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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jugger Nought

One week since my double mastectomy and I have lived through a week of sweltering heat and humidity while carting around a 'drain' inserted into my armpit.

The drain was removed yesterday and, when Dr Lambley ripped off the dressing, I burst out in unconvincing giggles - which is usually a sign that I am in pain.

(It is also usually a sign that I have heard a very bad joke such as:  What do you get when you put a monkey in a minefield?   A baboom.)

My scar is still very sore to touch and movement is limited.  It seems this latest war wound is somewhat more painful than my first de-boobing episode and I am still getting used to the very strange feeling of a chest like an Ikea Flat-Pak.

As I reported to my Facebook friends, on leaving the hospital last Friday - BRALESS - I felt like a hussy.

Later, during the week, while enjoying one of my many ritual coffees with my bestie Louisa, I was startled half way through my Skinny Flat White when I realised I had no bra on.  There was a millisecond when my brain did a funny double flip and backward pike as I imagined I had stupidly forgotten a vital piece of underwear.  In fact, I had a minor panic before realising my mistake.

Afterwards, Louisa and I went shopping for some new tops for me.  We looked at some with those tiny little shoe string straps that I have NEVER been able to wear.   I couldn't help but gloat as Louisa is, as I used to be, rather well endowed.

"I hate to rub your face in it, Louisa, but these little straps are unbelievably comfortable," I crowed.  "Not like these ones" as I grabbed her the hefty straps of her over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder and 'pinged' them like an oversized banjo string.

"I know!" breathed Louisa, indicating my chest with her eyes.  "It's so wrong, but so right!"

I had to laugh right there because I feel Louisa has nailed it.  All of this is very wrong, but in many ways, is very right.

Never mind the fact that, in a few slices and dices if not fine chopping, Dr Lambley has divested me  of (possibly) irrational fears of recurrence.

He has also divested me of a whole ONE KILOGRAM of fat.

I am now a sleeker, more stream lined version of 'me' I guess and along with it comes a bizarre kind of freedom.

So free, in fact, that last Wednesday, as Brisbane sweltered in conditions comfortable only to a Kalahari Bushman, I brazenly lay topless on my bed - yes, topless I say! - enjoying the palliation of fan and air-conditioning.

So free that there is no longer that morning headache of locating the right bra for the chosen clothing of the day.

So free that I can actually do those Baywatch Babe runs on the beach without fear of being knocked out by a low flying double D... although, admittedly,  I am now built more like the paddle board, than the babe.

I am already salivating at the many activities I may improve at now that I am divested of a whole 1.7kgs in total carried across the chest area such as: body surfing (who knows, maybe now I can actually catch a wave); or crowd surfing;  or planking (the options are endless); or trapeze; or archery; or shooting (I sucked at shooting both lying and sitting unsupported.  No seriously: I used to topple forwards).

I can even, as Harry intoned, rock my air guitar without obstacle.

But this freedom has come with two particular issues:

Firstly, my wardrobe is proving vexatious.  I had no idea that dressing for a non-existent chest was so onerous and it seems that many of my existing dresses are going to have to be sent to the Op Shop or flogged off on EBay if I can be shagged.

As my good mate, the mini-titted (but gorgeously sexy) Mel has been at pains to advise, dressing for a AA chest or, in my case an A Minus chest, takes patience and planning.

It is incredibly tedious!  Every top must be assessed for design elements that conceal rather than enhance the booblets.  Gone are the days when I could just pluck any garment from a stand based on cut or colour.  Now I have to micro-analyse its features.

In fact, so galled am I at the difficulties I have already observed, I am now thinking of setting up a business exclusively supplying fashion for the negatively-chested.  The working title for this hare-brained project is 'JuggerNaut' (what do you think?)/

Or perhaps I should channel my new-found sympathies to charity work on behalf of those whose cups are doomed to be half-full?

Forget the alcoholics, we need "AAA Anonymous"(at least guaranteed a top-spot in the White Pages). This charity would be aimed at those for whom nipples are merely decorative, who can get together and compare the many horror stories of being side swiped by the rogue F-Cup in the room.  Oh, the distress of being reduced to a minor role by the busty chested vixens who flaunt their wares!

It's just not funny.  All these years of moaning about the perils of excess cleavage and, all of a sudden, I see that it ain't exactly fun from the other end, either.

At last, I do finally understand why the breast enhancement industry has gone gang-bust (ers).

Because you really do feel as if perhaps, you're not quite measuring up when you look down and what you see is the floor.

Which brings me to the second issue.  I am, so far at least, not entirely sure just how comfortable I feel 'flaunting the flat' as it were. Having already ventured out in a singlet top, I have wondered if people have noticed my obvious lack of lumps.

It is all well and good laying myself out like a fallen harlot at home but really, do I really want the world to know that I am thus deformed?

And, am I  doomed to be forever obsessed about the wars of my chest?  Isn't it all just a little unhealthy, giving a monkey's about what amounts to a couple of mounds of body fat?

In short, I am, in these early days, tortured by the terrain of my thoracic topography.

I can only hope this obsession pass with time as I get used to this leaner, meaner me.

For now, I am coming to terms with the new lay of the land.  The guns have died down, the bodies have been buried, and what remains is an empty battlefield.

Like any battle ground, I am certain that one day, everything will be a distant memory.  And all I'll have are a couple of scars and maybe still some remnant tightness of the skin to remind me of this testing, if not interesting, time.

In the meantime, this Friday, Fiona turns 48.  Next Thursday is Fiona's fourth chemo shot.

There is consoling to be done, healing to be had, prayers to be said.

There are travels to be planned and celebrations to anticipate.

There is, simply, life to be lived, in freedom.

Let's carry on, shall we?

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