160. No breasts, no bra, no-brainer

I now feel that I've taken up position at the luckier end of the cup size spectrum.

I may have wondered about the Dolly Parton option, and such options may be right for some women, but after three months of living flat, my own verdict is final. No reconstruction for me, no prosthesis. No breasts: no bra.

It seems such a no-brainer now. Dear fellow women, let me give you just one word to explain why going bra-free is so fabulous, and you will understand: HEATWAVE.

It's a revelation. Of course many of us have gone without our bra at times (whether your reasons are for fashion, freedom or politics - for lounging, sunning, relaxing, not wanting to be restricted, wanting to go your own way). But unless you have an AA cup (and even then), as soon as you start to run or sweat, you realise that a bra is not just for looks.

I still marvel at just throwing on a shirt and nothing else. I feel as if I'm only half dressed, or ready for bed, and still need to tell myself that yes, I really can go out like this.

As a nurse, I have seen thousands of women and their breasts. In this heatwave, I think of the many women I've looked after (especially those on the generous end of the cup size spectrum) who struggled with painful redness and rashes where skin meets skin, sometimes to the point of inflammation.

But whatever your size (mine was always modest), you will know the discomfort of sweaty bra straps or jiggling to fit your seat belt comfortably. I'm explaining all this for the benefit of the men reading this.

Chaps, you don't half know how lucky you have it.

But now I know it, too. It's not just the ease of dressing. It's also the ease of movement, being able to lie on your front without shifting into the least pressurised position. Stretching and turning and swimming and cycling with the unexpected joy of physical freedom.

So for me, the no breast & no bra option really is the only option. I'm not looking back. I'm off on my bike, into the sunshine, unencumbered. Given the choice, of course I would have chosen never to have had cancer, never to have lost my breasts. But we don't have a choice, and here's a silver lining, so why not focus on that rather than on the cloud?

The outside thermometer now shows 26°C, down considerably from yesterday's record-breaking heat, so I'm off.