As Red Ink and I inch closer to reconnecting our families on The Inkwell, the fallout continues! Lol. Not the medical fallout (more on that later), but the breast cancer fallout! The time has come for me…to buy a bathing suit!
To refresh your memory…. I am the one that just wanted to get back into a bikini, sit on The Inkwell and sip a cocktail! I am the one whose husband doesn’t want to see anything but a bikini! Did I mention that while going through treatment, I just WANTED TO GET BACK INTO A BIKINI?
Well that time has come, and it ain’t pretty!
“Why?”, you ask? Oh, because I don’t have an ounce of muscle left on my body! Not a good look, even if I am a size 4! Umm, because I have a square of dark, burnt skin covering one side of my body, which no bathing suit could possibly, cover! Lil B calls it my “box breast”! And finally, because my boobs don’t MOVE! Lol I can’t rearrange them in a suit! The expanders are pretty solid. They won’t be all squishy and soft until I get the real deal at the end of the year! So again, I say…it ain’t pretty!
Now, no woman LIKES shopping for a bathing suit! I am no exception. I have cellulite like every other woman of a certain age. And as Red Ink likes to point out, I now have hips and butt thanks to the birth of Lil B. (Michele does NOT have these things! She was graced with boobs) But, I never really cared about all that stuff, b/c there are always going to be people who…umm…look…ummm…well let’s say that there will always be folks who wear bikinis, who shouldn’t. These people make it ok for me to wear one! But for the 1st time, I feel really self-conscious.
While visiting my parents, I made an effort to ease my mom’s stress (“women over a certain age shouldn’t wear bikini’s”) and bought a 1 piece I thought was kind of snazzy! Not a success. I wore it once. Lil B was horrified! She begged me not to wear it. She said it made me look old! She didn’t care about the box breast, but urged me to cover it so it wouldn’t burn more. I texted a pic to Big B. He didn’t respond for a few hours. When he did, it was a simple “You always look beautiful”. That’s code for “ I love you, but I am not feeling that”. So that suit went in the back of the closet.
A couple days ago, Lil B and I were going to hang at a hotel pool with a friend in town visiting. Time to get a bathing suit. A nightmare! Suit after suit looked crazy. I got over my flabby stomach pretty quickly. It’s still smaller than most, or so I tell myself! But ironically, it was seeing my “box breast” squeezed into a top that gave me pause. A “medium” didn’t cover enough, and a “large” was too big. Because my breasts don’t really move, it made adjustments almost impossible. At one point Lil B and I just burst into laughter. Did I mention that the burnt breast is still a tad swollen, so it sits a little higher? I can’t imagine what I would have done if my boobs were still DDs! Trust me, the picture is better than the reality! LOL
Lil B and I finally settled on a bikini that wasn’t too offensive. Off to the hotel we went. I still am not comfortable getting in the pool, given that I still have headaches. (Boo) As I started to peel off the outer layers…I started to feel self-conscious. This is a feeling I have not really experienced over the last 9 months. But I was determined to wear my bikini and not be altered by Life in the Cancer Lane. I even eventually got in the pool. No one even glanced at the lady with the box breast! All was well until Big B and our friend came over. “Give me a towel,” I yelled! Big B looked at me like “what’s the problem”. I was overcome with anxiety. This was a guy. A guy friend who knew what I was like with my old boobs. He hadn’t seen me without hair or new boobs! This was not how I wanted him to see me for the 1st time in 9 months! I felt naked. Exposed. So I stayed in the pool until he walked away!
Ironically, I am glad this happened before I landed on The Inkwell. Big B says my scars are badges of honor. I am working hard to adopt that mentality. Lil B reminds me that it is what’s on the inside that makes people beautiful. Again, I will try to remember that when I feel insecure sitting on the beach.
And if I feel too crazy, I will just…cover up.
Medical update: Still having headaches 10 days after shots to the back of the head.
Doc: “Well, you say your headaches aren’t as bad. They have reduced 50%. To me that is a success!”
Me: “Well to you, as a scientist, 50% is a success. To ME, as a PATIENT, it is NOT!”