My breasts

I have 4 breasts. I’ve lost 3 along the way, so that makes 7 in total – a strikingly magical number.

My right breast is an amazing, hand-crafted piece of art, sculpted out of my own flesh. It is admired by medical professionals on a regular basis.

My left chest wall is flat and scarred. My left breast tried to kill me, too, and had to be removed. The implant I had put in failed. I can’t have another go – the skin is thinned and scarred by radiotherapy. It’s not viable.

Obviously, if I’d known this was how things were going to end up, I wouldn’t have had the reconstruction. I’d be flat all over. I’d have a choice of breasts – no breasts at all for sport; small, chic ones for sophisticated occasions; party ones! Maybe.

Instead, I have a small collection of left breast prostheses. Be aware that I am a woman who can’t control her pens, her sunglasses, her mobile or ┬áher reading glasses. That means my kids are used to hearing me shout “I’ve lost my boob, I’ll be down in a minute”. That counts as normal in our house now.

Firstly, I have a firm, silicone breast. My every day breast. It’s reasonably realistic in texture, but it’s always cold, and it’s the same plastic pink colour as my daughter’s long neglected Barbie.

Next I have a clear, light-weight, chlorine resistant swimming breast. Sometimes I wear it all the time – if we’re going away on hand luggage only. It looks like an affectionate jellyfish, snuggling up to me. It feels weird.

My last breast is the first one they gave me post-op. It’s a little muppet softy, gentle on new, tender wounds. It feels like a firmly stuffed rag doll – without the arms and legs. And head. I wear it for running, because there’s no friction.

Now I don’t have any breasts of my own, I have more than any woman could reasonably need.