I thought about taking some “proper” photos of myself, before my day surgery, but then realised that I couldn’t be bothered. There are more eloquently written articles or blog posts on the unrealistic expectations placed on women and how they should look, so I won’t go into it here. All I can say is, this is me — tired from a long day at work, sweaty from the Australian Summer heat, and feeling anxious about tomorrow.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m scheduled to have surgery to remove a fibroadenoma from one of my breasts. While my Breast Surgeon has explained that it is a straight forward procedure, a part of me is still worried about all the things that could possibly go wrong. Is it weird that my first concern was whether my future scar would become a keloid, rather than wondering if I might die on the operating table due to some freak occurence?
I don’t mind a scar, so long as it heals like a scar. However, it turning into a keloid would just destroy me. I know it’s a silly thing to be worried about. But I also know that in a society where a woman’s worth is still influenced by her appearance, it’s hard to put that worry aside. Also, I’ve looked it up online and have decided that the point of entry wound from my core biopsy has turned into a keloid. I’m not sure when it popped up, but there it is. And so the odds are already against me, and I’m more concerned than ever. Stupid, isn’t it? Of all the things to be worried about, I’m worried about something so superficial (also, don’t Google image search ‘keloid’ if you’re easily grossed out).
I’d like to think that I have a valid reason. One thing that kept coming up throughout the process of diagnosing and testing my fibroadenoma was just how small my breasts were. And it wasn’t meant in a negative way (like the one time a guy I was dating said that he wished my boobs were bigger. I mean, really?), but rather in a matter-of-fact way. “The lump is only noticeable because you’re so small”, or “it’s difficult to get your breast into the machine because you’re so small”, or “it’s hard to get a good image because the scanner is larger than the breast”. And I’d join in too. “Sorry I don’t have much to offer” or “I’ll be surprised if they can find my breasts, let alone a lump”. Because if I don’t join in and keep it light-hearted, I would honestly get really upset. As if I don’t already know that my breasts are too small for society. Ergh.
But if I don’t worry about these superficial concerns, then I’ll start to worry about how the procedure will go. I’ll admit it: I’m scared. I downplay my fear in front of family, my Bestie and the few friends who know, but I’m really just scared. I worry that something will happen on the operating table and I’ll never wake up. Who will look after The Parents? What will become of my family? Of this house? What if the small twinge of pain means something? There’s still so much I had planned to do. I’m not ready to go just yet, but you don’t get a say in when your time will come. Age has nothing to do with it, it all comes down to chance. Sometimes things happen and you just have to deal with it. Good or bad, expected or unexpected.
This is life. This is my life. I’m having day surgery. The Breast Surgeon will remove a fibroadenoma. And I might develop a keloid. I’m feeling anxious. I’m feeling tired. My life is not perfectly styled or curated. I’m just an average woman leading an average life. Albeit, with small breasts. And that’s okay.