I’m quite a fatalistic person really. In fact, it’s how I ended up with my husband! A chance encounter in a vomit ridden nightclub with floors you have to peel your shoes off with every step you take, followed by long lingering looks, a passionate smooch on the dancefloor and a quick exchange of numbers. Fast forward nine years and here we are – married, step children and a daughter between us! Who knew………?
And that’s the key folks, who knows?! None of us ever knows what will happen to us next, or where our path in life will lead. What I do truly believe though is that your gut instinct is never wrong. And if something pulls you in a certain direction – as long as you’re not going to get arrested for it of course – then let it lead you gently to where you should be.
It was a Monday back in January 2018 when I experienced another ‘sliding doors’ moment. I happened to be out of town pulling in a quick job for an interior design project I was working on. I popped out to buy a couple of things from a shop in the area and on my way there, passed a shop called ‘The Lincoln Bra Lady’. I immediately decided to call in on my way back to buy a new sports bra. I had recently got back into running and, knowing that my last sports bra was so old it had almost grown legs and run off itself, I thought I would treat myself to a new one. Stage one of my sliding doors moment: being pulled in the direction of a new bra.
Having grabbed what I needed from down the road, I hurried back and threw myself inside the bra shop, excited about what sports bra delights I might find! It was then I met Claire. A lovely, attentive, gently spoken lady who guided me and fitted me with, would you believe, an underwired sports bra. Who would have heard of such a thing! I certainly hadn’t and my boobs were twitching at the thought of being bound and gagged!
Off I went, delighted and excited in equal measure with my new purchase. I couldn’t wait to get home, go out for a run, and experience the new lightweight, go faster me! The next few days saw me stride out most evenings with gay abandon – breasticles secured there was no stopping me! And then the Friday happened……
After a morning run with a friend I got home and ran a bath. God, how I was looking forward to an undisturbed soak and a bit of ‘me time’! I lent forward and down as I was taking off my bra when I instantly noticed an area of thickened breast tissue in the centre and towards the top of my left boob. “What The Actual F**k!” was exactly what went through my head at that point. What the hell had my new bra done to me?! Had it damaged my breast whilst luring me into a false sense of security?
I got into the bath and lay down and copped a feel. The area was probably the size of my little finger. So it wasn’t small. Where had this come from?? It wasn’t there on Monday when I was having my bra fitted – I would have noticed it surely? Now Breast Cancer was already on my radar – it runs in the family. But I had been for my annual Mammogram the previous November and all was good so surely this couldn’t be anything sinister.
The weekend came and went but the thickened tissue didn’t.
So, Sliding Doors. What does that actually mean? For those of you that have seen the film, you will totally understand where I am coming from. A quick decision that may change the direction of your destiny. A moment of life that ‘happens’ because of something you may or may not have done. It’s about what can fall into place when you ‘go with the flow’ because at that time, and in that moment, it feels like the right thing to do. If you had taken a different route life may not have turned out for you as it was meant to. Call it your gut instinct. I just know that when you’re pulled in a particular direction, don’t ignore it. It’s life’s way of telling you to explore something. It may not always be nice, but far better to know than not. Had I not gone to the other end of town for work on that Monday, I would never have seen the Lincoln Bra Lady. I would never have bought the under-wired sports bra, and my boobs would never have been re-positioned so well, well enough for me to notice what was going on inside my body. And if that wasn’t enough, shortly after I found my suspicious boob, my new sports bra disintegrated. Nothing at all to do with the quality of it I hasten to add (I washed it in a washing machine – big no no). The material came away from the wiring underneath the boob where the cancer was ultimately found, and so I could never wear it again. It had been sent to do its job, and was now leaving me. That’s when one door closed and another opened.