I felt like everything that made me recognizable to myself was being stripped away. I couldn’t work, exercise, garden, laugh much or make love (much). My thick curly hair was gone. My breasts – gone. I spent hours sitting in the big red chair we moved to the kitchen. And then I just lay on the futon, with cats draped all over me and stared out the window at the bird feeders and the empty garden and my lonely studio.
Author Note: A Stroll Down Mammary Lane is an illustrated journal chronicling eighteen months of our experience with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. During the long convalescence, I spent most of my time horizontal healing from multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments. I was unable to work in my pottery studio and my career as a full time ceramic sculptor was put on hold while I focused on getting through one procedure at a time. I wasn’t able to do much but I did draw and it resulted in about 90 illustrations of my process of fighting breast cancer.
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