, late again. Other contributors can be found on Fondle’s blog here.

When life gets in the way

Today’s 30 days of D/s question is about what happens when the trials of life get in the way of a dominant / submissive relationship. Like most couples, we have had our challenges. Stuff has happened that has caused us to put our M/s dynamic onto the back burner a little. The most obvious ones were when my dad was ill and then died and when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

My dad’s illness and death

My dad died of cancer in September 2014 when Master and I had only been together for 7 months. I regret that they never met each other, because I know they would have got on well. I didn’t introduce them because by the time things were getting serious between Master and I, my dad was already pretty unwell. But it just didn’t seem the right thing to do. This did however provide me with a haven, a place to go when things got difficult.

For the last few weeks I practically lives with my parents. Caring for dad, supporting my mum and family and dealing with practicalities. But this was massively draining, and other than my son, I really had no one to turn to. Master became a great source of support for me as well as a shoulder to cry on. He had lost his dad a few years before, so was able to provide the empathy I needed.

On the face of it our M/s took a back seat as I prioritised family. But, while I was busy making massive decisions and leading my family through the pain, Master was there behind me. Looking back, our dynamic may have been in the background, but it never disappeared. Shortly after the funeral, Master took me away to Amsterdam and there we were able to reaffirm my submission and his dominance.

Breast cancer

The events of last autumn unsurprisingly hit us both very hard. During the run up to my surgery, there were numerous hospital appointments. For a while we took in the information we were given and made decisions together. This was done on an equal footing, with me having the final say about what would happen. As it was, there were no disagreements and we pretty much went along with the advice given by the doctors.

Master provided me with the most amazing support while I underwent surgery and recovered afterwards. We both struggled to come to terms with my new body shape and image. But helped each other cope. He was very firm with me during the following few months, making sure I didn’t do too much, had sufficient rest and got out and about as part of my recovery.

Just as happened when my dad died, our M/s dynamic was placed on the back burner, but never disappeared. Master continued to care for me and protected me. But this time our relationship was more established and of course by then we were living together.

Over all, I think that the big events we have encountered so far have strengthened our relationship. Both in terms of us as a couple, but also our dynamic.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

Progress – Fit for Friday #9

At last I feel I’m making progress with my fitness and weight loss. Plus I’m feeling positive about achieving my goals. So to the summary for this week.

Diet and weight loss

In some ways double paying for weight loss support seems crazy. But for a limited period it feels the right thing to do. My slimming world group is supportive and a social event. But I have struggled to stay on plan. I am also convinced that I can no longer eat loads of carbs and still lose weight. Slimming world is based on a food optimising approach, concentrating on eating a balanced healthy diet. It doesn’t involve calorie counting, because if you make healthy choices calorie intake should be less.

But the Noom approach is actually similar, encouraging you to focus on eating foods with a high water content rather than stuff that is proposed. What I am getting from noom though is evidence based guidance about habits and the psychology of over eating. The calorie counting is useful as a guide, but I’m not religiously weighing everything. Interestingly some foods I had considered healthy are more processed than I imagined.

But whatever the science etc. I have lost 2lb this week and am motivated to continue.

Fitness

Spurred on by our recent holiday I have kept up the exercise. Last week I hit 70k steps for the week, though that included the end of the holiday and 20k steps in one day in Amsterdam. I rested a bit after we got back, but then got back to it on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I swam again this week, and am pleased to note that I am managing more laps within my half hour in the pool. The sports centre has a gym, which can be used on an ad hoc basis so that will be my next fitness challenge.

Health

This week I had an abdominal CT scan in preparation for my next plastic surgery appointment. The purpose was to check that I have a healthy blood supply so that the subcutaneous fat can be used to create my new breast. I won’t get the result till I see the doctor in August. Meantime, I have to concentrate on losing weight so I am fit for the operation when the time comes. This has, I think given me the renewed incentive for dieting. It is behind the mental progress which is spurring me on.

Lingerie for me

Lingerie Is For Everyone is probably the only meme I haven’t yet taken part in. Hosted by Violet Faukes Lingerie Is For Everyone is body positive, inclusive and also a great place to see beautiful bodies and fabulous lingerie.

But I have been hesitant to take part. I have a drawer full of lingerie that I rarely wear. Well I can put on most of the knickers, though some are currently a little tight. But I’m unable to wear any of my pre- mastectomy bras.

For the first few months post mastectomy I wore bras for comfort. So underwired ones were out. I also needed to go up a couple of sizes. It turns out I had a larger back size and smaller cup than I knew.

Finally though I’ve begun to source bras that not only feel comfortable but look good too. This is one of them and I have it in white too. I’m planning further purchases and maybe some matching knickers. It’s take time for me to begin to feel happy with my body again and sharing this photo is part of that process. Because, lingerie really is for everyone who wants to wear it.

Lingerie is for everyone

Fit for Friday on Tuesday

Having stated on the blog that I planned to join in with Fondle’s weekly fitness updates I have completely failed to do so. I have also put back on all of the weight I lost in January. But since I am not to be beaten and since I have a health and fitness update, here I am with Fit for Friday on Tuesday.

Post mastectomy update

Now that everything is well healed and I am over the radiotherapy side effects it is time to look ahead. Yesterday I was the plastic surgery team about a reconstruction of my right breast. There are two choices, an implant that is gradually inflated or a surgical reconstruction. For this, they use the person’s own skin and fat to create a new breast. Luckily I have plenty of abdominal fat and skin so that is where they can take it from. I’m pretty sure that I could have had the operation this summer, but we have other plans. Plus I really want to give my body a good year of recovery.

I also need to lose some weight. This is more about being as fit and healthy as possible for surgery. So I now (as if I didn’t already) have a reason to get on with losing weight. I know I am lucky to be living here in the UK as this operation will be provided on the NHS, I don’t have to pay. It will be done in London, which is less convenient for Master, but we’ve already begun to think about him staying in a hotel while I am in hospital.

Weight loss

Ideally I’d like to lose 2 stone (28lb), this is weight I’ve lost before so I know I can do it. I am pretty sure the tablets I take to stop oestrogen production are interfering in my body’s ability to lose weight. But I’m not going to use that as an excuse as I know plenty of people in my position have lost weight.

I love my Slimming World group, but attending has become more of a social event than it should be. For some reason I struggle with motivation. So I have signed up for a 12 week online programme with Noom. For the last week I have recorded (most) of my food and drink intake plus it is connected to my Fitbit. After a week I have lost no weight, but am not going to lose motivation. Ifeel I have leaned a lot about my eating habits. Now, though it is time to make the necessary changes.

Exercise

I have made a concerted effort this past week to increase my exersise levels. Today and last Tuesday I walked to the swimming pool and swam for 30 minutes last week and 40 today. I am keen to improve the range of movement in my right arm and swimming is good for that. On top of that we walked a lot while in Oxford last week (though I know I drank too much too) and we have made the effort to walk more when we are at home. Last week my step count was up to just over 60k and I plan to gradually increase that more.

On Thursday we are off on a road trip of The Netherlands (via Lille in France) and plan to walk as much as possible when we aren’t driving. I will also try to be much more mindful of my food and alcohol intake than I often am when away.

So, that is my update. I plan to write more Fit for Friday posts in the coming weeks. Who knows some of them might even be on a Friday.

Unmentionable

I think I have mentioned before that I am a member of a facebook group for people with or who have had breast cancer. It is a place where people support each other through treatment and recovery, recurrence and general daily life. People who are struggling with problems they can’t speak to loved ones about. Of course, there are positive posts too, news of a wedding, baby, new house, new relationship. One thing has struck me though. While people will happily describe the symptoms of their cancer or side effects of treatment in graphic detail, often including photos. They skirt around sex and relationships in the most interesting way. Breast cancer can play havoc with your sex life. But sadly it seems that the word sex is pretty much unmentionable.

Sex as a taboo subject

I wonder how many people talk to their friends about their sex lives. It is easy to sit here as part of a sex blogging community and imagine that every one does it. But in reality they don’t. Indeed I don’t discuss my sex life with people I know, but then I also don’t have a close friend to confide in. But if I did, would I? This spot on the internet is a safe place, most of us are anonymous to a greater or lesser degree. I find it much easier to describe my most intimate moments on my blog than to describe them in public.

But I have no qualms about using the actual words for what I am trying to say. I wouldn’t act like some 70’s sitcom cast member and wink or blush if I needed to say the word sex. I prefer to use proper anatomical names rather than a euphemism. And certainly if someone asks a question on an online forum then I am going to answer with reference to the actual word.

I actually think the lady was brave to raise an unmentionable topic

Even though she referred to sex as ‘being intimate’. Indeed she might not have meant sex, she may have meant that she didn’t want her partner to see her naked. But unfortunately everyone who responded skirted around the topic in the same way she had. Mentioning relationship issues and the fact that the tablets they were taking had stopped them feeling like letting their partner close.

Further conversation though identified her actual issue. She was frightened that if she became aroused and orgasmed then the hormones would make her cancer worse. This is because like mine, her cancer is hormone dependent. So she had put 2 and 2 together and made 22.

I and another lady were able to reassure her that the hormones we produce during sexual pleasure will not affect or cause breast cancer. But I wonder why it is left to an online forum of peers to impart this information. It does feel like a reasonable assumption to make when people vaguely refer to hormones.

Mentioning the unmentionable

Sex is such a difficult topic to raise as a patient. In the mix of surgery, treatment options and general issues of body image, sex is pretty much no where. As a nurse I found it a challenge to discuss with my patients too, though I did. In my last clinical role, I worked with people with rheumatoid arthritis, often with young women. Being able to find a comfortable position, dealing with the side effects of treatment and general tiredness and pain were all factors. So I made myself ask the unmentionable questions, even though I’d really rather have not.

Society in general would rather people didn’t mention sex or their sex lives. But if we are to move away from sex as taboo we need to start somewhere. I guess an online forum for people with breast cancer is as good a place as any to start.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Elaborate – Menopause take 2

I have mostly just mentioned my menopause in passing. There certainly aren’t many times when I have tagged the word. But this post makes reference. This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt asks us to elaborate on a story or blog post from before. My Wicked Wednesday then is about my experience of the menopause first time around and how it feels to be going through many of the symptoms again.

First time

I was approaching my 50th birthday when the first signs appeared. Hot flashes and night sweats were the main symptoms. Of course, my age told me exactly what was happening. I was reluctant to see the doctor and ask for HRT straight away. Firstly I thought I should see how things panned out, but also at the back of the mind were thoughts about links to breast cancer.

Almost immediately my periods stopped. Dead. Just like that. To be frank, that was something of a relief. Already they had reduced down to a day or so, though had remained regular. One day though, I had a period and never had one again. But I continued to suffer from PMT for a while longer, until that too disappeared. So far so good.

The main issue really was the number of hot flashes I experienced in any day. Plus the fact they came on rapidly as soon as I was under the slightest pressure. That might be a meeting, but equally could be when my boss approached me for a report. I didn’t even have to be particularly anxious for one to descend. Then there were the ones at other times, in the shower, eating dinner, just minding my business watching TV. But at least they weren’t keeping me awake.

At night I would struggle to sleep, then as soon as I drifted off, I’d wake with perspiration dripping off me. I got myself something called a cool pillow which worked, but wasn’t comfortable for sleeping. Looking back I managed with broken sleep most nights for months and months. If a baby had come along unexpectedly, I’d have been ready! But there was also the vaginal dryness and pain when having sex I’ve spoken of before and will link to when I find the posts.

Gradually over the past 18 months though the symptoms disappeared, or certainly were too infrequent to worry about. Then I got breast cancer.

Menopause take two

My breast cancer was hormone, especially oestrogen dependent. I had assumed that being post menopausal and no longer menstruating that I would no longer produce oestrogen. That wasn’t the case and while levels are lower, women continue to produce the hormone after the menopause.

So once I had recovered from surgery I was started on a tablet called Letrozole designed to completely stop the production of oestrogen and so prevent a recurrence of the tumour. These tablets have many potential side effects, including joint pains. Thankfully for me the effects are restricted to menopause type symptoms.

This time round the hot flashes and night sweats are pretty mild. I have noticed I feel hotter in general than I used to and prefer to be too cool than too hot. I have a low threshold for taking my coat off when in a shop or coffee shop for example. The feeling of being overheated is very unpleasant. I don’t get as many hot flashes as I did in the midst of the menopause but enough to be annoying. And while I don’t wake up with a soaking pillow, I do find myself outside of the covers more than I am under neath them.

Of course it is a small price to pay and I would rather do all I can to minimise the risk of recurrence. But that doesn’t mean these symptoms aren’t irritating and sometimes embarrassing. But, oh well. Menopause take two it is.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Nipples

IMG_3012 (1)

It wouldn’t be right to write a whole series of posts related to my blogging history without mentioning my breasts or nipples. They have been an important element of my kinky life and our relationship. And it would be wrong too, not to mention that since  October 2018, I only have one of each. 

Nipples in sex and foreplay

My nipples were always sensitive and an important area of foreplay for me. I love having my nipples sucked and played with. Feeling the vibrations from the magic wand or the electricity of the violet wand.

In the early days with S I experimented using pegs on my nipples while he and I had phone sex. Nipple clamps were one of the first bits of equipment he bought to try on me. So when I met Master, I was more than ready for a greater level of torture.

S and I discussed me getting my nipples pierced. But that didn’t happen until soon after I got together with Master. I hadn’t felt right before, and anyway the relationship with S became more of a friends with benefits one. But when Master suggested it, I knew I wanted to do it.

Pierced nipples

We had only known each other for 2 months, but things were moving fast. He loved the idea of me modifying my body for him. And although I wanted to do so, it was something I really wanted for myself. So in April 2014, he came with me to the piercer and I had my nipples and clitoral hood pierced. 

Having my nipples pierced only heightened the sensations I felt when they were touched, pulled or sucked. I bought pretty jewellery and later Master bought me a nipple extender – a vicious but spookily enjoyable experience. But, I didn’t always find my nipple piercings easy to manage. Often the jewellery made them sore and so for long periods of time, I tended to leave the same bar or ring in place. Interestingly the right was often more troublesome and often oozed serous fluid. The histology report from my mastectomy said that the nipple was chronically inflamed. 

Post Mastectomy nipple

I think that the worst thing about the mastectomy is not the loss of breast tissue, but of my nipple. I am planning a reconstruction, but any nipple won’t be real, it will have to be a tattoo. 

Of course, though, I still have a nipple and a breast. Somehow it doesn’t quite feel the same. I seem to have lost some of the connection it previously had with arousal and my clitoris. This may be psychological as when Master is playing with it, or sucking it I am often thinking of the lost right one. It may then be about time and finding a new normal. It has only been 6 months and the mind takes longer to heal than the body.

That isn’t to say I don’t want my nipple pinched and squeezed. I do. I am still pierced and do plan new jewellery soon. It’s just that coming to terms with only having one nipple is taking longer than I imagined it would. 

AtoZ2019N

 

 

 

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Being positive about my body

I won’t deny that my last post was rather negative. I hadn’t intended to write in that way, but as is often the case it felt right in the moment. Having one tit really does suck. However there is much to celebrate about myself, my body and my situation.

I really do intend to post more photos of myself as I am now. I don’t intend to hid behind lingerie or just post photos of my backside (though as the guru of sexy photography Exposing 40 advises they often come out looking fabulous). Instead, I plan to celebrate and be body positive. Then when I get my reconstruction, well hopefully I’ll be ready to share even more.

At the end of Eroticon Hy from A Dissolute Life Means…. organised a special Boob Day photo. 20 something of us got together and bared our breasts and Missy took some amazing photos. Although she doesn’t appear she was topless thought and so was definitely one of the group.

I think this photo sums up what is so good about Eroticon and why you should attend if you can. Ok, it is a conference for writers and bloggers, but honestly there is something for everyone who is kink minded.

27 people come together to show their boobs in an inclusive body positive way.

Loss

This week’s food for thought Friday is about loss and asks: what is your most significant loss?

This presents me with a conundrum. What is my most significant loss? Is it the loss of trust I experienced when my husband cheated on me early in my marriage? Is it the loss of my grandmother 20 years ago this year. After all she was a massive influence on me as a person. Indeed she still is. Is it the loss of my father in 2014, after all the loss of a parent is a significant thing for anyone as they travel through life. Losing a parent makes you face your own mortality. As I head towards 60 (only 3 years to go), I do think about death more. Mainly because I want to pack so much in before that happens.

Those things are all massive milestones in my life. But I guess they feel inevitable, even betrayal. You have to be lucky to get through to the end of your life without someone doing the dirty on you.

No, the most significant loss is that of my right breast. Look up at the picture above this text. At the voluptuous cleavage, that woman is me. The loss of that part of my body does not get any easier, no matter what kind of brave face I put on it.

I can no longer wear whatever I want

Walk down any bra aisle in a department store and only a small proportion are suitable for me. I love beautiful lingerie and while there are specialist providers of beautiful post mastectomy products, they aren’t what I want to buy. I long for plunging necklines or balcony bras. If I wear one of my many low cut tops or dresses with one of my current bras you see lots of lace. That is fine, but I want to show off my cleavage.

Loss of feeling

Since my surgery last year my body doesn’t feel the same. Not only is there a large piece of me missing but what is there is numb. Around the scar line the sensation is reduced and under my arm it is absolutely absent. Strangely I can’t feel if I pinch myself, but I can feel hot water as it runs down my body. These days I spend longer in the shower because of this.

All is not lost of course

I am alive and I don’t have cancer. The chance of me dying of breast cancer in the future is miniscule. I am also going to see the surgeon soon about reconstruction surgery. So there is every chance that I will get my cleavage back and be able to wear low cut clothes again. It is likely that my new breast will be smaller than the old one, and I may need a reduction on the left side. But hopefully it will help me to feel whole again.

So many people have commented on my bravery, (which I acknowledge but don’t really see), when I think I was just coping as best I could. In truth I am still angry and upset this has happened. I feel guilty for these feelings because so many people are worse off than me. After all I have fully recovered.

I am ready to share photos of me as I am now, starting with this week’s Boobday (link to follow). The photo was taken at the end of Eroticon with (I think) 26 other people. I am used to how I look and I accept it. But I am beyond sad about what I have lost and that feeling won’t go away. Even after I have a new boob made of fat from my abdomen.