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Trusting my Instincts

Gemma Cockrell

I really thought that I was totally at ease having just the one boob and not wearing a bra.  I was happy not to have had reconstruction, which was the choice I had made early on and been very happy with.  However, I started to hold myself differently, covering up my right side with my arm.  The following year we went on a family holiday to Greece and spent a lot of time in the water.  It made me much more self conscious and I really began to struggle with that.  I was cross with myself for feeling that way and not being completely happy.  I had absolutely no issues with having one boob, but I was adamant I didn’t want to wear a prosthesis of any kind as I hadn’t found any that I could get on with for more than a few hours. I was also beginning to feel like my left boob was a ticking time bomb and that I was ready for it to go. I started to have a really strong sensation that something was wrong with my remaining side.  I’m a positive person but I just couldn’t help it.  So I went and asked my surgeon for another mastectomy.  They were really reluctant to do the operation and told me that it wouldn’t save my life.  I was aware of that but I just wanted it gone, and also it would make me even and not lopsided anymore.  So the surgeon agreed to do it.

So once again I was prepped for theatre.  This time I was given a drug before to stop me bleeding again which I took for a week before the operation.  It actually went well, hooray!! No emergency ops, just the one this time, which was amazing.

A week later I got a phone call to tell me that they had found a little bit of cancer in the boob they had just taken off.  I was quite calm, a little bit worried that that meant the cancer had spread, but they told me it was a primary site again so that all was ok. I was so pleased that I had followed my heart, my gut and my head, all telling me that something was wrong.  All I had to think about now was a new wardrobe!!


Love Gemma x

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