There are lots of things you don’t know, until you do.
In Australia, around 5,000 women have a mastectomy annually – mostly to remove cancer, the rest to pre-empt cancer. That’s about 0.02% of the population. So whilst there are a few of us around that know what I’m about to share with you, it’s not exactly trending on Twitter.
People of the Internet, there is no easy way to say this, so I’ll get straight to the point. I have a phantom tit. An appendage apparition. A spectre chesticle. Although my right breast was chopped off more than two years ago, it still feels like it’s there. If I get cold, it tingles. If my hormones are raging, it hurts. And worst of all, it gets ridiculously itchy, particularly the nipple. It itches exactly where the nipple used to be, so if I were to attempt to scratch that itch I would look like I was playing air violin.
Last night it was itching like crazy. Imagine the itchiest of itches, that literally cannot be scratched. I was a bit beside myself with it, so posted a whinge in my cancer support group. One of my friends did a quick Google and came back with the advice that I should put an ice-pack on the scar site, or failing that, give the area a good slapping.
Clearly the whole slapping thing had been dreamed up by some very disturbed individual out there in the ether, so there was nothing for it but to apply the ice-pack from my son’s school lunch box to my nebulous nork to ease that itch. I’m happy to report that it worked a treat, and after about 10 minutes of ice action, I was freezing my phantom tit off.