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Decision

The truest decisions are discovered, not made. They form when you’re looking the other way. You simply need to recognise them. It was a very good friend who helped me realise that I had already formed my decision to go ahead with the surgery, but that I just couldn’t speak it. Now the other decisions would fall quite naturally from that first one. I was in the chute.

3 Oct, 2006

Brightest day in weeks, after a lot of dark and rain.

Very good talks with C around what my or P’s reactions would be in various different circumstances, eg if I decided not to have op and found lump in 6 months or 2 years, or if something happened to me under anaesthetic, or if I had op and then got cancer of the toe a week later, etc etc. Nothing seems to make sense except doing what I can to prevent breast cancer. P and F need me, so do lots of others. My father needs me.

I am already adapting my internal picture of myself, in this new image I have no breasts. I am getting ready.

Now I’ve begun to tell people the decision is made, I feel a lot clearer. I can prepare in earnest… medical details, dates, domestic arrangements, everything else I must do for me and for P and F to ease the way through Nov/Dec. There is a countdown coming into play.

20 Oct, 2006

Where have these more than two weeks gone? So much to think of.

Watched the Spadola and Powers ‘Breast Documentary’ and was glad to find something both honest and funny. It really got under my skin. Still not sure if I’ll be able to keep nipples, have researched a bit and must talk to surgeon on Tues evening. Suddenly the need to get the op done seems more pressing than my nipple issues, but there may yet be time to find the right plastic surgeon.

I have contacted the genetic counsellors at Guys and will see them in less than a fortnight.

I feel the reality of a major op creeping closer and have revisited and revisited my decision to go ahead. It stands.

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About Clare Best

I am Clare Best – poet, writer, teacher of creative writing. My first career was as a fine bookbinder. I've also worked as a bookseller, and for many years as an editor. Poetry publications: Treasure Ground (HappenStance 2009), Excisions (Waterloo Press 2011), Breastless (Pighog Press 2011), CELL (Frogmore Press 2015), Springlines (Little Toller 2017)

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