A guy I knew

While I have alluded to his presence in my life some years ago, I have never actually written about Kevin on my blog. When we met for the first time he was the first person I had met through the internet. He lived about an hour away and was around 10 years older than me. I had never travelled to meet a man before and wasn’t even sure why I was meeting this one. He turned out to be kind, gentle and a good listener.

Kevin was originally from the North of the country, a former teacher turned local politician. He was a committed socialist, our values were similar, though several degrees to the left of mine. Kevin was married, he said his wife was busy doing her own thing and that she had also strayed. He was looking for a bit of fun. I wasn’t sure what I was seeking, but for a while Kevin filled the gaps in my life.

Over the course of a couple of summers we met every few weeks, for lunch and then a kiss and a cuddle. This often took place in a field or wooded area in the countryside. He fancied me like mad and touched me a lot. He gave amazing orgasms both with his hands and tongue. I hadn’t experienced the like before. Recently diagnosed diabetes has rendered him impotent, so much so that he was unable to get and erection. So he made every encounter about me.

Gradually we drifted apart. He definitely had other women, given he accidentally sent me the wrong text more than once. Plus he worked / volunteered crazy hours as a local politician, especially during elections. Then I met S and I told Kevin that I thought it best we didn’t meet any more. He was gracious and we continued to text each other on birthdays and Christmas. But I didn’t see Kevin after summer 2012.

A year or so ago, a message appeared on facebook saying he had been diagnosed with cancer and was about to start treatment. He was a long term smoker, perhaps I wasn’t massively surprised by the news. I texted to send good wishes and then when I received my own diagnosis I texted again and we exchanged a few words of encouragement to each other. I never heard from him again.

This week I decided to drop him a line to check how he was. I didn’t receive a reply. Today I googled him and discovered he died at the beginning of May. He was well known in his home town and so I found details of the death, funeral and a memorial service in his honour. A public occasion attended by 500 people. clearly a testimony to the man he was.

Kevin was a guy I knew for a while. He was kind and funny, passionate and loving. I don’t know if his wife knew of the other women in his life, my husband at the time certainly didn’t know. I am proud to have known him and sad that this is the only place I can say goodbye to him.

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

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.

Difficult conversations

Right now, my life if full of them.

Last week I had to deal with hubby’s inability to move forward with what needs to happen to end our relationship. As I feel stronger and more secure in myself (and right now, I do),  I see it is the perfect time to get certain things out in the open. Plus as summer draws on, there is a realisation, that if I don’t deal with things now, we will be in a new year before something happens.

Today, I took my parents out for lunch. Dad told me that every few days he feels just a little weaker, a little less able to do things. Today I noticed his difficulty in getting out of a chair after sitting a little too long. He told me about throwing an apple down the garden to frighten a cat (I know this isn’t kind, but it is dad) and watching the fruit plop down just a short distance away. This from a formerly strong man who bowled for a local cricket team. He told me he just stood and laughed, so amazed by his own lack of strength. Discussions also touched on what to do with his car after he dies (mum doesn’t drive), his life insurance and probate for his will. These conversations are difficult for us all, but we recognise that they need to happen. Dad observed that not everyone in the family is as willing as me to discuss these matters and the fact that we are able to is helping them both.

I have been a nurse for over 30 years and during that time I was a district nurse who cared for many patients at the ends of their lives. It is easy, as a member of the medical or nursing profession to think you know all about the process and the feelings that go with it. I find however that that is not the case. On some days I can use my experiences to help advise and support (especially when it comes to dealing with medical matters), but on others and increasingly it is difficult.

Of course these conversations are not unique to our family or indeed to me. Right now, though I am grateful to be able to have them. Not everyone does.