Cancer’s not a journey, it’s a slog,

The media says fight to be “top dog”;

I’m being me, my mutilation’s fine,

I just can’t be a health freak all the time!!!

Whilst I look slightly changed, I’ll jolly on,

So why are you embarrassed -that’s just wrong?

Your fearing re occurrence cramps my style,

Could fashion be one boob, once in a while?

The sorrow gets me down because you see,

I’m actually rather proud of being me.


I’ve realized my body’s an illusion,

You’ll grow old too, and cells are a confusion…

There’s definitely beauty still within,

But wanting it outside too, that’s my sin!

I’m not the same, but can I still be normal?

I want some frills, not function or formal,

I’ve conquered getting out, I would like swimming,

But plunging necklines limit somewhat gym’ing!


I’ve lots of skills I’ll add to my CV,

Unusual, I’m sure you would agree?

I’m capable of waiting, sometimes hours,

And when you think it’s pouring, I see showers…

If bald I’ll cheerfully acquire a hat,

There’s nothing I can’t face if I do that?

No confidence, no memory, mind a fuzz,

Yet just a lack of nausea is a buzz!


One day they’ll say the chemo was all crazy,

It hurts your heart and makes your thinking hazy!

The scars from radio’, the skin they burned,

The chunks of me where feeling’s not returned…

I’m hoping history will hold us a place,

We’ve taken what they threw for human case.

I think our future’s in our genes you know,

And maybe soon the surgery will go.

I like to think that we’ll have paved the way,

For better treatment, for a future day,

But meantime I’d like underwear with style,

The post op’ lingerie is really vile!


Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine, I know you care,

I know the bad times hurt and you were there;

And seeing as I managed to survive,

Can I be honest whilst I’m still alive?

Let cancer open up, not shut the door,

I want to say I’m better than before…


When I was first diagnosed I was very inspired by Dina Rabinovitch, her book and column “Take Off Your Party Dress”, hit at a time that allowed me to both laugh and cry… Dina wrote to me a couple of times after I praised her Vogue article (about what to wear after a mastectomy), I still think of her and wish I had been able to share my work now…

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