Raving My Tit Off

Jenny Newland was diagnosed with high grade DCIS breast cancer in August 2020. She had a single mastectomy with reconstruction in November 2020 and is still healing but her surgery was a success and she got the all clear.


Here is a little piece I have written that I hope you can use to help brighten someone's day and help them feel less alone.


There’s nothing funny about being diagnosed with breast cancer, but for some reason when I tried to make a video to share to let people know I had breast cancer I got the giggles. I don’t know why but I just kept laughing.


I think throughout my diagnosis I had a sense of: "Is this really happening?"


And the more I tried to do this video the more I laughed -- it was actually the first time I had laughed so much for a long time. I never posted this video but I kept it. And I look back at it and I see a myself laughing and smiling the way I choose to go through life. And while I was given breast cancer on my journey of life, I decided that I was going to laugh and smile my way through it as much as I could. The photo below was taken the day I tried to record that video.


2020 was a tough enough year, so when I did speak to my friends or family I always tried to make them laugh. The best thing I came up with was to say, "Well, the universe has just decided to make me a little bit more unique than I already am. I’ve been chosen to experience life with one real boob and one fake boob."


None of my friends were expecting me to tell them I had breast cancer and that I was going to have a single mastectomy with reconstruction. But by making a joke it was my way of telling my friends that I’ve made my peace with this, I’m OK as much as I can be, please do make jokes. I’m going to go through this the way I do most things laughing and smiling even if on the inside I feel like I am breaking.


Cancer is not taking my smile.


I was considered quite young to be diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 -- at least that is what the doctors and nurses kept telling me.


My friends and I all love music festivals, clubbing and I do love the lasers and light shows. There's a phrase we have called "raving our tits off." So to my friends I just said, "Well, at least we can say I got too close to the lasers and raved one of my tits and now I have a scar the shape of a laser."


By calling it a laser scar from raving my tit off it was my way of not having to refer to it as a breast cancer scar. It's my laser-shaped scar and it was going to make me brighter than ever.


Another one of my friends said put some glitter on it and then you will sparkle more than you already do. And I said, "Yes, now I have a reason to wear glitter every day."


One of my favourite sayings is never let anyone or anything dull your sparkle.

On the day of my surgery it was FriYay. Good things happen on Friyays I told them. I qued up outside the hospital inpatients door, I didn't know you had to que to go into the hospital. I got given my wristband like you would at a festival or club, I went into a room full of very bright lights -- next thing I remember just before I woke up in recovery I was sure I was on the dance floor raving away under lasers. I remember thinking to myself I saw lasers and I have just raved my tit off.

The pain after surgery though that was not something I could laugh through. Occasionally when I would drift off after the morphine I saw myself dancing with my friend and in those moments it helped remind me why I am going through all this pain -- because there are many adventures with my friends waiting for me once I am through this.

I made sure before I went into Hospital that all the photos of the funniest mad adventures I been on with my friends were all saved in a photo album so I could still see all their smiling faces and see all our adventures we had been on and look forward to all the adventures that wait for us.

As I was healing I said to my friends I still a bit bruised, but its in the shape of a smiley face so even my bruises are trying to make people laugh. Just like I have been.

Despite bringing so much worry and stress to all of my friends and family last year I was still able to bring some laughter and brightness along the way. And I am so grateful to have friends that I could make jokes with, that could remind me of all our funny adventures together, and all the photos we have captured along the way. The memories of living your best life is something cancer can never take from you. And those memories will put a smile back on your face after Cancer has tried to wipe it off.

You don't choose your battles but you can choose to laugh and smile through it as much as you can and that is what I did.

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