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Tag: breast cancer

First Shower

Kristen Knott

“Do you need help getting undressed?” Jon asks from the doorway of our bedroom, one hand holding his BlackBerry, the other tucked into the front pocket of his baggy jeans. His head is slightly tilted, his eyebrows arched, highlighting his forehead wrinkles.

His phone vibrates, drawing his eyes from me to the incoming message. I wait.

Jon reads, ponders and then looks up, half-absorbed in what he’s just read, and

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Shamlian 140713 209 0001

Flourish

Danielle Shamlian

About the artist: 

Danielle Shamlian is a freelance photographer in eastern Massachusetts, specializing in children and family photography. She received her degree in photography from Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts. In May 2014, she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. This shock was

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women with lymphedema deCabrera

Walking Beside Me

HeatheRoden Vda. Cabrera (submitted by Sara Cohen)

About the artist: 

“I paint, draw, work in terra-cotta, glass, stone and wood. I like mixed media, and I adore metallics and glitter. Visually, I am deeply concerned with the impact of light upon a scene or an object.

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Cover-up

Carol Scott-Conner

“The plastic surgeons tell me that women who like to swim do much better with reconstruction than with prostheses,” says a young breast surgeon at our weekly Breast Cancer Tumor Board, the working conference where we discuss every new breast cancer patient before starting treatment.

There’s a slight note of surprise in her voice; to her, it’s simply another consideration when advising women before mastectomy.

For decades, the only option after a mastectomy

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The Hallway

Colleen Fogarty

Sitting here, waiting to teach a medical student.

My eyes lock
onto the windowed display cabinet of anatomic pathology specimens.

Aging bottles of shriveled dun-colored parts, pale reminders of bodies once vital.

My thoughts drift
my rib pain, localized, continuous, nagging.
my breast cancer, localized, excised, treated…just over a year ago.

What pains my rib?

Mets?
Muscles?

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Affected

Jessica Tekla Les

During my third year of medical school I was performing a routine breast exam, more for practice than anything else. I was trying the concentric-circles-around-the-nipple technique, one of several I’d been taught. About halfway through the right breast I found a lima-bean-sized lump, not far from the breastbone. I took liberties with this particular exam. I poked the lump, tried to move the lump, squished down on the lump. 

I took such

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Chemo? No, Thanks

Elaine Whitman

“If I were you,” said the radiologist, as I sat on the gurney discreetly wiping goo from my right breast, “I’d make an appointment with a breast surgeon as soon as possible.” His somber tone of voice, the white blotch radiating ugly spider tendrils on his ultrasound screen…neither of these made me nervous. If anything, I felt mild interest: “How very odd. He must think I have breast cancer. Or something.”

Ten days

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