Why did I have to be such a loud mouth?
Why did I think that writing it all down would be such a good idea?
I mean it's one thing to keep a private diary but to put it all out there...just laid bare, every graphic detail, for all to read, what the hell was I thinking?!
Oh hi, my name's Jodie, you don't know me world but I'm just desperate to tell you that I have breast cancer, yes I do, oh but it doesn't stop there, noooooo. Come on in, take a seat, I'm gonna tell you ALL about it, there may even be pictures, a small dance and possibly some mime.
Christ when will I ever learn to just shut the hell up.
You see the trouble is, when you've spent the past few weeks screaming from a roof top "FUCK! I have cancer! Oi you! Yes you - I have cancer!!" hiding away, becomes a little difficult. Not because people pester you, god no, it's because you feel guilty. Yes guilty. At not being ok, for wanting to throw your own pity party for one, for not returning the texts, phone calls, for not saying thank you for the cards or flowers. I know I should have, I thought about it, a lot. But no. I just hid. I hid from everyone. Family, friends, flatmates, the postman, you name it. Hiding became the only thing I could do.
I didn't want to hear the get well messages, or the stories that started "You know so and so, who used to live next door to what's-her-name, well she had cancer and she's fine now, won the lottery, walked on the moon and married a George Michael look-a-like" I didn't care and worst of all it made me angry.
I had officially become myself aged 13. Complete with tantrums, general huffing, sleeping for hours on end and muttering only a few grumpy words at mum. What a joy I was to be around. Luckily Mum had the foresight to whisk me away so I couldn't irrecoverably offend too many people. Running away was the best thing we could have done. I stayed in my PJs for days, I didn't shower, didn't wear make-up, didn't put in the terrible fake boob they'd given me (oh yes, I said fake boob) I basically didn't give a crap how truly terrible I looked. And it was such a huge, wonderful relief. I didn't have to pretend to be ok. I could look crap and feel crap and that was absolutely fine.
The pain was starting ease which meant I could, at long last, get some good sleep. Not having sleep really does send you truly bonkers. C-Monkey loves it when I don't sleep, he's like a three-year-old who's just eaten a bag of Skittles. Not good. I'd also been doing my exercises and noticed each day that I could do a little more. Small triumphs included putting clothes on by myself, brushing my hair and even tying it up in a bun, yep fancy! I also start to carry a handbag again - it might only contain a wallet and phone but still, I could carry it, for a bit, on the other arm. Impressive I know. It was these small triumphs that kept me going. Each one got me a little bit closer to me BCM (Before.C.Monkey).
The exercises are horrible though. They included moves like 'rocking the baby', where you grip your elbows and make a swaying action as if, you guessed it, rocking a baby - The exercises are all a bit 'say what you see' or rather 'do the friggin obvious'. The other one I hated was Incy Wincy Spider. For this I had to make my arm/fingers creep up the wall, as far as I could possibly stretch, which wasn't that far, then slide my hand slowly back down. AGONY. I had to do this several time a day and it sucked. The other one that was just insane was the windmill, circling my arm around like...a windmill. Honestly, I don't know how they come up with these names, amazing really. I wasn't quite a windmill, more a small broken hand fan with a battery that was running down. Pathetic really. Anyway I kept at it. It wasn't pleasant but totally necessary.
After a few days we had to come back for my first reconstruction appointment. My adrenaline was running on overtime. I wasn't quiet sure what to expect and couldn't decide if I was terrified - potentially more pain... or excited - here comes my new boob! The pain wasn't that bad actually, although at one point I did accidentally grab the surgeon's hand in a defiant "get..your...hands...off...me!" reaction - complete with death stare. He didn't look best pleased.
For the most part though it was do-able. The worst bit was when they took the dressings off. It doesn't matter how old you are, ripping a plaster off bloody hurts. Now these were pretty big plasters covering a very, very sore area so multiply the usual plaster ripping pain by 10, no make that 50 or 100, or just try putting a plaster over say the most private part of your body you can imagine, leave it there for a week or so, then rip it off, slowly - yes now you're with me. PAIN.
The inflation itself was really clever. I'd kind of envisaged some sort of medical bicycle pump thing which would gradually pump me up bit by bit. Obviously it was a bit more technical than that. The best way to describe it is to imagine a popper on a dress. One part is just under my skin, which is connected to a tube, again all under my skin, which goes into the implant. The other part of the popper (I'm sure there's a much better technical term for it!) is on the surgeon's needle. So he just popped them in to place, which was weird but ok, then gradually started to inflate me by pumping in some solution. I was expecting to be able to see the new boob grow, magically before my very eyes, bigger and bigger and bigger until...POP! But no, of course not. They only put a small amount in each week so it's not massively noticeable but that's ok, they'll add more in each week until it's ready for the proper implant.
I have to say it's pretty exciting! My small mound is starting to look a little more boob-like, albeit a very small and oddly shaped boob. But still, my 13-year-old self is very proud "look mum, look, it does look a bit bigger doesn't it, it really does....wow, aw little new boob"
Not one to be out done I have noticed Righty showing off a bit lately. You see, I can't wear a normal bra at the moment - it's just way too uncomfortable. So I've resorted to these soft crop top bras - yes, yes I know, step up the 13-year-old again. Where's my Bros mix tape??
But they are very comfy, so fashion goes out the window. The only problem is that they don't really support me that much, or keep me...warm. So I'll be walking about then suddenly notice old Righty having a great time, nipple on full alert, just showing off - "Oooo look at me, look what I can do...." It's just making new Lefty feel bad.
But not for long. The process has started and after a few more sessions of the bicycle pump I should be nearly ready for the proper implant. Look out Jordon, here we come!
I've also got a bit braver at seeing the wider world, people, friends, the postman (he really missed me). I've shifted the rock I've been hiding under and am slowly creeping out. And it's ok, it's not too bad. I'm sure there will still be days, weeks even, when I'll want my rock back, but that's ok, I'm gonna keep it close by just in case.