I have made the official discovery that there are downsides to being thin outside of Jamaica - where a large ar*e is revered - and that, coming from a member of the fashion industry, is nothing to be sniffed at. Were I a larger lady, the tit to tumour ratio would probably have worked more in my favour, and a radical mastectomy would not now be on the cards for me in less than two weeks time.
As it is my own pair have shrunk along with the rest of me (apart from the cancerous part which decided to maintain its optimum weight), to the point where there's little else in my left one, so it has to go to the great brassiere in the sky.
I'm OK with this news now. Mostly because I've spent the last two weeks since chemo finished in a sort of arm flailing purgatory where nothing is happening. I'm not being treated, which means it's just me and the traitorous boob carrying on unassaulted, but with the added benefit of an over active imagination and a very large dose of anxiety. I understand this is a common occurrence in this in-between time, and with that in mind I have kept well away from the Internet, hospital literature, well-meaning friends with friends-of-friends stories. I also refrain from asking medical professionals questions which I really should, because I'm afraid of the answers they might give me, which doesn't really help the imagination side of things. Not so brave now, am I? I think this is the emotional roller coaster bit they all talk about, but I've squeezed mine into a very short space of time. Which did feature a wobble of massive proportions, but I'm back to my baking internet shopping self now.
The benefit of this patheticism is I can't bloody wait to get the damn thing out, and that has resulted in a calm (ish) acceptance of the surgery I have to have.
Also, If I'm going to have a part of my body amputated, that is surely the best bit. I had the unappetising debate with my friend Olivia over lunch in Leon - sorry Liv. I said, maybe a buttock would be OK, she said, no, you need to sit on it, and it would be harder to sufficiently fill your jeans. Boobs are the easiest thing to fake too - we already know this from the bouncy abundance we're faced with on every trip to the newsagent (I mean the magazines, not the staff). Toes? A little finger? Not so much. And I've never led with my chest, always been happy with my littler ones. (Although I'm not adverse to the boob boosting opportunity this has presented me with out the other side, I must say).
OK so I'm not a huge fan of asymmetry (those wonky hemlines? All Saints love them a hell of a lot more than I do), but a healthy boob in the hand is better than two high risk ones in the bush, right. And although I do thank god for DadJokes and his I-couldn't-care-less stance, I know if I was single it wouldn't be the end of the dating world either. As my friend Lucy pointed out, most men will be of the basic opinion 'woohoo! There's one!' and play with it anyway. Or I'd find myself a bum man instead...
So, I have two weeks left with a nipple I've known all my life, I think I'll take it out to dinners, treat it to some final low cut tops and demi-bras. But the boob is definitely guilty of it's death row sentence, so the last supper will be a good one (it happens to be DadJokes birthday, poor boy), but I won't be making an appeal. I will however be going to Harvey Nichols for some essential brand new bra purchases, but you know me. Every cloud has a shopping lining and all that...
I'm a Stylist, Art Director, Blogger and Beauty Director at ELLE UK, which puts me in a fortunate position to have been able to cope with the side of breast cancer that not many people talk about; how you're going to look.
With the help of people I have ever worked with, and the wise philosophies of cancer support charity Look Good...Feel Better, I've come out the other side and continue to learn how to battle the after effects.
Feel free to email me about anything you read, want to read or just want to know: firstname.lastname@example.org