The Good the Bad and the Ugly: 6 Weeks on in no man’s land


Hello. Firstly I am so sorry it has been so damn long since I have written. I promise I will try to explain.

The good

I am doing alright. I have healed well and my arm movement is good. A bit stiff but good. My strengths is coming back and for all intents and purposes, I’m great.

I’m back at spin classes, had my first run this week and can do yoga if I so please.

I’m very much back at work and it’s honestly like I never left.

My boobs are slowly growing. I’m currently at 200CC each side and have another fill this week. My nipples are looking perky and healthy and whilst one side sticks out more than the other, all is good in the hood.

The bad

For all that is well I can’t say that mentally I’m in a great head space. Bear with me.

I’ve written before that the run up to the PBM was one of my happiest times of recent years. I was focussed and efficient to superwoman proportions. I easily knew what was important, didn’t sweat the small stuff and I of course, had an enormous sense of optimism.

Right now, I’m feeling like, “Oh. What now?” Or maybe that is the wrong way to put it. I just don’t know how I feel, and herein lies the problem.

Life is so back to normal that it really does feel as though I was making such a fuss of everything before. Because I’m visibly well, everyone else has seemingly forgotten about it too. Or at least has no reason to treat me otherwise. (or should they have to)

My social calendar is ridiculously full, both with obligatory work and personal commitments, and as there is nothing wrong with me it’s impossible for me not to go. But the thought of having to attend some of these things of makes me so anxious that I then withdraw at all other times.  I have said no to so many non obligatory invitations for coffee or drinks that I sound like a broken record and feel rotten every time I do.

The ugly

It was my birthday this week. Hurrah! 34.

Mr F asked me what I wanted. I said a ring (as in engagement) or a blender… I got a blender. I also got an amazing photo book of all my nudie photos and got spoilt rotten with flowers and a posh meal in a beautiful restaurant.

Despite having a wonderful birthday, I woke up on Thursday incredibly sad. You reach certain milestones in life and it’s OK that you haven’t done what you thought you’d do by a certain age. But this year it wasn’t. I have a good job and am accomplished in my career (with no desire to run my own PR agency thank you very much). I moved to the other side of the world and live in the most amazing country, in a fabulous house with lovely friends and an incredible boyfriend. And apart from getting my boobs chopped off, I am otherwise very fit and healthy.

But in my current state, residing in no man’s land, I felt I’d be in a different world by the age of 34 and would have a couple of sprogs and a ring or two on my finger. I do know that even if I’d done all this, life doesn’t work that simply. I am just struggling to stop asking myself the question, what next?

I’m a little ashamed I feel like this. Especially considering what an alternative life with cancer could look like, which is why I’ve struggled to metaphorically put pen to paper in the last few weeks.

Anyway, my commitment is to stop moaning, maybe look into taking out some therapy, and finding a new hobby.

p.s. It’s good to speak to you again.

16 thoughts on “The Good the Bad and the Ugly: 6 Weeks on in no man’s land

  1. It’s good to hear how you are doing though I am sorry that you are having a tough time. There’s no reason to feel ashamed, though. You have been through a great ordeal to help preserve your life. It is only natural at these times to compare the reality of your current life with your past dreams. And given that you’ve been through a great deal of stress, it is only normal for there to be disappointment about expectations that have not been met. I also found the few weeks after I returned to work after my mastectomy to be a low point, mood wise. I had been through a lot and there was so much to process. And since all of the known cancer had been removed, people weren’t worried about me in the same way they were before.

  2. I Echo what Elizabeth…. has already said… You have been through far more than you are giving yourself credit for.. It cant help but take a toll on you… This was a huge decision that you made and then the surgery you have been through… The grief… Yes we grieve losses ….I think that you will find that others feel as you do after there cancer or any surgery … Certainly for a while there a week ago I felt terrible… Questioned why on earth I had gone ahead with this surgery etc etc.. Many tears and a chat with a therapist helped me to get it all back into perspective…. Just know you are not alone…sharing helps us all… Helen

    • Thanks Helen. You are right, it is grief really isn’t it. But like grief, I don’t think anything prepares you for how you’ll feel. You just have to work it out as you go along.
      How are you doing at the moment? Did the therapist help? I guess they help put everything in perspective? xxx

  3. I am sorry to hear of your current feeling down. I recently had my PBM (February 6,2013). I have guilty in my depressing moods, trying to remind myself, all this is better than having cancer. I enjoy reading your blog, your upbeat attitude, but no one can be upbeat all the time. I hope you know you are not alone!! I am dreading my birthday this year turning 30 and already had a bilateral mastectomy. But hey, we are alive, healthy, and don’t have cancer!!! Keep looking up and remember you are a strong woman.

    • Thank you. You are very brave doing this before 30. It took me until I was 32 before I could bring myself to take the test.
      I know. In the good days it’s easy to know this was the best decision ever.Just wasn’t prepared maybe?
      But yes, we are tough chicks! xxx

    • Getting ready to have mine in June…extremely nervous but ready to get on with life…did you have a nipple sparing mastectomy? Hope you are doing well.

      • How are you feeling? It is a relief when it comes around as the build up just takes over everything.
        I did have NSM and really please i did. Despite worrying i might lose them for a bit, cosmetically it looks really good. Even though I have rock hard expanders, they still look good. Also, physically I’m doing well. Just make sure you use this time to be as healthy as you can before the op.
        Are you having expanders or straight to implant?

  4. Hello 🙂
    Reading your words makes me feel like you jump in my brain and stole them. I’m 36 and just had a bilateral mastectomy on April 18, 2013. I feel so blessed and lucky that my cancer is gone and yet like you feel blah sad sackish and bah humbug sometimes. I’ve been upbeat thru the aftermath and the past few days have been self moping and blah. I’m scheduled to have my conscious fill up on Tuesday and dred it so much! I’m a 6 year old in a 36 year old body when it comes to needles :). My plastics man put 300 in each side when they did my surgery. It made me laugh to see you say having your boobs chopped off… That is exactly what I’ve said from the beginning. The night before my surgery about 20 of my closets friends went to Hooter’s with me for dinner and we followed it up with a trip to the comedy zone to see Pauly Shore. Guess who went into surgery with Pauly Shores autograph on their boob???? Me!!! My surgeons cracked up and said that was a first.

    Wishing you the best!
    Jamie B in Tennessee
    A.K.A Fruitloop 😉

    • Ah I’m glad I am not alone. Not glad you also feel a bit blah, despite our life changing operation, but glad I’m not the only moper.
      I love that you went to Hooters and got an autograph on your boobs! My boyfriend says that beats my boob off bake off.
      How is your recovery going? Are you healing alright?

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