By Darlaine Honey
“On the day of my first Zometa infusion, I was taken to a chemo ward and there were three wards lined with seats either sides with patients at various stages of infusion of the demon red stuff. I felt like a fraud with my 30 minute infusion of clear fluid. Leaving the ward I passed three others with the same- approx. 20 per ward, sat in comfy chairs either side of the ward, with the bags of red fluid hooked up to patients. I did this painting from a rough sketch I did in my car that day, crying. It is called Unfinished.. as I stopped painting, not knowing what the piece of blank canvas left would represent.”
“I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast cancer ER= PR+ BRACA neg in OCT 2016. MRI stated it was in one breast only, pathology found it was in the other side. I had done a lot of peer researched reading and requested a double mastectomy as this type is likely to return in the other side and I didn’t want to be worrying constantly about this. I couldn’t imagine the anxiety around having a yearly mammogram and waiting to see if it was picked up or not. I have completed my reconstruction this May after having a year of uncomfortable expanders. I also had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed which showed a change within the fallopian tubes, which also could have been a future problem.
I have no nipples and have just consulted with a tattooist to have my breasts tattooed (another art project) across the whole chest in a feminine floral design which will have a light touch, we will start this process in November 2018. I opted for this over having nipples tattooed as my breast do not feel my real, despite sometimes having a phantom nipple sensation. My partner was on a dating site the day I had my mastectomy. This has been a hell of a year, but I am not down, I have great family, an amazing sister, great friends and have met some amazing new people through this journey. I have learned so much, for which I am so grateful and it is my aim to help others.”