A Conversation with my Son

…Which I am sharing as a way to share what happened with my surgery last Wednesday, October 14:

“How’d it go today?” Harrison asked, somewhat tentatively. He’d spent the afternoon at a friend’s and was now lying next to me in bed.

Big breath. “It was hard,” I answered, just as tentatively. And then, worried that he would take that to mean there was a new medical concern, I said more. “It’s nothing at all for you to worry about. But they couldn’t make me a new breast, so now I don’t have one. I wasn’t prepared for that. I’m very sad.”

“Does that mean you’ll never have breasts?”

 “Well, I still have one. I’ll need to decide whether to have another surgery to make me another. But if I don’t have another surgery, no, I’ll never have a breast.”

 “Oh. I’m really sorry, Mama.”

Image 35

I can’t muster much more than that, other than to say that I am grieving and I am angry and I am rather shut down from the world.

14 thoughts on “A Conversation with my Son

  1. Oh, so beautifully communicated! Your frustration and sadness, anger and confusion – all of it so well captured in your portrayal of this moment between you and Harrison. You are grace and beauty and brilliance all in one, Jenny Bender. xoxo Nae

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  2. As Thomas Merton said, There is no way of telling people that they are all going around shining like the sun,” and whatever you feel right now, I am here to tell you that you and Harrison are shining like the sun.

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  3. Jenny, I’m sorry that this is happening to you. You have every reason to grieve right now. Your son sounds like a beautiful, empathic young man. You must be so proud every day. Hug him and squeeze him. That’s what I did with my son. It’s what heals me.

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  4. Dear Jenny I have followed your blog for a while, off and on. Many times it has been my intention to write to you. Mostly to say I admire your courage and ability to articulate your experience, that is your gift and you do it so intimately. At times I have found it difficult to read, so take it as I can digest it. Being filled with cancer literally and steeped in the cancer world constantly (even though I step out as much as I can), I have learned about establishing boundaries the hard way. So i go in and out of what I can digest, no reflection on you. Everything I read and hear about telling your story, exploring your feelings and finding your truth are t some of the most important skills one can assert. I hope it has served you well. I feel there are so many conversations to have with you that will not happen. I wanted you to know I am cheering you onward and at the same time am by your side. I have had a journey these past few months: cancer camp that put me on the Colorado River kayaking ( life-threatening) as a way to go beyond cancer, then to Rudolph Steiner Health Center in Ann Arbor for a two week retreat in Anthroposophical medicine( IV Vit C drips, mislte toe injections, liver compresses , homeopathy, herbal baths and foot soaks, massage as well as art therapy, light, sound , movement and speech therapies. Fascinating experience. Am just back yesterday from a silent retreat, imagine sitting with yourself for 5 days, intense. I am relishing in deep awareness, knowing it too will pass. Many blessings on you and your family,My LoveMary

    Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 21:48:24 +0000 To: maryisham@hotmail.com

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  5. Jenny, I’m sending love to you and cheers of encouragement as you continue to move through this series of intensely profound experiences. You are reflecting so much wisdom, grace and strength.

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  6. Oh words! Even when they seem to fail Jenny, you have found a way to say this. Beautifully. You are so generous and gracious to share this with us. I think of you often and send some cross MA love.

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