Reflections

This is a time of year for celebration, but also reflection. My blog has been pretty reflective of late, but that doesn’t stop me joining in. This week’s Food For Thought Friday asks the following questions:

When do you feel happiest in your skin?

Whatever the problems of the past few months, I am pretty happy. There are no specific pressures on me and my time. We are spending more time together and there have been few arguments. Over time, we have settled into a routine and things are easy going. It is good to know that we don’t have to go away from home to be together, but do like to do so. Some of our happiest times have been while travelling and there is a lot more of that to look forward to in 2019.

How do you maintain balance in your life? Is there anything you need to change?

Not really. As anyone who reads my blog regularly will know, there have been a lot of changes over the past year or two. It felt as if I was talking about my move for ever, but now it has happened. We have a balanced life and plan to keep it just that way. 

What has been a particularly challenging situation that you have faced? How did you handle it? What did you learn from it?

The break up of my marriage was extremely challenging. Taking place over a protracted period meant that it was very stressful. There are many things that could have been done differently. I should have been clearer with my husband when I no longer wanted to be with him. But managing the emotions of a grown man at the same time as working out how to move forwards is not easy. We are still married to each other and that is the next job. But because he is now living with his new partner in what was our house I believe he is ready for divorce. It has taken over 5 years to get to this place and that is far too long. 

What does it mean to live authentically?

I guess living authentically means being true to yourself and those around you. For so long I lived something of a lie. Even though I knew I was unhappy, I did nothing about it. Fear of being alone and of what others might say, led me to stay in an unhappy relationship. But I can now say that has changed. Family don’t know the nature of the relationship Master and I have, but that doesn’t feel like an issue. We love and care about each other and all can see that. But there is no need to go into details, anyway they definitely wouldn’t understand. 

What are the things that inspire you and how do they work for you?

I am inspired by some of the great writers and bloggers around and I have a desire to try to emulate some of them. Also the way in which people manage to juggle different aspects of their lives. However, I have no desire to continue to be the person I was. There is no longer any need for me to have a full-time job, I have no children to bring up, house to run and family to keep happy. To coin a phrase; been there, done that!

If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?

If I could turn the clock back I would get myself to the doctor more quickly and get the lump I had in my breast removed sooner. Then I could have had a lumpectomy and not mastectomy. But, there is no guarantee that those few weeks would have made a difference. In future though, I will put myself before work, packing up a house and all the other things that made me delay. 

The thing that I would like to change though is my weight. 2019 has to be the year I get to grips with shedding some pounds. I’ve been attending a slimming club for 4 years and am only a few pounds lighter than when I started. That is a waste of money. Though I have made some great friends there!

My body and me

I have always had difficult relationship with my body. I spent years believing I was fat and so hiding it away. Only to discover later, while looking back at old photos that I was slim. By then of course I’d put on a few stones. Before my pregnancy I had pretty small tits, but they grew and grew and thankfully stayed that way, even after I had breastfed.

Master says he likes my body, and that he wants something to grab hold of. I believe him and am comfortable in my own skin when I am around him. I love that he finds me sexy and arousing, even though I struggle to see it myself.

My mum has never held back from showing off her body. My son recently remarked that he found going holiday with nan a bit embarrassing, especially when she sunbathed topless. I never did so around him, partly after getting burnt in my youth, but mainly to avoid his blushes. Also, I thought I was fat, even when i wasn’t.

Hiding

Last Wednesday I arrived in Cyprus with my right breast covered in 2 large dressings. The day before, I attended a screening one stop clinic where I had 2 areas biopsied. A small area of calcium deposits was detected on the mammogram taken last month. The breast lump I had already found wasn’t seen on the xrays. I’m a nurse and I didn’t realise that would be the case. After much prodding, poking and an ultra sound scan, the area was biopsied. I still have a massive bruise to show for it.

The dressing was visible above my top, but if mum noticed it she said nothing. Sitting on the plane beside her, I wondered what I should say. As is often the case between she and I my decision was to say nothing. If the biopsies are negative she doesn’t need to know. However, since we are sharing a room this has presented a problem. And has led to me scurrying into the bathroom to dress, change and undress. It is a completely different situation to how things would be if I were home or indeed Master were here.

My reticence about speaking of my biopsy, of showing my body to others and in particular my mum exposes a deeper issue. She is not good with other people’s problems, she certainly managed to make my dad’s illness about her. But also we tolerate each other rather than enjoy each others company. Earlier in the week she actually described me as her carer, which I guess this week, I am.

But my inability to speak about the biopsy is also about me. It is about me coming to terms with changes in my own body. This summer I have developed a number of problems, including the lump. I am not healing as i did, bruises are taking longer to fade and disappear and there is something not right.

I don’t know if this is cancer or not, I will know on Thursday. But if it is, there will be no more hiding. If all is well, then maybe I need to take some lessons from this experience and value my body more. It’s the only one I have.

30th September

The outcome of the biopsy and next steps can be found here