When I first started contributing to a blog, it was for Emmanuelle’s Blog, a.k.a 2EX, a blog that dealt with SL sexuality in a wider sense and for which I was only an occasional naturist correspondent.
Australian avatar Marlene was the writer who dealt with lesbian-related matters, but sometime in 2009/10 she developed breast cancer and quit the blog. The team who wrote the blog began to break up, and eventually Emmanuelle decided to stop blogging. Howie & I began to hatch a plan to develop SL Naturist, and I left Emma’s ’employ’ to start blogging here.
Marlene went on to have a mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy and, I’m glad to say, recovered fully. She quit her job to become a full-time employee of a breast cancer charity, and also quit SL saying that she would return only when some acknowledgement of a horrible disease received some form of recognition in SL. While not a full mastectomy, probably impossible due to the manner in which shapes/skins are constructed, Rav3n’s store on the Marketplace designed a mastectomy styled tattoo (L$99) some time in 2014, but it was only recently that Marlene became aware of this and re-acquainted herself with SL, only last week that she made contact with me and we decided that it was something we needed to blog.
At the time we were colleagues, Marlene & her girlfriend would have spent time at the naturist sims, and Marlene was a woman who would have readily gone ‘topless’ in real life.
‘It was part of who I was’, Marlene told me last week, ‘and the loss of a breast is a huge thing for a woman, as our boobs often define us as women. Not, perhaps, within ourselves, but in the manner in which society sees us. Yes, I did feel a sense of loss too. Was I still attractive? Was I still a sexual being? Did my (RL) girlfriend still want me? Actually, no, she didn’t. She couldn’t handle the situation and we split up. Having recovered fully I was actually energised by the experience, I threw myself into my new job, and didn’t have much time for SL. Anyway, I was determined that if I came back to SL it would be as a breast-cancer survivor. That would need to define me in the game’.
With mastectomy tattoo layers now available, Marlene has decided to return to SL and to live her life in the context of a breast cancer survivor. ‘If the use of the layers starts one conversation to encourage one woman -or man with a RL partner- to check for lumps, bumps or anything else, to get themselves checked out, that’s worth it. No, I’m not going to be running around SL shouting ‘look at my mastectomy scar’, but my profile is certainly going to be updated to reflect things as they are! Now, my avatar can also accurately reflect who I am’.
I’ve added ‘uncensored’ photos of the layers to the ‘Harry’s Pix’ page (scroll to the bottom of the page).
If you have any concerns about breast cancer, you can get information here. (This page has a UK emphasis, but the information provided will largely be universal).