Thursday, 28 June 2012

What the world doesn't see ...

I'd like to think that, generally speaking, I'm a quite positive person. More of a realist than an optimist but I do try to make the best of things.

But I also have my down days; my introspective, tear-filled, sad days. Fortunately they’re not very often but they’re there all the same.

Normally though, it’s just Mr P. that sees me like that. And that’s deliberate. I don’t want people to feel bad for me, or sorry for me, because I’m really not unique in what I’m experiencing.

However, that doesn’t make it less difficult. As a woman, it’s very hard to have every aspect of your femininity, and how you view yourself, taken away. Everything from your short-term cosmetic appearance - your hair, eyebrows and eyelashes – through to the possible permanent loss of your breast(s) and fertility.

I’ve deliberately only taken one photo of me without my hair and that was before I lost my eyebrows and lashes. I know I’ll never forget how I look but I don’t need or want a photographic reminder. In fact, apart from Mr P., only my Mum has seen me in a full state of unadorned baldness.

However, that stage is passing. I do now have hair growing on my head and I’m really hoping that it won’t be long before I can go wig and scarf free. And not before time! The chemo-induced hot flushes are doing me in.

Honestly, I would kill for a good night’s sleep right now. Every night I sleep in one hour bursts, alternately waking up in sweats or chills as I throw off the duvet or pull it back up in some kind of cruel nocturnal Hokey-Cokey.

But through it all, I have never once thought ‘Why me?’

After all, ‘Why not me?’ If 1 in 8 UK women are going to get hit with breast cancer, then sadly some of us will need to bite that bullet. And all that it brings ...

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