Perhaps it is not so very surprising that I have become somewhat breast obsessed of late. There is nothing like knowing your once magnificent bosom has rotted from the inside to take the edge off your feelings towards it. I find myself walking around crowded places questioning whether my cancer is visible. Of course it is not. But I somehow feel marked out. From my years of prepping fruit I know how easy it is to pick a perfect looking apple only to slice it open and discover it is entirely black inside. That is how I now visualise my left breast. It still looks the same. It still feels the same. The only difference is two tiny marks where the initial biopsies were taken. I do not have any lumps. Granted it is a little tender. But so would pretty much any part of anyone’s anatomy if it had been handled quite as much as these puppies have been in the past couple of weeks.
Since Surgical Spice told me on Thursday that, all being well, I would end up with a pair of reconstructed C cups, I have found myself reeling a little. It sounds so ungrateful to say that. My mother, for example, would have been delighted to have been offered a C cup having never strayed out of B territory. However, I have not been in a C since I was fourteen years old. I knew I would have to go down in size. I was expecting that. Bloody hell, but I was even looking forward to it! Trust me, being an F/G cup is not a barrel load of fun – the fittings, the expense, the backache, the shoulder pain, not the mention the adolescent teasing which has thankfully stopped. Moving down to a D struck me as perfect. D I could cope with. D I was expecting. Why throw my toys out of the pram over one measly size? I have no idea. But somehow, going down that extra size has been more than I could cope with. Except of course I do cope. I mean, it is hardly a proper crisis, is it?
So, as part of my coping strategies, I have been researching C cups. Apologies if you have had a conversation with me in person since Thursday. It is entirely possible that I spent the entire time with my eyes fixed upon your chest assessing the size of your assets. Since announcing my breast cancer, I have found people’s gaze has changed towards me too – in particular, the male gaze. On the whole, blokes, I now address your chins as you desperately avert your eyes from my chest region. This is ok. I do realise it is not easy to know where to look. Pity my poor builders. They only expect to converse on the merits of the quantity of sugar in particular beverages and instead they have been thrust into conversation about the contents of underwear: hands off upstairs inside, if you like. I think I can be forgiven. After all, when you have spent as long as I have with your breasts entering a room three minutes before the rest of you, it is understandable that a degree of adjustment is going to be necessary.