Health (like hope) lies eternal in the Human Breast!

And no one knows this better than me!!

If this is your first visit, I hope you can read my first post before you carry on - "So what is old anyway?"

I really do think that health is worth all the effort you put into it. On the whole I have had a marvellously healthy life. Brought up in the war of course when sugar was rationed, along with sweets, and not too much of anything. Many of my generation still have good teeth and hair and skin and I put it down to moderation in most things - which was rather forced upon us!! In this photo Francis is 88 and I am 72, hair and teeth intact in both of us!! I don't remember anyone in my class at school being overweight the way children are today. Funny isn't it? I did have a bout of hepititis once. We called it jaundice then.

Brought on because I was being chased by a well known actress of dubious intentions, and I was keeping close to the theatrical company I was working with at the time and drinking far too much Guinness! Just to keep out of her way and not be alone. No names, no packdrill, isn't that what they say? I do remember being in the hospital in Preston and hearing someone outside my door saying "EE Aggie, that lady's a loovely colour!!!" Bright yellow I was, terrific. I had collapsed at the end of a marvellous play called "Waters of the Moon" Playing a part as long as Hamlet it seemed. I had had a bad time (apart from the lesbian chaser) because I just couldn't 'get' the part, until suddenly at the dress rehearsal I had donned a mink coat, provided for my first entrance by the local furrier - so's he got a free ad in the theatre programme - and put on a pair of specs and a jaunty hat. I looked in the mirror and suddenly saw MY MOTHER!! Courage returned and I got very good notices the next morning.
I Collapsed 2 nights later and they had to close the theatre because no one could be found to play the part at such short notice. Robert Stephens, my leading man for that season, always blamed the Guinness and I have never drunk a drop of it since. The lesbian nameless actress returned to her main attraction in London as I had banned her from the hospital.

No, I have remained fit and well IN SPITE of Breast cancer! On this subject I can only say this. I believe it is absolutely ridiculous not to report any irregularity you may find straight away! A friend of mine in The Hebrides is upset because her friend didn't bother, having found a lump in November, and now she is really sick. In my case, 3 years ago, I had just bought a lovely satin bra and had put it on, only to spot a small lump - the satin had accentuated it. I rushed to the doctor and she confirmed what I had thought. "What" said I, "would happen if I do nothing?" "That is not an option" came the reply. Oh boy I thought, as I was about to go to Budapest with Francis, what do I do now? "Go to Budapest" said my doctor "and when you come back an appointment will be waiting". After 2 weeks I returned and sure enough, everything kicked into action and I had the complete diagnosis and operation within a very short time.

At this point let me tell you IT IS NOTHING LIKE AS BAD AS YOU IMAGINE!!! End of the world I had imagined. But I hardly knew what was going on, once arrangements were made. In and out of the hospital in a week and home to reasonable normality within a very short time. The Hospital fitted me up with "my disguise" - off I went to find my new bras, and I promise you nobody would know a thing about it if I didn't say!! I don't look too bad do I? This was 3 weeks after my operation. The prostheses provided are simply excellent. Not quite without its laughs though. One day, just before I had got my newly special bras I was using an ordinary one and dropped something on the floor. Completely forgetting my new situation I leant forward and lo! the thing flew out to the hysteria of my guests. I am more careful these days (apart from the time I returned to my house from the swimming pool to find myself not quite even in the top department.) I had quite wrongly assumed a swimsuit I had on was perfect as the prosthesis had slipped in so well. I hadn't noticed it wasn't stitched under the bra part, and the missing bosom was later found shining like a jelly fish in the grass!!! You couldn't make it up, I promise.

Another thing I am sure of is that diet plays a huge part in how we feel, as far as our health is concerned. My personal favourite "group" of types of food without question is Mediterranean. Probably because I shared so much of my life with an Italian whose hobby was cooking! Wasn't I lucky? But a lot rubbed off on me, and I learned through him, although I probably didn't realise it at the time. I have also been told by an eminent Italian doctor that Italians and most people from the Mediterranean suffer far less than the rest of Europe from Breast Cancer. I don't know this to be a fact of course, but I have many Italian and Spanish friends who happily do not know anything of this disease.

This morning I am really heartened by the wonderful sunshine. I really feel that the harsh days of January and Early February are passed. Just had a walk round my garden and peeped into my sad greenhouse. And I really am beginning to feel the urge to get started with the seeds for all the plants I will soon be growing for flowers and of course for food.

See you again soon.


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