I’m not hugely keen on having my photo taken. I’ve got better since phones got clever and I can delete 8674587 pics before finally getting an acceptable selfie to use on Facebook. I downloaded Snapchat purely to filter photos, many of my friends did the same. We’re all on there and never, ever, ‘snap’ each other, it’s solely to delete the wrinkles. Kids, you’re safe, Generation X can’t be arsed to learn more social media. We’re all over Facebook, some of us (but not me) get Twitter, but Snapchat is a step too far. We’re just deleting a decade or two.
I’ve had my one year check. It wasn’t the big event I’d built myself up for. It was on the 27th of December and I was the only customer there. Breast screening clinics are normally packed, rivalling Day 1 of a John Lewis sale for crowds and queues. I think it might actually have been Day 1 of the John Lewis sale…Wow, did everyone prioritise discounted bedding over …you know…survival??? Oh well, result! I’m in. Maybe not my finest moment, compassion-wise.
I bit back the snark when asked if I was having my right breast screened. I know, I’m mean and the technician had drawn the short straw and was working Christmas week. But, seriously? I’m stood there, stripped to the waist…and there quite clearly is only one boob. If she was going to try screening the left one we’d still be there. I didn’t snark, I answered politely and manoeuvred myself into position. Fucking “OUCH!”. “Oh, sorry. It’s a new machine and I’m not used to the controls”. You’d have been impressed, I still didn’t snark, “And you didn’t practise on a freaking melon first??”. Looking back at this I can only think the Christmas spirit was strong last year…and therefore I was still a bit pissed. It’s lucky I’m a happy drunk.
Turned out that whilst the technician had to work Christmas week, no other bugger did. “They’ll review the scan and you’ll get a letter”. Not quite how I’d imagined that one year milestone going (party poppers and champagne at the very least!). No nice reassuring chat with a Dr pointing out the lack of lumps in the scan, bet he was in bloody JL snapping up some bargain bedding.
I got a letter and the scan was clear. I can’t add anything to that, it’s all anyone wants to read. Excuse whilst I do yet another happy dance about that.
That meant it was time to talk reconstruction. I was a bit surprised that my waiting room companions didn’t seem to be possible New Boob candidates. There was an elderly gentleman who hobbled in, and a beautiful little girl of around 6. I’m adjusting my thoughts that plastic surgeons are artists specialising in specific areas and now thinking they’re more like car bodyshops where they bash out the dents and spray over the damage.
The bodyshop surgeon was lovely. He didn’t even flinch (and I do look a bit like I only just survived a fight with Jaws right now). He referred me to Medical Photography, and circled the boobs and belly areas on the appointment card. I have no idea what the photos are for, no-one has shown me any before and afters.
Medical Photography can’t be that common, because no fucker at the reception desk knew where it was. Strongly suspect they know full well where it is but find watching panicky people run amusing. Bastards.
Here’s the full horror. Medical Photography is exactly like professional photography. A room with one wall covered by a huge white backdrop screen with powerful lights trained on the poor fucker that side of the lens…and you have to remove all clothing apart from your pants and socks. Pants and fucking socks??? I’m down one boob, I’ve been eating for GB (purely to ensure sufficient tummy fat to create new boob), I look like I pissed off a Hollywood shark (an actual watery shark with teeth) and you’re giving me white screen and bright lights for a pants and socks photoshoot?
My Gryffindor socks came through. I didn’t run and I didn’t hide.
I seriously hope the camera was focussed on my feet and not my face.
How fucking awesome that I’m still here to worry about being vain?