A Turning Point

All this time - since mastectomy surgery in April 2020 - I've been fretting about having wonky boob appearance. Wearing my blancmange (prosthesis!) is fine, balancing vey neatly with my natural boob, even passing the test of looking good in my beloved old stripy Gap tee shirt. I asked my husband to check this (a weird request but we're used to weirdness by now) and he said I looked 'normal' and anyway even if I didn't nobody would notice. He meant - I hope - that any unevenness would be infinitesimal, but it's also true that it's been a long time since anyone stared at my boobs!

The blancmange is for non-working days, for best if you will, and while working at home due to the pandemic I'm still in the original NHS softie for 'office' days. No particular reason for this apart from sheer habit, plus wanting to get value for money out of all the old bras that I sewed pockets into in order to wear the softie in the first place before getting the blancmange. 

As a general rule I'm following all the recommendations about post-surgery dressing - loose patterned tops, scarves, ruffles, no deep vee necks, big earrings, anything to distract from the cleavage area. Fortunately I was already a committed silk scarf wearer every day before surgery, so no big personal style change there, and like my mother before me I also favour a patterned top, especially paisley. Of late I've even been perfectly happy in plain colour tops as long as the blancmange is in, because it has a better weight balance, and that's been a huge step forward (it helps of course that I'm hardly going out and few people see me properly!).

Wearing the softie is different because by its very nature it is lighter and blobbier than the blancmange and sits higher and prouder than my natural boob, especially in certain old adapted, non-specialist bras. Today, an at-home working day, I inserted a softie as usual, accepted the slight unevenness, threw on a woollen shawl and had my first covered-up meeting of the day. Nothing to see here. But as the morning wore on the sun made the room warmer and between back-to-back meetings the shawl came off revealing - horror - the uneven boobage. I had a moment of... not panic exactly but uncertainty... and then decided 'what the heck!'.

I sat there looking at myself in the selfie camera view before pressing 'join' for the next meeting session. For the first time I thought, 'If the unevenness shows, well, it shows. Such is life.'

So I didn't put the woollen shawl back on and swelter, and I didn't dash to the bedroom to find a lighter weight silk scarf instead. I just joined the meeting, carried on regardless and resisted the urge to fold my arms across my chest. I sat through the meeting thinking a mixture of 'oh sod it' and 'what if they notice?' but of course soon got too far in to change my appearance and besides, these were certain female colleagues who knew my story.

After that it was as if a barrier had been crossed. In the two following bigger meetings I carried on just as I was - no shawl, no scarf, slight shadow from softie to natural - and living with that reality. Because in the end, even if people notice, what's the worst that can happen?

Anonymous