My friend J’s suggestion of a treat following every chemo has been such a good idea. Sometimes however the execution of the treat from concept to reality has been problematic – such as the disastrous downloading music treat which destroyed my whole iPod library! (I am building that back better now!)
So far though, treat No 4 has been my favourite.
Now that I had managed to get into, and more importantly, out of the pool, I reckoned that it was time to revamp my pool attire. Especially considering I have only one swimsuit and that is from another context,never mind another era in terms of “fit”. This is a glorious costume that I got in India and is very much or the subcontinent contexts. I remember the first time I saw some women paddling in the sea in India. They were fully clothed, wearing beautiful saris or flowing salwar kameez in order to maintain their modesty. Living in India, I soon adapted and even found it very comfortable swimming in the Andaman Sea fully clad!
Interestingly however, swimming pool dress etiquette in India is completely different. Women of course still have to maintain modesty,but in most pools it is not permitted to wear loose or baggy bathers such as the practical Australian style. No, they have to be fitting,but unrevealing. Ironically this is impossible. So my marvellous Indian ” Speedo” costume came up to my neck, and pretty much reached my knees. Appropriate? Yes. Decent? Hmmm – a matter of opinion! Put it this way, I always managed to ensure that the time between towel removal and pool immersion was less than a nano-second.
So, for my chemo treat No 4, a new swimsuit was the perfect choice. It would mean I could take my time when getting into the pool, feel more comfortable in a less revealing style, in a practical way have a change if I want to swim more than once daily – and most importantly,it would be an additional motivation to swim regularly.
So I persuaded hubby that Wednesday was the day, before groundhog enveloped me (I have stronger anti-side-effect meds for the first two days after chemo). On with the surgical mask, off to the skytrain and into the swimwear section of one of the large stores.
The choice was immense, but my selection criteria restricted things considerably. I settled on a couple of promising options and reluctantly set to try them on – after all there was no point in getting something which did not fit or was not comfortable. Some treat that would be.
By this time though I was feeling tired, yucky and a bit sick so the fitting session was not exactly fun. Twang arm was really playing up, and the fitting room was a reverse Tardis – seeming spacious from the outside but the size of a post box on the inside. As I struggled with the changes, I realised I was singing along to the piped muzak, not realising immediately how ironic it was to be singing ” Things will never be the same again” (by Mel C). You’re not kidding – things will never be the same again, lah lah lah!!
The first choices were not so good, the more promising one having been designed for someone at least 6 inches shorter than me, who had probably had a double mastectomy! (For those who do not know me – I strain to reach 5’1/2″ on a good day). “Things will never, never, never be the same again”, I chirped along with Mel C as J brought me more options to try on. And amongst them was the perfect choice. A simple, classic, long two-piece swimsuit, shorter yet far more decent and modest than my Indian one.
I love my chemo treat. I feel good in it. I’m motivated to swim almost daily. Sadly poor Indian Speedo is now relegated to the wardrobe and feeling redundant.
And as for “Things will never be the same again”? Well, that a whole new train of thought for another post……………….