43 Days Since My Mastectomy … I Dream Of Onsen

That's not me, but I wouldn't mind a hot tub for one in my next nightmare. Photo: iStockphoto

Today marks my 43rd day since my mastectomy on 25 June.

I can’t sleep. It’s 2.40 in the morning and I’ve been suffering sleepless nights this week.

Maybe it’s gotta do with the freaky dreams I’ve been getting, in which I always have to take off my clothes and show off my Frankensteiny chest.

There’s this one dream that’s woken me up a few times. I am with a friend in Japan. We are in one of the most scenic countrysides you can imagine. We are walking up a hill, narrow stone steps that never seem to end. When we get to the top, the air is thin, and it is freezing. Quickly, to the onsen, says my friend, and I eagerly remove all my clothes and, armed with just a 4×4 inch Hello Kitty wash cloth, I tiptoe to the giant steaming wooden bathtub. I only notice the startled glares of the Japanese ladies around me when I sit down, the hot water just reaching above my breasts. I look down at what they are staring at, and notice that I only have one nipple, and where my other nipple was, is a circle of stitches. My heart is in my mouth.

In one of these dreams, I wake up, go to the loo, and remember that I really do just have a circle of stitches where my right nipple used to be. I feel nauseous. I drink some water and try to go back to sleep.

In another version, I put my pink Hello Kitty wash cloth over my offensive non-nipple, and try to smile politely to my onsen-mateys.

Now, if I go to bed and dream my onsen dream, I hope I will have brought two Hello Kitty wash cloths and covered both nipples before entering the tub.

I like this second ending better.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MS
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 17:56:22

    hi theresa, found your blog through sher and i feel compelled to leave a comment. i had a biopsy on my right breast last april to remove a cyst. it was thankfully benign. last month, during one of my routine follow-ups, many more cysts, big and small, were discovered in both breasts. my doc assures me that they are very probably due to hormones. “they can’t all be cancerous, so we can assume they are all benign,” he says sagely. i don’t understand his logic, but i like to believe he knows what he is saying.

    ever since my cancer scare last year, i have been urging everyone i know to go for breast check-ups (yes, even some guy friends, haha). so i really admire your decision to go public with your blog. and this post about onsen really hits home cos i’m crazy about onsen and i wouldn’t know if i will have the courage to soak in public if i had a breast removed.

    anyway, really just like to say i enjoy your sense of humour and breezy writing. thanks for sharing! you’re on my bloglines feed now. 🙂



    • threezframe
      Aug 16, 2010 @ 02:35:34

      Dear MS Thank you so much for your comment, it made my day. I’m REALLY HAPPY to read your cyst was benign! Since starting this blog I’ve met 3 women who shared with me about cysts as well. One lady told me she had 6 removed from both breasts (all benign), and a whole bunch came back the next year! She opted not to have any more surgery after that because the doctor had taken out so much breast tissue already. She put herself on a low-protein diet, and says she hasn’t had problems. I think as women, we just have to have the courage to do what it takes to stay alive. Keep up your good work encouraging others to go for their checks!



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