Wailing not whaling

It’s been a funny old day. Today is the day I got my permanent prosthesis and I had a bit of a wobble getting dressed, putting in the old prosthesis (I called her Wanda on the basis that she used to) and seeing that nothing looked the same as me. I was hit by a wail – I’m so glad I can spell. Under clothes no doubt it’s all much of a muchness but when I bend forward it looks all wrong. Having a couple of useless post-surgery bra fittings hadn’t helped and I don’t feel terribly confident in what I’ve ended up buying. But I digress.

Mark dropped me off at the station and I even got a seat on the tube.  Hammersmith station is a nightmare with people selling stuff and chuggers and I got caught with the latter today. It was the British Red Cross and they really should train their team to have at least the basic people skills. You know how it goes. One of them catches your eye (which is usually being drawn by anything other than the chugger) and then you are fair game. A tall young man made a bee-line for me. ‘Got 10 minutes?’ he asked, a little optimistically, I thought. ‘I’m going for a cancer appointment at the hospital’ I said. ‘You can postpone that for 10 minutes!’ he said. If I didn’t look puzzled, I certainly felt it. ‘Did you hear what I said?’ I asked. ‘No’. ‘I’m going to the hospital for an appointment about my cancer’. I didn’t think he needed to know the exactly what I was going for. ‘Yeah, you can postpone that for 10 minutes!’ he said, grinning inanely. I replied politely that this was not going to happen. ‘I’ll catch you on the way back, then’, he said, still gamely pushing his luck. It struck me then that this young man has clearly never been close to someone who has had cancer. It also struck me that, although he wasn’t a teenager, I’ll be generous and say he was young, he clearly hadn’t much imagination or sense, either. As I walked on, shaking my head, I entertained myself with the exchange we might have on my way back.

My new prosthesis was fitted and sorted in about ten minutes. Made of silicone and, of course, caramel in colour, it fits nicely and weighs more than Wanda so shouldn’t be appearing near my left ear any time soon. I have to treat it as I would my own skin and might be able to have a different one for swimming. The prosthesis lady will ask.

I then had to see my GP to get a whole host of drugs and a new medical certificate. I was peturbed to see she was wearing a normal striped work shirt beneath a black, off-the-shoulder gypsy top. I wanted to say ‘You’re a young, attractive woman! Have you dressed yourself in the first things you laid your hands on this morning?’. This is also the preferred method of dressing by Mark who will see nothing wrong in this approach. On the grounds that I don’t belong to the fashion police, I kept quiet. She listened to my chest and prescribed antibiotics for my cough. Mark was waiting to see what she said about my cough before he bothered to go about his own. It’s sort of remote healthcare. I am now signed off for a further 4 months which sounds a long time in some respects but just about right in others. I feel it will be a long, slow slide back into work rather than a spectacular being-shot-out-of-a-cannon kind of return.

So tomorrow is the long-awaited sleeve and gauntlet fitting. Photos may follow….

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