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I miss my breasts in winter.

For one thing, I get cold.

I keep grabbing for shawls and scarves,

Or folding my arms across my chest;

Anything to hold in the heat.

Who knew?

Cannot feel a thing,

not the softness of a sweater,

nor of a flannel shirt.

Just an overall numbness

and the occasional relentless,  phantom itch.

And the tightness of the muscles

where they removed twenty lymph nodes,

highest number on their record board.

The tightness never eases.

The skin is soft and pliable,

that was the goal as

My physical therapist broke down all the fascia,

teaching me how to stretch the skin free.

Oh, and I can eat chicken, again, without gagging.



Two years ago today
I lost my ample breasts.
Physical recovery progresses with bells.
I recommend – insist upon! – naps.
Head games are more the trial;
tears, fears, gnashing of teeth,
not to mention outbursts of rage,
utter disdain for weakness, stupidity.
Yet, despite my greatest efforts,
even my head heals
and bears its scars with equal tintinnabulation.

rJo Herman  5/9/15


It was two years ago in March that I heard the concern, had the biopsy,
saw the tumors in my breasts looming on a bright screen.
I went blind with white hot RAGE!
Do not psychoanalyze me,
or sympathize,
or empathize!
No compromise!
Cut them off!
Do it!

rJo Herman

Five years ago now   4/24/18

Nine years 2022