It’s been so long since I wrote that people have been asking me if I’m all done.
I’ve been telling people that my silence has been caused by the perfect storm of work, surgeries every 5-6 weeks, and trying to arrange a renovation and a wedding at the same time.
But the truth? The reconstruction process has actually been a bit heartbreaking. And I actually didn’t feel like blogging about it.
I’m now in for round three of the fat grafting process. Round three? I told myself there wouldn’t be a round three. But then, I also told myself that I’d have great (fake) breasts at the end of it.
There have been a lot of lies floating around.
After round two, I went to see my surgeon. The plan: to say right, Sir. We are done with fat grafting. Give me my implants pronto because I want nice breasts for the wedding next March.
And his response. Sort of squirmy. Awkward.
Something along the lines of your scarring is worse than we thought. Your chest wall skin is stretched too thin to accommodate breast implants. But the good news? The “experimental” fat grafting seems to be going well and we’re confident that you can get a good A cup out of it.
Fricking A cup? A CUP???
I’ve been through this many surgeries and this much treatment and this much bullsh*t and you’re offering me an A CUP?
It was all I could do not to collapse in a blubbering heap on the surgeon’s floor.
I know I should feel lucky just to be here at all, but bloody hell, I promised myself breasts. Good breasts.
The little girl inside of me had her red balloon, her teddy bear and her lollipop wrenched off her all at once. My bottom lip quivered for two days.
An A CUP!!!
But then I did what I always do, and rationalised. And compromised. And I bought myself my first ever WonderBra (A cup!) so that maybe, just maybe after round 3 I could take my crappo little A cups and squeeze them into some pubescent notion of cleavage?
So far, by the way, I’m not filling the A cup. I’m aspiring to the A cup.
And my fake foam breasts still fool everyone into thinking everything’s OK. And now they are the carriers of false hope. When I wear them it’s like they’re mocking me. They’re saying like them? These are the fake breasts you can only dream of!
And then you know what else has been happening? Pink Fricking October. Pinktober. Shudder.
I’m here to tell you that the breast cancer community (or at least the ones I know) don’t bloody like Pinktober.
It’s not that we’re not pro fundraising or awareness. No, no. What pisses us off is that Pinktober is the month of platitudes. Where big corporates donate peanuts to a charity, turn a product pink, some idiot buys the product and everyone feels like they’re somehow saving the world. (I can see my advertising brethren backing away from me right now saying that’s our clients you’re panning. Keep your voice down, angry lady. Sorry, but it’s true. You’re helping the economy, yes. But curing breast cancer? Doubtful).
Or, worse. Some idiot decides to create some Facebook meme where women write something cryptic on their wall… Like where they put their handbag… And it’s meant to be some “all us chicks are in this together and those silly boys just don’t get it”… And I guess maybe they think some donation fairy somewhere flicks a few bucks into a research charity? Maybe?
GAAAAHHH!!! There is no donation fairy!!!
Sorry. Control the righteous indignation. Control it.
But guess what? There’s an even dumber event on the calendar. Ladies, meet No Bra Day.
Yep, you guessed it. You can forego the bra in celebration of your fabulous titties and again, that magical donation fairy will flap her shiny wings and breast cancer is cured!!!
So I’m here to tell you, oh pack of loose titted geniuses, that your no-titted post mastectomy brethren are plotting to hurt you.
Get a clue, brainiacs. Flapping your perfect love bags in our faces is not making us feel loved, or supported. It’s just rubbing in our faces what we don’t even have.
Wow, I feel so much better. This blog is way cheaper than therapy!
So, yeah, that’s where I’m at. I’m sitting in a day surgery waiting room during Pinktober dreaming of my new A cups. Someone will knock me out cold any minute now (and charge me $800 for the privilege) and maybe, just maybe, I might look a little less like a ten year old boy when I wake.
Wish me luck. And boobs.
P.S. Why the photo? These are a few of my favourite things right now. A mighty fine little skull-shaped bottle of tequila and a little Day of the Dead bride and groom, lovingly bought for me by the wonderful Mark and Kara in Santa Fe. I thought they might cut through the grumpiness of this post a little!
Gentle reader, this weekend was all about hair.
It’s strange, because exactly one year ago I was moving in to my new house (dream house in Darlinghurst, object of about five years of fantasies) and feeling that life pretty much couldn’t get any better. I wondered if it was actually possible to feel any happier?
How do I feel one year on? Well… bald, I guess.
Bald but not shaken. It was still a bloody good weekend. And thanks to the amazing people around me, I felt pretty happy this weekend too.
The weekend started with a hat. This hat. (Apologies for the blurry yellow pic…).
My amazing friend Bee made it for me. Despite being frantically busy with the thousands of cool and interesting things Bee spends her time on, she took time out to create me this superb hat in less than a week. It was in honour of a lovely wedding that had fallen auspiciously on the exact weekend my hair was due to fall out on. And was there ever a more pure and wonderful expression of Niccola? I think not.
Bee, you brought a tear to my eye and you made my last night with hair a fairy princess experience (or maybe more a Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream moment?). Bless you.
Sunday was a bit different… a weird pagan celebration of the loss of hair. Here’s our mottley crew before the big shave…
And here we are after… (excepting Quinn’s mohawk and Michael’s mo, which had been shaved off by the time the photo at the top of the post was taken).
And here’s the big shave, celebrated in a very big slideshow…
This is going to read like an Oscars speech, simply because so many amazing people need to be acknowledged.
First, the shavers… (Refer to the photo above, each row left to right starting at the top).
Glenn, Red, Declan.
Michael, Charlie, Quinn, Nic.
Clair, Hilary, Me, Ben and Monty.
Bonus points to Clair and Hilary. Girl power!
Second, the hosts… Jaq and Red and their amazing borrowed house in Riverview.
Third, the hairdressers and hair sweepers… Gab, Red, Charlie, Ben, Clair, Glenn, Brigit, Jo.
Fourth, the photographer, Morgan, who very kindly came out of photographic retirement to take these awesome photos.
Fifth, everyone who brought a plate. The food was amazing. They said it couldn’t be done, but we pretty much ate it all.
Sixth, everyone who came along. Nice friendly crowd, and not one rude comment was made concerning everyone’s extreme new do’s.
Seventh, everyone who donated. Currently $2870. Amazing!!!!
Eighth, anyone I forgot in the list above!
Oh, and Ninth… Quinn, for being the very first person to offer to shave his head in my honour. You started a revolution, man! And I won’t ever forget the generosity of that first offer, it really means a lot.
Here are a few of my favourite photos from the day.
Oh yes… did I not mention the Swan’s victory this weekend? Here, Michael reminds us of this incredible fact.
Cheer, cheer, the red and the white!
Monty took his head shaving very seriously indeed. Isn’t he the coolest little dude ever?
Hilary and Monty model their cool new do’s.
Quinn fulfils a lifelong ambition of having a mohawk.
Sisters in (partial) baldness, with their patient partners doing the shaving. Sadly you can’t quite see my rad undercut here!
Please feel free to request any photos in the slideshow, I’m happy to email them around.
I’m still at the point where I’m not quite sure what to make of my bad ass new head. It feels pretty great. A little cold though. Let the flurry of hats, wigs and headscarves begin!
Bald love to you all…
We now take a short break from our regular programming, because I wanted to remind you that this Sunday is The Big Shave. If you’d like to come along, make a comment or get in touch with me privately and I’ll send you the address. It’s happening at 3pm at a kindly loaned house in Riverview and there will be baldness and cake.
I’m sorry if you’ve tried donating prior to today, as the donation page previously had some issues which have now been fixed. So if you’d like to keep your hair but don’t mind opening your wallet, please donate here.
And if you’d prefer not to do either, fret not, I’ll love you just as much anyway.
Just to refresh, the reason I’ve chosen the Kinghorn Cancer Centre for the donations is because they’ll soon be leading Australia and the world in cancer research by bringing together science and clinical practice. At the Kinghorn, they don’t research “breast cancer” or “bowel cancer” or “melanoma”, they just research cancer, because it’s increasingly understood that cancer is not body part specific but rather related to people’s DNA and various genetic mutations. Tying funds to a particular cancer means that this kind of research isn’t easily possible, and yet this area is where future cancer prevention, treatment and detection lies.
Hope to see you on Sunday, or feel your virtual attendance from elsewhere around the globe.
Over the last few weeks, a number of very brave men (and one extremely brave woman!) in my life have offered to shave their heads in solidarity with my impending baldness. I was slow to react on this one, because I felt terrible for being the one responsible for forcing these good people into something pretty major and a bit scary!
But over time, I decided that it would be amusing, not scary, and it could be used to generate some funds for a really amazing new cancer research facility that just opened in Darlinghurst, the Kinghorn Cancer Centre. This is where I’ll be getting most of my chemo and where some absolutely game-changing research is being carried out as I type this. I know that some of you will know this facility as The Building That Stole The Green Park Hotel’s Beer Garden, but please forgive it for its trespasses, it was for the greater good I assure you.
I’ve just set up a very basic looking fundraising page so that anyone who wishes to donate rather than shave has a place to do it, and also so that anyone who does do the shave can direct any haters of their bold new do in this direction…
The date of the big shave is around 3pm on Sunday September 30. I’m currently seeking a location – I’d offer up my own place but just don’t quite have the energy for the clean-up that will inevitably follow and I worry it’ll be a little on the cramped side. Anyone who can bring hair clippers will be much loved.
I must warn you that I may well beat you all to the whole baldness thing. It could start as soon as next weekend but I’ll try to keep a few strands handy for the big day!
Leave a comment if you’d like to RSVP or offer up your head and I’ll pass on some more details privately as they arise.