Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I was interested to see this postcard on postsecrets this week, see my sidebar for the site. The guy himself was interviewed on Midweek last week on BBC Radio 4.

This woman has had reconstruction, so I'm not sure what the ref to mastectomy in the postcard means, other than the scars would be similar. This is a bi-lateral reconstruction, without nipples, they tattoo the nipples on, or give you ones to stick on.

When I was asked to consider reconstruction I was given a book of photographs to look at of women who had already had it done. It was all a bit like looking at a big book of carpet samples. This particular picture is not too bad, as at least the breasts are symmetrical. But the ones I looked at, where only one breast had been reconstructed looked like someone had stuck a new boob beside an old one, which is more less what happens. The silcone one is all pert and nubile and the old one is, well old! So that was one of the reasons why I didn't do it, the other being they wanted to flip a piece of shoulder muscle under my armpit and onto my chest wall, where it would have been topped off with a silicone implant. I couldn't see the point of compromising another piece of my anatomy to fix a bit that wasn't really fulfulling any useful function. I've still not changed my mind and anyway the outcome now would be even less favourable as radiotherapy has a lasting effect on skin's elasticity.

One of the things I hope for the book is that one day a researcher will pull it off the shelf in the library, dust it off and say, "My God, look here, they used to treat cancer by lopping off the offending bit!"

Changing the subject to happier things I've finally made my Christmas cake, and the house smells of warm cake and brandy, which is what the fruit was soaked in.

Tomorrow I'm helping at Judith Stewart's pamphlet launch, manning her sales counter. I hope it goes well for her. I already have my copy, it's a good read. She has a very wry take on life.


Blogger PI said...

I'm sure i would make the same decision - for the same reasons.

Well done for getting what sounds like a yummy cake done. Don't get too tired tomorrow.

2:44 pm  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Me too, Pat...same decision.

Oh boy, being in a non-alcohol home, we have to find alternatives. Which reminds me, I have this rich fruity pudding recipe I must dig out...

4:57 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thank you both. I'm pleased to hear that you'd probably make a similar decision. I fpound it was part of my healing to accept that not everything in life can be fixed.
Fine if my movement/mobility had been impaired I might have been more inclined to go for major surgery. but ptherwise least done soonest mended.

12:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mum made the same decision for similar reasons. That and she'd had enough of being prodded and poked.

As for Christmas cake my dad used to use a hyperdermic needle and inject it with alcohol everyday until Christmas eve.

12:41 pm  

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