STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness inner glamour model All these hospital appointments are really getting in the way of my jolly cancer shenanigans! Here’s me trying to have parties and beauty appointments and yet another appointment letter lands on my doorstep. So today its back up to my favourite hangout for the pre op assessment. My request for my own personal parking space has obviously got lost in the post as I’m left queueing with everyone else making me 20 minutes late. I therefore need to do my trademark run through the car park. My sister takes the piss as she says I move no faster than when I walk, but the slightly more boingy steps at least alerts everyone that I am indeed late and to get out of my way. So anyway I leg it up to the breast clinic, land on the desk huffing and puffing. “So…pant pant…sorry I’m… pant pant….late.” “Who are you?” “Elizabeth Hutton, I’m here for my pre op assessment” “Oh you’re in the wrong place, you need to go across the entire hospital, as far away from here as humanly possible and thats where your appointment is” (I may have paraphrased that slightly) So off I go, now nearly 30 minutes late, doing my best run/slightly boingy walk across to the pre op assessment unit. Arrived. Only 40 minutes late. Well, one likes to make an entrance. Having filled in my life story on the check in forms (including if I snore loudly- I don’t FYI) finally the actual appointment could get underway. It was mainly just blood pressure, blood tests, heart tests etc. Things went well until it was time for me to take my top off for the heart tests. Bright old me had of course worn a maxi dress. One word of advice, if you’re going to a BREAST appointment, wear an outfit that makes it easy to access your BREASTS! So anyway it was off with the maxi dress. The nurse said I could lay the dress over me to cover the rest of me up but it all seemed a bit pointless. If there’s one thing breast cancer isn’t, its dignified. I think most hospital staff have seen my breasts at one time or another (I’m sure I saw the costa barista have a cheeky glimpse!), Ive just swabbed up my nose and in my groin for MRSA, trying to maintain any form of modesty is really pretty pointless. But for their sake I duly covered myself back up with the very practical maxi. Then came the part I dread of any doctor/nurse appointment. Listening to my breathing! “Just breathe normally” WHAT?! Don’t tell me that! Now all I can think about is breathing. Is this how I normally breathe?? No i’m breathing too hard, go easy. Oh no now I’m holding my breath! Quick breathe! Not so quick, she’ll think you’re hyperventilating! Why can I suddenly hear my breathing?? Its so loud! Arghhh this isn’t normal!!! Stop breathing like a freak she’ll think youre a lunatic! HELP!! Ok we’re done Huh?! But I didn’t get a chance to show you I can breathe normally! Dammit, maybe next time. During the appointment I was given a powder that I have to drink the night before, and morning of, the surgery, 3 x 400ml of it! I already know I hate it. And my mum will be here so theres no way I can get out of it. It says its neutral tasting so you just know its going to be grim. Grim grim grim. My mum always, ALWAYS says “How do you know you don’t like it if you havent tried it??” That may have worked when I was 7 and she wanted me to eat brocolli but this is different. I KNOW this is gross. The next part of the appointment was something I didn’t expect. “Ok now you need to go down to the photo studio” I beg your pardon? A photo studio?? I had not misheard, I was in fact going down to have my boobs photographed for the ‘before’ pictures. Again, practical maxi dress meant there was no modesty to be had. Off it all comes! Unfortunately the style of photos didn’t allow me to demonstrate my full glamour model repertoire. I’m not sure they really captured my best side. Even so I have ordered a set for myself which my mum gets to pick up the day of my surgery. And yes, I’m serious Mum! Having now made my topless modelling debut (well if you exclude that 2002 copy of Razzle) the appointment was done. Now I can get back home and start having some Cancer fun before the next apppointment on monday!