Thursday, 3 July 2014

Scarvage, Ash Man and a Bagpiping Angel

So, into Week Three of life with no breasts and all remains well. Much of the bruising and swelling has gone, so Pickle is no longer saying, 'At least you've got little breasts Mama' and the dressings are off. That was more of a Thing than I had anticipated. Although I knew what to expect, actually seeing my scars made me feel much more vulnerable and I didn't dare do my physio exercises for two days until a midwife friend explained the obvious - that the stitching of the muscle is much more robust than the tiny, pretty stitches they do on the skin. So, Pickle and I are doing my silly exercises and, although I have more mobility every day, she still delights in being the best.

I can feel (enough to make me gasp) the moment when a nerve ending pings back into supersensitive life. They seem to come in clusters and may be encouraged by acupuncture. It's a good thing, of course, but if I get a lot at once it's hard to hold a conversation. My body continues to astound my mind. The other day Pickle was industriously cutting things out and sticking them to other things so I could dance and dance and dance for hours. I could feel my limitations, but I had enough scope to express the music and that made for a very happy day afterwards.

I am feeling less inclined to even have back-up foobs. In a few weeks I'll be photographed because it is such a very rare choice not to reconstruct that the photos used by the breast care nurses are of old surgical styles (much straighter lines; I'm glad I got the new flowing kind). At the same appointment I'm supposed to be fitted for falsies in a pocket bra but I can't imagine wearing that now. I imagine I'd be so embarrassed to suddenly have breasts for the day and I can't think of an occassion when I would want to disguise my true shape. Sometimes I feel angry that there is such a strong supposition that I would want to at least pretend to have breasts. Pretend for whom? It feels like part of the narrative of shame around women's bodies. Reconstruction - in all the various wonderful ways it can be achieved - is fine. Wearing foobs is fine. And doing neither is fine. These choices are, in fact, no-one else's business (she blogged). So, I have experimented with exposing a bit of scarvage (scar cleavage). It was kind of an accident because I hadn't realised my v-neck dress would pull down further when I tied my jumper round my waist, but when I noticed I decided to carry on as I was. I wouldn't hide that piece of skin if it had breasts either side and I wouldn't hide the ends of those scars if they were elsewhere. And guess what? No-one swooned, vomited or even particularly noticed. Another Thing relegated to a mere thing. I do, however, have a tattoo planned, but that's a while off and I'm not telling until it's done.

Meanwhile, back at the screenface, two more of Thomas's drawings are up for sale in my Etsy shop.
Ash Man:

I am enjoying my new metallic artist pens and it won't be long before I can show you the results of my play. I mean work. And I was shortlisted in a poetry competition, which was pleasing and reassuring. I can feel my need to write in a more serious way gathering momentum. Watch this space...


  1. Glad to hear you're still going well Lunar :) I think you're very wise not to be swayed by people's expectations of you, especially the gendered ones. I notice these norms expressed strongly in the health services as someone who does not conform to them - being given a pink toothbrush at the dentists, being told to bring make-up to the hospital when I went to give birth and so on. You have every right to be proud of your body as it is and to do with is as you see fit. I can tell you (from a hilarious afternoon with a trans woman friend) that foobs make a jolly brilliant farting noise if you lean forwards and then squash them back against a slightly sweaty chest - might be worth getting them just for that ! Much love to you xxx

  2. It's lovely to hear you're on the mend and well done you for choosing to stay natural. However, Snippety's farty foob antics might be worth a go! ;) Thomas' drawings are lovely, very Arthur Rackham-esque, my favourite illustrator!
    Happy dancing!
    Jess x

  3. Mush joy in reading this, especially the dancing for hours part! Energy is precious. Have a lovely summer.

  4. My heart dances (and sings and laughs and flies) at the conjured image of you dancing while she cuts and sticks. Your writing is so evocative of who and how you are. Very lovely to see more of Thomas's work getting out there. I remember him showing me the Bagpiping Angel, you were living in the tiny house and he showed me all his sketchbooks - gorgeous stuff. But I don't remember Ash Man so much and I LOVE him! <3 xx

  5. There's so much beauty here - of courage, and truth, and careful growth, and scars from lovingly stitched wounds, and dancing. And then that picture, Ash Man, which also enthralls.

  6. the scars and scarvage are part of your story now - a symbol of courage, tenacity, devotion and indomitable spirit - so why shouldn't they be shown off, if that's what you want to do and feel comfortable with ? Makes more sense to me than hiding away - and only by acceptance of how the new you looks, can you love your body completely. The dancing for hours sounds wonderful - i admire your energy and spirit. Thomas's art is beyond words, but I love it. Looking forward to seeing yours as well.

  7. Glad to hear you have a competitive co-exerciser, you sound very positive. Wishing you well, looking forward to seeing the metallic pen work.


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