Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Holiday How To

Aside from new records in watermelon consumption and excessive wine use, I feel I've achieved something this holiday. Back in April when I mentally planned a trip to light up the end of the tunnel, and make use of my neglected summer wardrobe, I was looking down the barrel of a proposed lumpectomy. A month on and the news of a more drastic, bikini scuppering surgery put paid to my holiday plan until reconstruction, with a party taking it's place. I just didn't want to feel uncomfortable on the beach or by the pool, otherwise I would have had a mini break mid chemo, complete with both boobs, but minus any hair whatsoever.

The new news of a year to two wait for a complete pair make me adopt a f*ck that attitude and challenge myself to a normal-in-the-face-of-asymmetry beach holiday ASAP.

After buying my two Mouille one shouldered bikini tops in a Morphine daze, I was feeling a little more confident so went on with that general theme for the rest of my holiday attire. Let me tell you, camouflage dressing is a hell of a lot easier in winter when high necks, sleeves and totally covered backs are de rigeur. An obsessive daily visit to the holiday section on Asos quickly told me that a hot Greek climate would be a little more tricky.

First I filtered out all the right side asymmetrical pieces, (they'd require support, show radiotherapy 'tan' and highlight weird flat plane where hill should be). Backless, spaghetti strappy, cleavage revealing, low cut anything. This left not much, but just enough to get slightly excited about packing. I bought a two-tone floaty one (left) shouldered dress that could be adjusted to suit. Plus a bandeau crop top thing to put a comfy in. I later learnt that the bandeau does not adhere to usual laws of strapless bras and requires a complete two anchors to hold it in it's rightful place. but the dress was worth the constant repositioning of left 'tit'.
A simple high necked, sleeveless dress from CiCi with a dipped hem to draw attention below the waist. A black silk jumpsuit that yes, is backless, and even a bit side-less, but is also black so disguises my wonky abnormalities, a heaven-sent left shouldered beach playsuit from River Island, and finally, a waterproof prosthetic.

I've been too busy to book in for my official prosthetic fitting (for 'busy', read 'chicken') so am making do with comfies on a day to day basis. I'm convinced that smaller chested ladies don't really need much more, but you can't really get them wet, and my goal here was NORMAL, so swimming and sunbathing must prevail. I went on Nicolajane.com and got a beanie baby boob (not it's real name, but certainly it's inspiration). The idea is that the tiny beads shift and mould to a natural shape; it was the cheapest option, so I followed the sizing guidelines and bought a '3'. In hindsight I should have tried it at home first. Instead I massacred my old, useless, normal bikinis and cut out their innards to make pockets on my new ones. I then sewed, packed, flew for 5 hours, went straight to the pool, resplendent in beanie boob, and freaked out DadJokes with my disproportionate left bosom, where vacant space used to be. There followed a frantic Cypriot search for needle and thread (Fred?Fred? What is this Fred?), and an evening spent emptying my boob of two thirds of it's contents before it almost matched up to my real one.

Those in the know (i.e DadJokes) might be able to tell, if they really looked out for it, but it is now day 5 and I've been sun lounging and sort of swimming with the best of them (not sure lying on a Lilo counts), undetected and not too hot either. (In the temperature sense, I'm confident I'm considered hot in the swit-swoo sense, since 98% of Cyprus' tourism clientele are as wide as they are old...)

So, after extensive scientific trials at the Almyra hotel, I can confirm that frilly, one armed bikini tops are the key to moving undetected among the 'normals'. One armed swimsuits, not so much. I sewed a pocket in one of those too, but there's something about the expanse of material under the boob line that highlights the imperfection.

My conclusion is this: Take the lead from your own wonkiness and apply to your wardrobe. A-symmetry is the best form of flattery when it comes to beach holidays, and if you can throw some bonus frills into the mix, even better. I'm happy to say I genuinely forgot about the issue a bit more than than was medically advised, since my radio tan managed to deepen even through the Factor 50. The last few days I resorted to carrying a hotel flannel round to drape over my armpit at any hint of sun. Not the best pool side accessory, but you can't have it all.

The lengths I will go to for the benefits of medical research are boundless by the way, I'm willing to test my 'normal' bikini theory in such far flung places as Mauritius or Bora Bora if anyone should feel the urge to utilise me...


  1. Oh and LOLZ at the thought of you emptying and re-sewing the beanie boob :)
    I've loving the crop atm missis, very Mia Farrow xx

  2. Sophie, on a silly, geeky non-cancer related note, a question for you. Why a Kindle and an iPad when the iPad has a Kindle app? Whats your preference for reading books?