adriene hughes post-op mastectomy, university of california, san diego, hospital

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

survivor book

When the Journey Began

One year ago today I lost my breast. One year ago today the journey began. One year ago today I no longer was the person I knew, but a person I would come to know. There is a certain intimacy, a particular knowledge one begins to possess with the coming of things unknown—but the beauty is the conclusion, the finish of all that which scares us into being and scares us into a future of infinite possibilities.

From this point on will be days of cyclical bravado. They will be cycles of one-year anniversaries, and then two years, three. I will be thinking of days and dates with fondness, like a birthday or some special occasion. I will never forget a day like this one. I will never forget the fog of surgery and the coming of dusk as I awoke from that surgical ether. Perhaps some time in the distant future I might forget this day, but for now it is still fresh. The rising of certain memories stays close, their nuances tactile and their smells real. And I keep near to my heart these very things­—because it is these memories that create a clear distinction between then and now. I am humbled by my progress and continue to be humbled by the person I am becoming. When I started this photo blog I called it My Life Will Never Be The Same. And that statement is so true. It will never be the same.


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