A Shoe For Everything
By Rethink Contributor June 6 2017
Check out how fashionista Aya McMillan’s fabulous shoes have been [literally] walking her through her cancer journey.
I was diagnosed in March wearing Manolo Blahnik BB pumps. It was still freezing outside but, as I was picking out what to wear to my results appointment, I remember thinking how badly I needed a lift. I had already been knocked down this year by the loss of my dog and before that, the disintegration of my decade-long relationship, so Elvis Presley’s lyrics kept running through my head: “Well, you can knock me down…do anything that you want to do. But don’t you step on my blue suede shoes.”
My first meeting with my [female] surgeon so something solid was in order. Enter my oxblood hued, block-heeled boots by Celine, a brand that has always embodied effortlessness and singular female strength. They’re basically the footwear equivalent of the fist bump emoji saying, I’ve got this.
Following the diagnosis, the follow-up MRI had picked up four(!) more lumps, two of which needed to be biopsied. My initial biopsy was brutally painful and this time I had to climb back in the MRI tube and stay still for over an hour whilst my boobs were smooshed between plastic walls, and needles were inserted in tandem on each one all without the assist of my dear friend, Ativan. Good thing I armoured up with Valentino’s spikey Rock Studs. They’re oldies but goodies and can always be counted on to bring the bad-assery.
My lumpectomy thankfully only required day surgery but coming off the general anaesthetic, there was still no way I could wear stilettos home. And as with any operation, you’re told you can’t wear a stitch of makeup, nail polish or jewellery but my silver and gold jacquard backless Gucci loafers more than made up for them. (Bonus: They also saved me from lace ups or anything else binding. #winning)
I had every reason to believe my surgery was a success (clear margins, nodes negative!) and the pain had diminished enough that I could finally raise my arms, so I celebrated by busting out my never-worn monogrammed Prada pumps.
The first truly hot day of the year and I was a ball of nerves in anticipation of whether I will have to undergo chemo, so bright orange Azzedine Alaia lace-up sandals, obviously. PS the nurses looooooved them.
Friday before the long weekend so out came the vintage tasselled-to-the-max Christian Lacroix heels. I ended up having to wait over three hours to see the radiologist and the resident man-spread across the entire width of the examining table as he explained my treatment—but I didn’t care because I had a party on my feet.
Day 21 of radiation therapy… just your average hospital shoes. A pair of feather festooned footwear for my FINAL treatment.