Sunday morning I look at the dressing on my breast - ex-breast? - in the mirror for the first time. Lying propped on hospital pillows, peering down at myself, my body didn't seem that different. But in the mirror, stark as a minus sign, there it is, the new flatness.
Grief is waiting to swamp. To ward it off, I take snapshots of myself on my phone. Fluent breast-feeder, I could always summon milk at will. And what do you know? I can still do it. I am absolutely sure of the sensation, that old internal rush, and I can feel it to my right breast, site of Friday's mastectomy. I'm standing in front of a full-length mirror, watching myself tentatively, so tentatively, touch my way all around the soft, new, white bandages, and the tears are pouring down my face because I've made a mistake and let the grief in after all.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
That white look
Dina Rabinovitch has died of breast cancer. Here is a very moving series of extracts from her columns charting her illness: