Today is Touch My Titty Tuesday. It’s an annual event, where I turn up at various medical centres, and allow a mix of people I’ve never met before and some that I have, touch my left breast. They also don’t mind having a good hard look at the place where my right breast used to be.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday, I like to pretend that I’m both brave and inspirational as I sit smiling in the waiting room. An hour before I’d been dry-retching with fear in the bathroom at home, but there I sit with a magazine, watching The Morning Show, and wondering if Stone Dine cookware is really all that it’s cracked up to be.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday I first see a doctor who examines my breast and what’s left, then wait a bit, then have a mammogram, then wait a bit, then have an ultrasound. Then I see the doctor again, and walking into the room I am reading her face, scanning, scouring, searching for a sign. She smiles. SHE SMILES. When it’s going to be bad news, they don’t smile. Ask me how I know. But she smiled. She smiled.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday, my next stop is the medical oncologist. When we first met, this guy was serious. Very serious, actually, but that is probably the only way to be when you have to tell someone that their five-year prognosis is 50/50. But as time has gone on, and my tests have been clear and I’ve continued to feel well (apart from the hideous side effects but for the purposes of a short and sweet blog post, let’s not dwell on those) and to live my new normal life, the seriousness has eased and I feel like maybe he’s not so worried about me. Perhaps that’s just me projecting, because I’m not so worried about myself, but that’s certainly not a bad thing, is it? In any case, these days our meetings are far easier (for both of us, I suspect) and he smiles – really smiles – and makes a joke about not wasting my time, given how well I am, and says see you in a year.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday, the doctor who used to need to see me fortnightly, and then monthly, and then three monthly, tells me he now needs to see me only yearly. I think to myself that my titty will feel unloved without its regular outings, but decide not to share that joke with him – we might be more comfortable with each other now, but really, we’re not quite at that point yet (and let’s face it, probably never will be). I leave, smiling, really smiling.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday, I begin my fourth year in remission. It’s been three years since I felt like I was on the precipice of losing everything, and here I am, hopeful, optimistic, fortunate.
On Touch My Titty Tuesday, I’m feeling good.