• Maria Hastings

D Day Has Arrived D=Dressing Up Day

There's a saying which has never been more relevant to me than it is today . ~ "No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up". From an early age I've enjoyed dressing up. As a young girl I remember the instant rush of putting the tiniest ballet pumps on & slipping into a leotard & feeling like a princess ready to enter a world of sparkles & fluffy pink clouds if only for a short moment in time.

In my teens I can still feel how cool I felt walking into town wearing my new denim jacket, my best friend had bought one too; I always thought she looked cooler than me in it, but I still felt good & #confident & with thumbs tucked into our jean pockets we strutted into town without a care in the world. In my late teens and twenties I suffered many a #fashion disaster. I recall having a tightly crimped perm done 'up in a London' & instructing them to snip off my mid shoulder length, already super curly hair, into a bob. #shock- It must have been bad as my parents didn't talk to me for a week & I cried every time I looked in the mirror. When my mum did start talking again all I heard was 'what have you done, your hair's always been your crowning glory & now you've ruined it '.

In my 20s & 30s I felt more self assured, and with the odd gentle nod to my fashion faux pas of the past I generally felt ok about my look & didn't make too many mistakes, or if I did no one told me so or sent me to Coventry for a week ..

Ive always understood how important it is for ones psyche to wear things which make us #happy ; & if you can mix that up with #clothes which reflect your #personality in #colours & #styles which suit your #body #shape then you're onto a good start ; and hopefully you'll feel ready to face the day ahead!

Truthfully, I'm not ready to face the day ahead at all, but there is no avoiding it and so I shower, do my hair & pop my makeup on. Today is 'special' & this calls for a 'special' #lipstick. I need a #colour which doesn't shout out too much (which is how I'm feeling on the inside, ready to shout, scream & howl - but I don't say a word) I need a colour which makes me feel - I struggle to find the right words here - like I've made an #effort (because I think the word 'happy' is pushing it a bit).

I choose a favourite #dress & put some #heels on. I'm only 5ft 2 & when I wear heels it makes me feel more #confident #talking with others who are taller than me, & let's face it with me being 5ft 2 there are many others taller than me! It's a pleasant summers day & it's the day of my appointment with a #breast #surgeon .

I know if I walk into the meeting feeling the best I possibly can then this will give me #strength & a better chance of coping with whatever they're going to tell me .

We arrive at the hospital , this time we're escorted to a sitting area outside a corridor in the #oncology dept ....* a red animated sign post flashes inside my head ' flash flash flash it's official, you've got IT..' *

We are called in and greeted with a gentle smile by my surgeon. She gets straight to the point and within seconds I learn I have aggressive #ductal #carcinoma of the right #breast. I swallow hard, several minutes later she is still talking but all I can hear is the word #cancer.

My mind has zoned out of the room, I'd love to be anywhere but here on this bright September morning but here I am and I need to face it.

My memory is hazy about what happened next but I think I held it together and tried to take in all the information we were given. I'm looking feminine and well groomed, my makeup is still in place , my hair is well styled . My image has always been important to me. First impressions are so important & I want my surgeon to know that I am #feminine & #strong & that I care how I look, & that #losing my #hair and breast in one fail swoop, if this is how I'm heading, will be #catastrophic for me .

My intention is that she'll understand all this by looking at me and thus find another way of treating & #saving my #life.

My strategy hasn't worked. I will be starting #chemotherapy within 2 weeks, my hair WILL fall out & I'll be having a #mastectomy as soon as chemotherapy has finished.

As we leave the hospital and walk into the car park my husband grabs hold of me, he's crying & hunched up .

I do my best to hold him up & get him to the car. Walking towards us I see a man talking on a phone, he looks away from us as he walks by and carries on with his conversation.

The world goes on spinning around, but for us, life is put on hold.

#Confidence #fashion #tip - always wear lipstick . It doesn't have to be a loud 'look at me' colour & even the tiniest hint of colour will light up you face .