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A lover’s hands

My baby’s hands snake over my breasts like a lover’s, stroking and caressing. We dance together in this, our ritual, begun minutes after he was born. He can find his target by instinct, in the dark, half asleep. He has practice. He has motivation. His questing hand becomes more insistent, grasping my nipple. He tweaks

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Pain

First day after first chemotherapy I feel ok. A little weary but ok. We go to a cafe, then lunch out. My son attends his circus class. We head Home when my aching breasts demand release. I have to pump my contaminated milk out and tip it down the sink. My confused, sad and angry

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Your hair

“Your hair is beautiful Mummy” says Mr 6, as I strap him into the car in the evening light. “When the sun shines through it, it’s like gold.”

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Testing

“I think you’ve got a breast cancer” said the radiologist, after she spread the sample she’d taken from my breast and lymph nodes on slides. She turned away attending to their samples. “I always tell people if they ask” she said, defensively. “Oh, thank you for being honest” I said, whilst thinking “how odd, “a”

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Early days

Washing in the shower, I feel a lump on my armpit. “Curious” I think, “That’s a lymph node”. I’ve never felt one there before. I finish up my shower, mentioning it to my partner. “Are any other nodes up?” he asks, “Are you sick?” Well of course I am, I have small children, and I’m

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pillows of milk

Pillows of milk

“Boobs…” said my five year old, leaning contentedly on my chest “are just pillows of milk.” I smiled, what a beautiful innocent thought. My breasts, once feeding and comforting my now five year old, and again now, nurturing and growing my new baby, who was firmly and contentedly attached. “Boobs are just pillows of milk”

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I want to live long enough for Lachy and Ben to have meaningful memories of me.
Joanna Griffith