28th September 2009
Sophia made me smile today straight out of babes mouths as we say up north. She must have been stewing to tell someone. I had pre-warned her class teacher that I was telling her. She agreed it is best not to hide nothing because she is very bright.
We were stood at a bus stop waiting with another mother.
“My Mummy is having her nipple tattooed.” She blurted out.
I go red with embarrassment. Well I can’t tell her off it is the truth after all. I tell Sophia to be quiet and that people don’t need to know. Many other mums would say it is our little secret, but I hate the would secret. It makes the conversation we had sound dirty in some way. That somehow I should feel ashamed of my breast being removed.
The mother who knew I was having a mastectomy says, “They are realistic now you know. Beats having a chicken fillet one by miles,” We both laugh. Then one women tuts at the conversation we are having. The bus stop is not the right place to have such a conversation, but I don’t care. Why should I be quiet about something that affects 1 – 9 women in their lifetime.
I look at her dead in the eyes. “I’ve got breast cancer and my breast is being removed in two weeks. Do you have a problem with that?” She goes quiet and turns away from me. I know I was harsh and direct, but her tut was not quiet either.
“That’s it you tell her no need beating about the bush with these people. Anyway how are you feeling?” the mother asks. We turn our backs on the women and continue to talk about my upcoming operation.
“I am fine, just counting the days.” I reply ignoring this pathetic women who caused me to be angry.
“Well not long now and it will feel like it has not happened.”
I so want my friend to be right, but I don’t know.
“Well we can live and hope.” I reply smiling.
I get on the bus and travel the rest of the way in silence. Was I in the wrong to respond in such a manner to a women who knew nothing of my situation? After all it was a bus stop.
As I hand Sophia her belongings to go into her class what had just happened at the bus stop nagged at me. People can be so presumptuous on listening in to others conversations. If I wanted to get a tattoo on my breast what business is it of hers?
I walk home pacing the pavement to release some of the anger. There is nothing like a good power walk to clear the eaves, but before that I go into the cake shop and buy a cream cake. Yes I am diabetic, but lately food is the only comfort I have. Besides I need to build my weight back up. I’ve lost six pounds in weight which may seem like nothing, but I am already a skinny individual with no fat to spare. That few pounds is like losing a stone on my frame. My skin is looking dry and pale. My cheek bones are looking more pronounced on my face. My trousers are slack on my waist and need a belt or me alter them. I feel like a bag of bones and look it.