Thank you for the many heartfelt emails and messages you sent to me after I published my newsletter last week for the first time since my “mastectomy retreat.” (A phrase I’m stealing from the brilliant wordsmith Lisa Hadden!) How grateful I am for this community of strong and compassionate women writers who know that connection is the essence of writing and life!
One of you asked me in an email if I’d had a chance to do any writing outside of my journal during my retreat.
As it happens, writing in my journal and crafting the mastectomy material into memoir pieces outside of my journal got me through the mastectomy and its aftermath. It’s not an understatement to say that there were long stretches of weeks where the only time I felt like myself was when I was writing.
Today I’d like to share with you a memoir essay titled “Her Imprint: A Mastectomy Postscript” that I wrote four months after the mastectomy. It appears in the March issue of Pithead Chapel: An Online Journal of Gutsy Narratives and explores what it means to be a self in a female body after losing a breast.
It also explores Sisterhood, as described in the following “blurb” that one of the venues I submitted to requested:
A mastectomy does not come with operating instructions explaining how grief will throttle your sense of self. Such knowledge does not exist outside the sisterhood of women who have lost their breasts. When the narrator of “Her Imprint,” crazed by grief, encounters a chance meeting with a “sister” who walked the road of mastectomy before her, she is met with such profound understanding that she sees in her sister a welcome reflection of herself.
Click here to read my memoir essay “Her Imprint: A Mastectomy Memoir.”
Oh, and speaking of sisters, that photo of the red boots? One of my sisters and I posing as shoe-twins, a whole different kind of sisterhood! And, yes, a memoir piece that traces the origins of the red boots is in the works. And, yes, those boots also tell my mastectomy story.