Tuesday, June 29, 2010

today I was free

This morning I was productive. I took scheduling into my own hands because I hadn't heard from any of the referrals my surgeon had made for me. So I now have my genetic appointment scheduled tomorrow and my MRI appointment on Thursday. My stress headache melted away as things started falling into place. Then as I saw a break in the rain clouds, I called Patti for my first photo shoot before I lose my breasts.

The first of a few photo shoots, I had no idea what to expect. I don't think either of us did... Patti is an amazing, professional photographer, but I have never felt as vulnerable as I do right now...and topless, that is an entire other layer all together. Vulnerability is something that I admire in others. I don't recall that quality being something I think of when I scan through my personality. I usually have a plan of action, and if that plan goes off course, I have alternatives. I keep my guard up and emotions to a minimum----a majority of that is now out the window and I am a free bird. ha

Vulnerability is the bareness of breasts in the middle of a hiking trail. It is exposing your body to the decision of a mastectomy or double mastectomy, the introduction of chemo, the baldness of your head (and other areas), and the scars that will take the place of my breasts. Vulnerability is a silicone implant, the falseness of what was once real--the false sense of the marketability of womanhood.

Vulnerability was me today. It felt exhilarating, empowering and I regained a bit of the control that I felt I had lost during this past week. I laughed, smiled, and was topless.........showing me vulnerable--the most vulnerable part of me. It is broken, infected, and cancerous--it is a part of me and I showed it to the world. It was captured on film, it was priceless, it was perfect, it was the destruction of my stress headache for the day. I felt like I was the me again, a bit more brazen--breasts out and all--but it was great and there were no tears of isolation or sadness. Just the slight tears from squinting in the sun and the minimal leaking that comes from the smiling/laughing combination.

As I sit in bed those feelings have faded and I am jolted back to the reality of my life, which brings tears to my eyes and a knot in my throat. I am facing a lot, my future is uncertain, everyday changes, my headaches return, and sleep is fighting me tooth and nail.

But today, I was free.


  1. Dori, I started tearing up reading this, it was beautiful and you are so strong. I am at a loss for words, it's so difficult to have something to say regarding the situation you are in, as I am not going through this journey first hand. I can say that I am here and if you need me, that I am here, I can be there at a drop of a hat and I hope that suffices.

  2. I'm sorry you are going through this. I am proud to hear of your strength and courage through this process. Portraits must be lovely.

  3. Dori, you are going to rock this! I know ( or I think it might be?) it is scary, frightening, horrific, unfair, out of control, shitty, unfair, undeserved, frightening etc, but you are stronger than this and you will be QUEEN! Sending good thoughts of health and strength and power. Also, there is another doula in the Seattle area, Veronica A, who is a young woman who also has breast cancer, she also has been blogging, please contact me if I can connect the two of you!

    New Moon Birth