Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How to dress for breast cancer


Ha! When I was first diagnosed I did what every self respecting bookworm would do and ordered a bunch of books from Amazon about breast cancer. They included a very sappy account by an American news anchor, plus the rather better Take Off Your Party Dress by Dina Rabinovitch, the Guardian Journo.

While I was reading the latter R laughed his head off at the back cover. It said something on the back like "When I found out I had breast cancer I called the editor of Vogue to help me work out what to wear". Unsurprisingly, R thought this rather vain and girlie, and ridiculed me for buying the book.

In my defence, Amazon's website does not yet allow you to read the back covers of books.

In Dina's defence, I suspect that line was forced upon the back cover by a publishing house trying to position this as a book for Grazia readers and 'gels about town'. When really there's no fashion advice in it at all and it's quite simply an honest account of someone's introduction to having breast cancer. In which, just once, she does mention the fact that it's hard to pick out the right clothes to wear when you cannot lift one arm up and only have one tit left. She has a point.

Counting my lucky stars, my arm lifts okay and I still have both boobs. But I am facing a certain dilemma.

On Friday I have the wedding of a very good friend, so a chance to dress up beckons.

I am also meant to be taking lots of photos for her at said wedding, so I need to dress up in an outfit that allows me to bend over and crouch down without showing all the guests my knickers.

I have just the outfit.

Only trouble is, it doesn't come with a hat. And I cannot imagine it with a hat. And despite looking around John Lewis a few weeks ago, I'm not sure there's a hat out there to go with it.

Which would not be a problem if it were not for the fact that the hair loss is stepping up. No noticeable chunks yet, but it's thinning. If I run my hands through my hair I'm left holding a small handful of hairs.

If it continues just thinning at this rate I might be ok for Friday. But I'm not sure if I'll wake up tomorrow and discover I've lost half my hair overnight. And I don't want to go out and spend a fortune on a new outfit just in case...

It could happen on the day. That would certainly draw their attention away from my knickers, at any rate.

So I've decided worrying about what to wear when you have breast cancer is completely legitimate (scornful boys beware...).

I mean, how DO you plan your outfit for a wedding when you're not sure if you're going to go bald within the next 72 hours?

It's so ridiculous I'm actually finding it quite amusing.

1 comment:

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

R wants to me to correct my telling of his scornfulness at the whole "I called the Vogue Editor" thing. It's not because it's girlie per se, just because it's pretentious and Ab Fab. Which is sort of what I meant but didn't get the words out right.

Mind you, he told me all this whilst watching a French film on the telly...