Ramblings

Life after a Mastectomy

This week I went through my t-shirt and tops drawer and sorted out all those that no longer fit me.  It’s 11 months since I had a mastectomy to remove my right breast and it was high time that I tackled this job.

Post-op I’ve put on a bit of weight, well OK more than a bit more like a stone, as a result of feeling so tired that I didn’t have the energy to do anything for a long time.  I was ‘lucky’ in as much as although a routine mammogram followed by a biopsy revealed that I had a large area of pre-cancerous cells I was told that, all being well, if I had a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy I wouldn’t need to have chemo or radio therapy.   And that turned out to be the case.  The operation was straight forward, I was only in hospital for one night, and the wound healed quickly.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how exhausted I would feel and or that this would go on for so long.  It has only been since Christmas, 8 months after my op, that I have started to feel normal again and I still get days when I feel totally shattered.  It is difficult to describe how I felt, tiredness comes nowhere near it.  At it’s worse I felt so exhausted I couldn’t think straight, the simplest of decisions were a challenge but I had difficulty sleeping.  So sorting out my tops hasn’t been a priority.

I have a silicone boob which the NHS supplied and also a knitted knocker that the lovely ladies at the Knitted Knockers charity provided.  These both fit into my ‘post surgery’ (as M&S coyly call it) bra which has pockets to fit them into.  The silicon boob is heavy, more like a real boob whilst the knitted knocker is feather light.  I have issues with both, the silicon one because it is heavy and makes me feel lopsided, and, to be honest, I find it just a little bit creepy – it looks boob-like but is wrinkly and plasticky to the feel!  The knitted knocker because it’s so light it tends to sit higher than my real boob. The bra itself I find very tight, the specialist at the hospital said that it needed to be tight to keep everything in place but it is d*****d uncomfortable.  I’ve never been a lover of bras and have never worn one if I could get away with it so my new bras and falsies tend to stay in the drawer unless I want to make an effort.

I’m not bothered by people knowing I only have one boob and I’m not a slave to fashion but I do try to look presentable for work or if I’m going out.  I’ve found that I can get away with not wearing a bra with some of my tops and not look too lopsided boob-wise.  But with a lot of my pre-op t-shirts this didn’t work, for one reason or another they just seem to emphasis my lopsidedness either because they were too fitted or because of the way the fabric drapes / clings.

As a result of going through all my tops I now have them sorted into those I want to keep and can wear without a bra, those I want to keep but need a bra underneath and those I am going to get rid of.

I feel so much better for doing it and it gave me an excuse to buy some new tops in M&S yesterday.  I’ve gone for t-shirts as I’m not a great fan of floaty tops or shirts but have picked ones that either have a big, bold pattern or are striped as I’ve found this is a good way to deceive the eye and make my lopsidedness less noticeable.

Now does anyone have any good ideas what I can make from t-shirt material?

 

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