Breast Cancer Answers Art Gallery



24 hours before:
-hospital pre-admission
-radical mastectomy consent form signed
-convince self consent is unnecessary
-don't pack, but arrange.
12 hours before
-love me my dear and
hold me tight;
-touch me and kiss me.
12 hours after:
-Yes, I know.
-family surround me,
suspend me
-share my burden.
36 hours after:
-thick gauze simulates
-mental rehearsal of
touching my lump.
48 hours after:
-doctor removing dressing
-look; see; don't think
-begin to grieve this loss.
60 hours after:
-frustrated; eating left-handed
-lonely; missing freedom
-questioning; other's reactions
-rebelling; choosing hospital gown
over satin and frills.
72 hours after:
My right breast is not me,
and yet I cry.
But I still have the other one;
I still have an arm and hand;
I am still alive!

From Journey Unknown (Journey Press, 1994)
© 1994, Margaret Phalor Barnhart

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