In my terrified mind, this was the path to just getting my life back, as if those breast implants could be a talisman to ward off grief and pain.
Women everywhere are calling for the standard of surgical breast cancer options to shift and include flat closure. We’re finally positioned culturally and historically to demand autonomy over our health care choices, and how we express our ideas of what is truly healthy and beautiful for ourselves.
The vision came to me in the shower. I saw myself standing naked at the mouth of an open cave in front of a reverse halo of blackness. Charise was there too, crouched down to take my picture. I remembered seeing her at that art opening last spring, and the open invitation to do a… Continue reading Why I Posed Nude on National TV
The brain heals memories like scar tissue. Little pockets of betrayal, oozing pustules of heartbreak, shards of anger encapsulated, slowly covered up by a thin layer of skin and hardened there. If you’re lucky, if you massage the memory just a little but not too much, you’ll end up with a scar you can live… Continue reading Scar Tissue
I am still a ways off from being tattoo ready. There will be a period of healing after this next surgery. Just yesterday, my husband and I were discussing tattoos of fake nipples vs. some other type of tattoo to cover my scars. Mostly he wants me to feel happy with my body, but I… Continue reading Mastectomy Tattoo Options
Tell a Mom not to use her right arm. Tell this to a Mom with a 4 year old and watch her face. I am one of those people who is never content to do just one thing at a time. While the onions are sauteing, I can get the laundry going, start a fire,… Continue reading Pick me up Mommy!
When I see pictures of myself, I think of my breasts. Was this picture taken back when they were my true originals, untouched by the surgeon's blade? My eyes are telling too. Who was this carefree girl impervious to such destruction? I don't like to be touched across my chest. It reminds me of how… Continue reading Healing and Waiting
Exactly one week ago at this time, I was fresh from surgery, in a world of pain and confusion. The last week has melded into one blurry, long day. I am through the first leg of the woods and can begin to make out the other side. Feels good to be in this place where… Continue reading Emerging from the Chrysalis
Dear Grandma Viola, We never met. I am the oldest daughter of your youngest daughter. You passed away only a few years before I was born. My mother watched you be diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51, go through a barbaric mastectomy, which was the best they could do at the time… Continue reading Thank you Grandma, I love you and I’m sorry