Friday, October 12, 2007

Forgiving the enemy within

My mood is up.

I feel like chanting down my radiotherapy appointments, as if they were some sort of New Year's Eve countdown to midnight.

Five-four-three-two-one to go! And those are only the 'booster' sessions which just focus on the immediate area of the original tumour site.

So the upper centre quadrant of my boob area will get a much deserved rest - it is now increasingly painful and visibly sore. The whole boob is squared off with the red tint of slowly burning skin, but the upper central area is now starting to come up in a prominent rash, especially noticeable immediately after zapping. This is starting to itch, and the aloe vera gel they give you does very little to counter this.

So today, lying back there on the bench, as the machine makes one last circle of my breast, I find myself reassuring my boob in my head.

It's the last time for the full beam. The last time.

Even so, my nipple feels it and complains (subject as it is to a double dose - it sits just where the beams cross).

Sharp, but still bearable pains stab me, somewhere inside my nipple. When I sit up from the bench, gravity takes its toll and nerves jangle inside my breast.

Last time, last time, I whisper in my head, placating the boob.

When I started this process my body had betrayed me. Overnight, my boob had become the enemy within. The bad apple.

I'd whip it out for all sorts of men and women in white coats but felt very differenly about it than I had done before.

Now radiotherapy has made the villain of the piece all vulnerable, it's brought out my protective instincts. I want to nurture the boob back to health. I find myself cradling it when driving or sitting at my desk.

It needs my support, in more ways than one.

Boob, you are forgiven. One one condition.

Never, never, never, EVER put me through this again.

I'm tough but fair.


Elizabeth Stock said...

For a while I had been calling my affected boob the "ugly step-child", but lately I just feel sorry for it and would like to take it out and buy it a great big implant. That would make it so happy.

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

I seriously would have considered reconstructive surgery had my lumpectomy wreaked too much havoc, but I've been very lucky. I remember my breast surgeon peering at my tit a month after the op, a slow satisfied smile playing over his face. He was proud of his handiwork. And I was glad for his expertise.

Now all I have to show for that part of the process now is a couple of scars and a bit of a dent when I'm lying down. So I'm lucky. But had it been any more, I probably would be knocking on some surgeon's door now for a repair job.

My boob sends your boob a hug.