Growing up

Recent school group posting regarding two books ‘My Dear Daughter’ given to us at school regarding puberty & ‘birds & bees’. Prompted me to reflect.

The first one with a blue cover was given in year 1 aged 11 years & the second with a green cover was given later ?date. Most of the comments on the posting were about the response from each person’s mother. I don’t recall ever showing my mother. The way the book seemed to be written was from a mother to her child (author sister of Norte dame, it being a convent grammar school). I don’t recall any teacher emphasising that we had to give the book to our mothers to read with us. On first reading the post I thought perhaps I felt I couldn’t discuss these books with my mum indicating a deficiency in our relationship. Just as I write this blog entry now I realise the way I dealt with the reading of these books was based on my interpretation of the process.

Not long after receiving book 1 mum was admitted to hospital aged 42 years with sudden onset of bipolar affective disorder and was hospitalised for 11 weeks with weekend stays towards the end. Mum’s condition responded well to e.c.t and she was discharged from psychiatric services and needed no medication. History repeated itself with me at the same age in 1998. I will perhaps write about that again. Thank God I have been in ‘remission’ since 2002 and know how to look after myself.

Aged 14 years and no signs of breast development or menstruation and sudden onset of overactive thyroid with associated ‘poppy’ eyes etc. Mum was recovering from her illness and was particularly concerned as she was aged 11 years when menstruation started suddenly when she fainted at school. I saw my lovely G.P who prescribed medication for the hyperthyroidism & explained all about hormones & how my periods would start once my thyroid condition was stable. My recollection of buying a bra was a visit to marks and Spencer’s & buying size 32 inch a cup which all my friends bought. From then on I bought bras according to how I thought my breasts had grown. In recent years I have ensured  I have been measured in the bra fitting department.

Three days ago whilst in the shower I felt a small lump in my right breast. I didn’t take action that day & left it until yesterday when I saw my G.P and from a physical examination can also feel a lump. I have been referred to the local breast clinic to be seen within two weeks. The lump isn’t painful and I had my mammogram in July 2018 (aged 62), no family history of breast cancer. It seemed strange that all this coincided with me going to be fitted for a new bra before visiting a vrty good older friend & ex colleague. I have told my friend & my friend in Gambia. I live with my brother who is away cycling at present, returning in two weeks time. I spoke to him by phone last night but haven’t told him as to worry him on his trip.

Yesterday I read in the local paper the G.P I visited all those years ago died aged 93 years. The funeral is next Tuesday and if I have no hospital appointment I will go.

I think mum & I had a very close and open relationship. The comments on the Facebook school group were all negative anyway. If she were here now I would certainly be discussing my lump with her.



    1. Hi Janet,
      Attended breast clinic today whew! One of two friends I told about my findings offered to come with me & was more than supportive, our shared humour helped.
      Thank God, after general exam & superficial scan by the consultant & deep scan by radiographer it was confirmed the lump was an accumulation of fatty tissue following perhaps a bang or bump.
      Just read my ‘all over the place post’ & mammogram of course was July 2017.
      Take care


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