They cut off my right breast,

It’s possible to hide,

A well bought bra,

Will get you far,

A polo neck beside.


My mother has one leg,

You’ll notice straight away,

A drastic op’

Sarcoma stop,

It’s how she’s here today.


I’m bored of telling stories,

Don’t pretend that it’s not there…

Can post op’ scars,

Be like fast cars,

The reckless tales to share…


We didn’t lose a body part,

A brolly left behind,

Will options grow,

And people know,

Mislaid you later find…


My mother’s limb amputation taught me a lot about inclusiveness and there is still so far to go, people just don’t know how to behave! After surgery I wanted to be me again, I was happy having come through, but finding stylish clothes that cover the neckline is an ongoing challenge…


I dream of not explaining,

Of unblemished remaining,

Of clothes that I can wear!

If necklines are too low,

I never seem to know,

To cover, or not care?

My contribution…


I’ve sometimes blogged and often blagged,

Divulged, indulged and also bragged,

I’ve even roped in stripey kitty,

She’s fat, the angle isn’t pretty…

So now I’m banging tambourines,

I’m on the soap box, making dreams,

A magic wand I never mastered,

But on and on I’ll wave the b*stard

Fundraisers give a good deal too,

-Just think of all the my mail to you…

In my attempt to make this happen,

With all that Ailsa …happy clap’pen!

It’s personal, give ’cause your friend,

Wants to write rhymes that aim to lend

A hand, and thought, and something funny,

Our cell fault cause also needs money…

Remember hope, remember care,

I’m cap in hand now I’ve got hair,

Once rocks and stocks, Italian purses,

These days I praise Macmillan nurses,

Please have one latte less today,

And send the cost Just Giving’s way!

It’s good, I’m happy, life’s fantastic,

My veins are once more quite elastic!

Okay I still have chemo brain,

But was I ever really sane?

It’s huge, I know, and people die,

I can’t stop that, although I’d try…

Yet writing out my bald faced jokes,

Could employ cancer special folks…

For bloods and bones and skin,

For lumps and bumps within,

I have to say us green guys are,

Most sarcoma inclused by far,

With plans to help at every stage,

For every type and every age,

I’ve learned to ask without regret,

For every time we give we get…

So today I wrote asking for money -you see I am glad that my poems make people talk and I am grateful that we can laugh about the past, but I do want this to help others in the present too, and that means paying for people who actually know what they are doing! Thank you for all the support, thank you to those who have also donated, but if anyone else would be able to make any small donation, on https://www.justgiving.com/whims-wishes then you would have gone beyond… A donation to Macmillan really is a donation to everyone!

Open mind…

A special lady known to me,

Refused the boobs obligatory,

And chose a flat chest symmetry,

In place of bumpy mammary…

She’s told breasts are a posh frock must,

And yet I reply, with disgust,

That silhouette is me, my life,

My possible, after the knife…


I have a friend who challenged the system by electing for a second mastectomy rather than breast reconstruction, and it wasn’t easy to get consent. I think it is a clever decision, which might suit others too?


Anyway she was told to get double prosthesis, as the clinic thought she would later maybe want to wear them in dresses -although she thinks unlikely. This is her account of the fitting -you have to laugh?


“Very interesting visit to the breast cancer nurse to get my new prothesises. After selecting and then shoving them in a bag remarking I don’t really intend wearing them we had a good chat about why. She called a colleague in. Nurse 2 listened and asked if I didn’t feel more confident now I had them on. Her face when I said they were in the bag not on was a picture.


They have asked if I would go and talk to their next team meeting and the next breast cancer support group. Perhaps I should start a boobless and free campaign!”


© 6/2014 Ailsa Tims. All rights reserved.

The situation…

I’m sorry I got sick,

It wasn’t fair on you,

Your skin is growing thick,

With all the stuff you do…


Our plans for in our forties,

They were travelled kind of things,

Not osteoporosis,

And resizing all my rings!


So now you are the carer,

Yet you’d no ambition to,

Become a full time sharer,

With the blood awareness crew…


I get lots of support,

The drugs and the attention,

You get the dirty washing,

And occasionally a mention!


While people send me flowers,

It’s a celebrated life,

It is you who needs the powers,

To nurse your broken wife.


Still think of it this way,

I will owe you now forever,

And you know that I won’t say,

If your cooking’s not so clever…


You field my awful platitude,

Your kind but I regret it,

You help me study gratitude,

And ask me to forget it.


You’ve an aim to find me treats,

Yet I’m keeping you in prison,

You’re the only one who eats,

But the questions not arisen….


If I could change your place,

(It’s worse for you than me)

Not sure I’d have your grace,

And I’d be fed up making tea!


When I think about the situation of the carer, I think exhausting, uninvited, lonely. So cheerfully done we guess it is about short straws, but cancer is far beyond the patient, it changes everything and no matter how many times you are told to put it behind you I believe it is better to embrace the people you become…

Those nurses…

Hope on your face,

A friend in a scary place,

Light and fright,

The day and night…

An eternal sunny warning,

“You’ll feel better in the morning”,

As you mind and wash hair,

You are kind and you are there…

You understand my dignity,

You find a misplaced leech for me,

We rank the scales of pain,

While morphine keeps me sane…

Tissues for my issues,

The moments we misuse,

Good smelling, soothed swelling,

My Gallic rebelling…

We laugh, we are still strong,

What else could now go wrong?

You understand all this,

The me that I miss…

Once I had control,

Now I’m not quite whole,

‘Though cross makes me vomit,

You’ve no offece from it.

With hourly obs’,

I hold back the sobs,

I drink too much too,

The water runs through,

Reduced to an illness,

Your warmth, and the stillness…

I remember two very low points, and two amazing nurses.

One simply gave me a box of tissues and suggested I cry my way through the whole box.

The other nursed me through a week of leeches*, bringing aromatherapy and Swiss chic into my life (she also taught me that a bikini is softer on the skin than underwear, and makes you feel like a guilty secret!) we did laugh! She had nursed her mother, in her final days, the year before, and she was an angel…

There moped me up and brushed my hair -I hope they know I still remember how wonderful they were!

*No I wasn’t treated in the time of Henry VIII -24 hour leech therapy means that there were two at a time trying to keep the flesh on my chest alive (and they died for me!) -is that too much information?

© 6/2014 Ailsa Tims. All rights reserved.

Questions for the plastic surgeon

Photo on 2011-06-30 at 11.04Is this what you expected when you stared altering me? When you rearranged my body, patched me up and set me free? The stitches are quite ragged, is that usually your style? I have a fashion background and have wondered for while…

I understand mastectomy is not a level peg, But was this your intention, taking muscle from my leg? And though the muscles thriving that you brought round from my back, If you tickle my front front now, it’s my dorsal that feels slack…

And please can you indent this sort of blip across my belly? The fat that you transported has reduced itself to jelly, Don’t mean to be ungrateful but it’s not what I expected, Don’t suppose we can go back before the implant was rejected?

I have had experience of a lot of plastic surgery, that wasn’t because I was fussy, just things kept going wrong and people kept talking me into having another try (why?). A friend recently fought to have a double mastectomy rather than reconstruction (symmetry is always better!) -that seemed a great idea to me, but in recovery she was offered two prosthesis -how hilarious, I get the joke but the hospital didn’t see it was one!

My advice -ask questions, lots and lots of questions!

© 6/2014 Ailsa Tims. All rights reserved.