Eggs (not the dippy or chocolatey kind)
Not this kind either but it made me chuckle and it is kind of relevant!
Those of you who know me know that I decided a long time ago that I don’t want children. I don’t have anything against them, in fact there are a few that I like quite a lot but the thought of having my own has never appealed. It is a massive commitment that all too often is taken too lightly. I have other wants and needs that won’t be satisfied by procreating and I am perfectly happy with my previously mentioned self imposed ‘crazy cat lady’ title. Given what I know now perhaps that maternal instinct was never there for good reason?
Some of you know that before all this cancer malarkey I had decided to donate my eggs to help other people who are unable to have children naturally. I figured that my eggs were going to waste each month and it seemed a shame not to make good use of them. There had to be some point to monthly menstruation, oh the good old days…..what I would do now to have a period!
Anyway, I digress, the cruel irony was that they actually didn’t want my eggs because I have dodgy chromosomes or a ‘balanced reciprocal translocation’ to be precise. It is associated with recurrent miscarriages, fertility problems and giving birth to children with special needs. I can’t really blame them for not wanting them….it would have been entirely counter productive!
I imagine being diagnosed with my type of breast cancer for a woman who wants but does not yet have children is as devastating as the diagnoses itself and I am therefore grateful that I am not in that position. There is the option to freeze eggs which my surgeon was quite insistent about until I explained my position, but there are still no guarantees.
Not only does chemotherapy affect fertility, I have also been put into a chemical menopause through ovarian suppression for the next two years. Unless of course I need to have an oophorectomy which is entirely plausible if I fail genes testing. This would then put me in immediate and permanent menopause. If they choose not to do that procedure then I will still have to take an additional hormone treatment for up to ten years because my cancer is oestrogen receptive. This too will keep me in chemical menopause and has the added bonus of either bringing on my natural menopause much earlier (yes there would be two!) or I would end up just staying permanently menopausal….either way it’s not ideal to be honest.
Whilst cancer might be having a temporary impact on my education, (all my uni mates are off on their first day of placement as I type) it is actually an education in itself. It has also opened up a world of possibilities career wise for once I am through the other side that I would never have considered before.
I’m the type of person who needs to know everything about everything, a control freak some might and have said! I have been flooding myself with information, facts and figures but you need a degree just to fathom out your diagnosis letter!
I have become passionate about educating others on the signs and symptoms to look out for and raising awareness that younger women (and men) need to be checking themselves and as such I have become a ‘Boobette’ for CoppaFeel! This means I will be going into schools and youth clubs to spread the message. Uni also has a team which I have joined so look out uni mates for some awesome events coming your way over the next few months starting at Freshers Fair!
I’ve had a funny relationship with my boobs. As a young teenager I would go to M&S every Saturday to be measured, just willing them to have grown above their AA status. When I was 18 I put down and lost a deposit for a boob job….I freaked out about the surgery….knives and needles just really aren’t my thing! I came to accept my size and didn’t give it too much thought except for the occasional reminder such as when I asked a lady in Primark if they had bras in my size, she looked me up and down and then asked if I had checked the children’s section….true story! Anyway years passed, I gained a lot of weight and I thought perhaps it might be time to be measured again so off I trundled to M&S. When the lady saw that I was wearing a AA she literally laughed in my face and told me I was spilling out….haha this was one of the happiest days of my life and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone that I was now the proud owner of C cups (albeit small C’s!) I lost the weight and thought I would lose the boobs but by some miracle they remained.
I met my surgeon last week and it was decided that I will have a full mastectomy on my right side with axillary clearance, this is scheduled for the 10th October. They will put an expander in immediately that will get pumped up over the following months whilst maybe more chemo and definitely radiotherapy is happening to allow the muscle to grow so a new boob can fit in. Once ‘active’ treatment is finished it will be time to reconstruct. I will most probably also have the currently healthy side removed and reconstructed at the same time. It is yet to be decided what type of reconstruction but it is possible that they will do it from my belly fat!!
You might have worked out by now that I am a silver linings kind of girl so naturally my next question was ‘can you make them bigger please’? I was genuinely shocked when she replied ‘of course darling, anything to make you happy!’ I’m thinking DD but I am open to suggestions so feel free to get in touch! I might be going to lose all feeling in my boobs, at least one nipple and have some pretty impressive scars but at least I will be doing it with a new found bounce in my step!
Don’t forget to click on ‘follow’ to make sure you don’t miss the next instalment and please do visit my fundraising page for my Kilimanjaro trek that is scheduled for next year in aid of Shine Cancer Support.