Oct 12 2005

21st Century Medicine


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  1. pyramus

    Words are pretty much beside the point, I guess.

    Stay alive, stay pissed off, and keep kicking patriarchy’s ass.

  2. Miranda

    I can’t wait until there are better ways of dealing with cancer. Until then, continue to fight the cancer and monitor your medical team as vigourously as you defend against the patriarchy.

    Sending some virtual vittles to aid in your recovery.

  3. Erin

    Battered and bruised and stitched you may be, but I’m glad you’re out of surgery.

    Holy shit, that rhymes! I’m mortified by the meter, but the sentiment stands. Do you think I have a future in the greeting card industry? I can rhyme “nip and tuck” with “who gives a fuck?”.

    My nascent poetic career aside, I am glad that you’re back, and I’m still keeping you in my thoughts. My stomach hurt all morning on Monday, and the last time I had a visceral reaction like that for someone I didn’t know was when I was ten and read The Diary of Anne Frank and cried my eyes out. Keep up the good fight, Twisty. We’re all with you.

  4. Penny

    Ow. Ow ow ow. Twisty, I am terribly sorry you have to suffer through this, and I hope that all the right things happen from now on.

  5. The Fat Lady Sings

    Thank God. If you can take that picture, you made it through. When you feel up to it (and only if you want to) – please tell us how you are feeling – all of it.

    I hope you have a chance for the wounds to heal before they start the chemo. Take the pain meds, honey. Don’t skimp.

  6. Liz

    Well, that smashed right through my denial mechanism.

    You poor thing, Twisty.

    I hope you are coping.

  7. zz

    I’m sitting here with tears welling up in my eyes. Goddamn 21st century medicine.

  8. Becker

    For what it’s worth, I am relieved to see you back.

  9. PZ Myers

    21st century medicine is brutal and pitiless, but it’s a pussycat compared to what nature would do.

    I’m sorry to see the pain, but I’m glad Twisty is going to be around longer.

  10. jennifer

    Oh my Fucking God. Twisty, I am so glad that you are out of the hospital and well enough to take this picture, but Oh my Fucking God. Please please please let us know if we can do anything for you.

  11. Delurker #63

    Wow, that picture is pretty raw. It’s really fucked up that you have cancer and lost a breast. But that’s life I guess – it’s really fucked up but you keep on going because it’s better than being dead.

    Thank you for being open with what you are going through. I really want to do something but I can’t since I’m not in Austin. If you have an Amazon wish list, maybe you could have someone post a link to it on your blog. I don’t think your readers would mind sending you books or whatever.

    So, um, keep hope alive, stay the course, be brave, you’re stronger than you think, etc, etc. I apologize for all the trite phrases but I really suck at this and “I’m glad that you’re not dead and that you probably won’t die for a while” seems incredibly lame.

  12. bitchphd

    Holy shit, Twist. Hol-eeey shit.

  13. David Parsons

    The mere act of taking that picture looks so beyond simply “painful” that a 50 ft pile of burning pink ribbons doesn’t do it justice. Ouch.

  14. MsKate

    Thanks for checking in Twisty.

    Thank the universe you are alive and have a hell of a lot fewer cells around that are hell bent on killing you in an unpleasant way.

    Unfortunately, 21st century medicine ain’t much better than 20th century medicine – the standard protocol for cancer is surgery/radiation/chemo – otherwise known as slash/burn/poison. That part isn’t necessarily patriarchy. The patriarchy part is our inabillity to remove from our environment things we know are bad and things we have no fucking clue are bad or not!

    Be well, Twisty. Demand your fair share of drugs for that nasty boo-boo. And give the patriarchy some good swift kicks as you feel up to it. Being a patient doesn’t make you patient!

  15. Kate

    Fuck. I admire your willingness to share that with us Twisty. That’s some scar.

    I hope the pain medication is good. Get well.

  16. New Kid on the Hallway

    Holy crap. That’s awful. I hope they’re giving you good pain drugs. I won’t thank you for the bravery and so on b/c I know you’re not trying to be some kind of role model or whatever, so I’ll just repeat someone above: ouch. Glad you’re still standing.

  17. ae

    Holy fucking shit, Twisty. I’ve been like a damn rat pushing for pellets waiting for you to sign in. I’m so glad you posted today. I didn’t — oh, hell, I don’t know. Glad you’re back, glad you’re standing, please take your drugs, I hope your friends and family are giving you what you need.

    I’ve been meaning to say — if you don’t want to give out your address, I volunteer mine, and I’ll be happy to mail to you what your many ether pals and admirers want to send you. I’m too far away to come down and clean the toilet and grab the tacos and do the laundry and walk the dogs and make you tea (not to mention too far away re: that pesky little distance of, oh, acquaintance, ha). But I want to at least send you something to distract you and make you laugh. Can we do this?

  18. mcmc

    sweetie, you are so fucking brave to go through this. We miss you and want you back. Much love.

  19. Julia


    You are my hero.

    I’m so glad you are well enough to photo yourself.

  20. Robin Reed

    Ouch. That doesn’t do it justice, but ouch anyway. Sending you happy taco thoughts from Dallas and hoping that you feel up to kicking patriarchy’s butt again real soon.

  21. CafeSiren

    Glad to see you’re vertical, Twisty.

    Here’s something to blame the Patriarchy for: you get ucky post-op like that, while medical science concentrates on ways to make some vain Newport Beach yuppie woman’s boob implants leave not a trace of surgical intervention.

    Fuck that shit.

    And I’m glad you’re back.

  22. Tapetum

    Ooowww! Good glory that looks painful.

    I’ve been obsessively checking for an update. I’m very glad you’re back with us Twisty. Now go lie down and take whatever meds you need. We can kick the patriarchy’s butt until you feel up to it again.

    Then again you’re doing a marvelous job just by posting this honest and brutal photo.

    Remember – take the pain meds before you start to hurt. It’s much easier to keep the pain down then to knock it back – I speak from experience.

  23. PurrpleGrrl

    (Finally delurking)

    So glad you’re back–been checking the site anxiously for your return.

    Oh. My. God.
    I really hope they’ve given you enough pain meds and that the nurses were nicer this time around.

    Lots of good thoughts for you–and bad thoughts for the patriarchy, so that you can focus on healing.

  24. alphabitch

    Bloody fucking goddamn hell, girl.

    I adore you, Twisty. I’m terrified and somehow bizarrely comforted all at once. Nothing makes any sense. It’s very bad, and it’s ugly, and it just fucking goddamn sucks, but it’s nothing like what I have feared. This lousy little planet somehow keeps spinning, just like it always does. How can that be? I hate it that you hurt. It’s not fucking fair. All the same, I’m relieved to see that your stark and formidable beauty is not diminished.

  25. zwichenzug

    Julia said what I wanted to say.

    But let me just add, that you aren’t my hero just because bad things have happened to you. I mean, at the end of the day, everybody’s life is filled with loss.

    The thing is, I’m absolutely entranced with the way you’ve handled this. Because, at some level, your posting pictures like this is a way of sharing yourself with others, and that reminds me that everyone’s life is also filled with joy.

    And now I’m tearing up…

  26. Wordlackey

    Nice photo. Er, not really *nice* but I’m glad you posted it. Sorrow and sympathy. Get well.

  27. wordgirl

    Holy shit, Twisty! Draw your strength from whatever source feels comfortable. Keep on blaming.

  28. Jenny

    I had one of thoses squeezy bulb things after having a cyst removed from behind my ear – I had it for 5 days and I hated it. I grossed me out so bad and my kid kept trying to yank on it (YIKES). On top of that the surgical tape made me break out in a terrible rash – what a sucky week that was. I hope your healing up is less itchy than mine. ((Good vibes your way))

  29. Chris Clarke

    Mixed feelings.

    1) Ow, fuck;
    2) glad to see you’re well enough to be on your feet long enough to take the a photo;
    3) fucking OW.

  30. Chris Clarke

    Oh, and Ron Sullivan – who’s away from the net this week – asked me to pass along her best wishes when you posted a post-surgical post.

  31. Anonymous

    It’s the job of people like me to find ways to make sure that people like you don’t have to suffer what you have suffered. We’re working on it… really! I’m sorry… we’re trying!

  32. Jane Dark

    Oh, dear God. Good to hear from you, but still . Fucking Ow.

  33. a

    what an inopportune time to realize i do not have any telepathic healing powers. I’d deploy them Texas-ward if I did. may this be the most unpleasant thing you ever have to deal with from here on in.

  34. nina

    Oh, dear Twisty. So glad to see you have posted. So sorry for all this shit you’re going through. Continued good thoughts.

  35. spiritrover

    There’s a gauze patch high on the right, did you get a port put in? My wife went through all this in ’02, and although every aspect of her treatment sucked, she strongly feels that the port made the chemo suck measurably less than it would’ve sucked if she had to get stuck in her arm or hand each time.

  36. TimT

    Well, I’m viewing this site at work, but still, let me be the first to stare like a little kid and say COOOOOOOOL SCAR!

    Be careful with the drink, though … it might start leaking out the sides, if you take too much of it.

  37. yami

    Zoinks! Somehow I never imagined them going in through the armpit.

  38. metamanda

    Wow. While that looks awfully painful, it is strangely beautiful.

    Glad you’re well enough to stand and take that photo. Good luck.

  39. Kyra

    Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch OUCH!!!

    I thought they were going to remove the inside part and leave the nipple (and the nerves connecting it). Now I REALLY hope I don’t get breast cancer. Fucking OUCH! (Medically necessary or not, I’d be tempted to murder anyone who butchered me like that. Slowly.)

    Hmmm . . . if the other one ever has to be removed as well, you might be able to convince the local police that it’s not indecent exposure for you to go topless anymore. Not sure if that’s a plus at all, but just a thought.

    Ooooh. Fucking patriarchy. Too bad patriarchy is an abstraction and has no eyes or testicles to gouge out.

    What is the point of them going in through the armpit if they’re going to make that big fucking slash across the front?

    Eeee. Am thoroughly squicked, and very sorry for you. Wishing you a fast recovery, and also tacos.

  40. blizl

    Wow. Wow. Ow. That looks like it hurts a whole lot, Twisty. I hope you find some comfort in our myriad expressions of sympathy and support, inadequate as they may be. Thank you for humanizing and un-prettying this horrid disease through these posts. I can’t think of a better way to smack the patriarchy upside the head.

    “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” -Audre Lorde

  41. sois disant

    oh my good god, that just looks so painful. In the words of Dr. McCoy, “What is this, the Dark Ages?” I’d say I hope it doesn’t hurt as bad as that looks like it does, but I bet it hurts even worse. All I can hope for you is that it heals fast. And–so glad you’re there/here/about. Missed you bigtime!

  42. Emma

    Holy motherfucking hell.

    Twisty, I’m glad that you’re up and about. I hope things are going as well as they possibly can be.

  43. kathleen

    Thanks for sharing this with us. it means a lot.

    please take care, and know that many many people are thinking of you.

  44. Naiades

    Fuck that looks sore. as someone said before me, don’t skimp with the pain meds.
    good luck, get well. Really don’t know what to say.

    Thanks so much for posting, serves as a really big wake up call for lazy fuckers like me to check breasts.

  45. TP


    Indulge yourself, eat cake, and tacos.
    Much love Twisty

  46. leslie

    ouch! Hoping fervently for no/little lymph node involvement although I’m assuming there was some given full mastectomy :-( Hope the chemo isn’t too dire and that they give you a good amount of time to recover first.

  47. Lauren

    I don’t know what to say, so I’m sending you love. xxoo

  48. Meribeth

    Oh my, that looks so painful…and a major pain the the ass. “Sorry” doesn’t seem to cover it. Like others have said, “take your meds.” Don’t try to tough it out. Fuck! This is so wrong…

    This is a battle scar received in a horrific fight. Like wrinkles, gray hair, and other scars…they tell a story of You. You are still beautiful and always will be.

  49. Amanda Marcotte

    Holy shit! My sympathies.

  50. Veronica

    Welcome back Twisty — I’m so glad to see that you’re well enough to take the photo, and thank you so much for doing so. I don’t know what all to say, but I’m sending you prayers and love from across the ocean.

  51. BitingBeaver

    Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. These are the pictures that drive home the real fucking faces of breast cancer.

    I’ve been waiting for some sign that all went well and this morning I see that all did not go ‘well’ (as in, Lifetime movie of the week well) but you’re standing and that’s better than not standing.

    Twisty, you have given a face to breast cancer.

    You’ll be back kicking Patriarchal ass soon enough, until then, we’ve gotcha covered.

  52. David


  53. Lisa

    Cut, poison, and burn. That’s all we have, but we gotta do it. My mom had her masto in ’88, and seventeen years later she’s still kicking patriarchal ass. Goddess bless us all.

  54. larkspur

    You got up out of bed, maybe took off a compression bandage, juggled a thingamajig in one hand, wielded a heavy camera on your wounded-side hand, took a straight clear photo, and uploaded it to allow us to bear witness. What does that make you? A big damn hero. (Gotta get my “Firefly” reference in here.) Thank you for your generosity and grace.

    (Note: big damn heroes retain the right to be cranky, rude and annoying whenever they feel like it. I know you know this, but I wanted you to know I know, too.)

  55. Kelly


    Sending viscious anti-patriarchy thoughts and happy puppy nuzzles your way.
    Try to get lymph drainage and scar-tissue massage covered by insurance, or get it anyway. It’ll help post-op recovery and the pain…and hang in there. Unlike some commenters, I think for all they had to do, it looks good, just fresh. Fuck scarring, you’re above caring about that, woman! Keep on fighting.

  56. kathy a

    damn it all to hell. i am really sorry this is happening. the photo is so awful and amazing. wishing you as gentle a recovery as possible.

  57. julie

    holy shit, twisty…ow! damn. that’s one hell of a battle scar. i’m seein’ a topless summer in your future…barton springs…first thursday…you gotta show that beaut off!

    let me know when i can take you out for margaritas. i’m in austin. i’ll do it. you deserve free margaritas for life.

    and i thank the powers that be that you’re up and around. be well, twisty.

  58. dr. b.

    Adding my voice to the chorus I say again thanks for sharing this with us. Stay strong and keep fucking fighting the patriarchy that is so behind in medicine because they spent so much time researching breast cancer….in men!

  59. Steph

    I don’t know what to say.

    Holy fuck.

    May you have a short, peaceful and full recovery.

  60. Amanda

    I, too am at a total loss for words but just wanted to add my voice to the fucking symphony here wishing you the best that can come out of all this.

  61. Nora

    These pictures show both what you’re made of as well as what a fucking ugly disease cancer is.

    As others have said, the fact that you hauled yourself out of bed to take and post this image is not only testimony to your mettle, but will likely cause self-exam laggards to get on the damn stick.

    My mom battled ovarian cancer, and however ugly and stark her surgery scars were, cancer was uglier and starker.

    You are doing what you have to do to beat this evil fucking disease. Rest, take the pain pills and kick its ass.

  62. SneakySnu

    I am just astounded that only 3 days after extensive, traumatic surgery you were able to get up, go to the bathroom and take that photo. I’m so glad that the first phase of this cancer-ridding process is over.

    In the meantime, here are some other companies that are profiting from breast cancer awareness month:

    •T-Fal has come up with a pale pink “Food for Thought” frying pan (I kid you not)
    •Nine West has limited edition Donate9 pink ballerina flats, which comes with a booklet on breast cancer prevention.
    •Canadian department store Holt Renfrew has come up with a limited edition pink cashmere t-shirt–a mere $98. All net proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    I don’t think I have to tell patriarchy blamers here that buying shit doesn’t solve the problem. If donating makes you feel better, just give money to a breast cancer research foundation directly.

  63. katthemad

    Ok, that fucker sure must hurt. I too am glad to see that you’re standing. Let me know if there’s anything I can do (I’m cluless on tacos, but I make great brownies, which ship better anyway).

  64. Finn

    Wow. That’s some rough stuff, pal.

    Did they take a lymph node, too?

    Hope the pain goes away soon.

  65. Jodie

    I hope you are eating plenty of wonderful tacos, getting mega rest, mega drugs and drinking fluids.

    I’m glad you’re back, I’ve missed you.

    Your chest really looks great; no redness or swelling, and less bruising than I would have expected.

  66. d.e.i.x.i.s.

    Sweet zombie Jeezus!

    Fuck the pink ribbon. We need to start handing out this picture, instead.

  67. Sula

    Glad to hear you are home, Twisty.

    You mentioned mystery novels – if you haven’t read Barbara Wilson’s “The Dogcollar Murders”, “Sisters of the Road” and “Murder in the Collective” you’re in for a treat. Look here for more recent pics: http://www.feminist.org/arts/mys_authors.html

    Also, I’m happy to bundle up a stack and send them to you – really, just say.

  68. Sara*

    Holy fuck!

    You’re my new shi-ro (because non of that “he”ro bullshit is needed), Twisty. Wow. I’m looking at my own chest and wondering–

    Can we make the scar have a pretty tattoo on it when it has healed? Something totally patriarchy-slamming? I’ll help.

    GET BETTER! And don’t hold the camera up so high — you might tear that incision. And that really fucking hurts.

  69. Jenny

    You are now a “Modern Amazon”!

    Amazon Women:
    In classic Greek mythology, a warrior tribe of women who lived independently of women, and who mated briefly with men of neighbouring tribes and killed their male offspring; (Colloq.) A dominatrix, or a strong woman who bent under no man’s rule.

    WORD HISTORY: In classical legend the Amazons were a tribe of warrior women. Their name is supposedly derived from Greek a-mazos, “without a breast,” because according to the legend they cut off their right breasts so as to be better able to shoot with a bow and arrow.

    I hope today is a good day for you.

  70. miz_geek

    Ouch. Wish I could do something besides sending positive thoughts.

  71. AndiF

    Oh that looks like it hurts something fierce but it is beautiful to have you back.

  72. Sara

    Poor, poor baby. I’m so sorry. Drugs or no, that looks like it is gonna hurt like a son of a bitch for a long time.

    As soon as the doctor says it’s okay (and not one minute before), I recommend Vitamin E right on the wounds. It will help them heal, and it will also help you rebuild some elasticity.

    Meanwhile, again, though I was very disappointed to see that your medical team decided to go with traditional black suture instead of the far more cheerful, fashion-conscious and awareness-building pink ribbon I suggested, I hope they fucking got it all.

    Hang in there, honey.

  73. Steve

    Glad to see you up and around. And man, that’s a big camera to be holding with the arm that has all the incisions underneath it (and as Jodie mentioned, way less bruising than I’d have expected). I, too, am sending vibes and stuff.

  74. yankee transplant

    Yikes, Twisty! Denial is not a possibility in your world. Thank you for letting everyone know how it REALLY is. Hope you’re taking all the drugs, and getting lots of kisses from Bert. Let us know if we can do anything from out here in the blogosphere. Now I know that arm is still strong enough to hold the Patriarchy-blaming banner!

  75. Liz

    A favorite quote of mine by Tom Robbins:

    “The ugly may be beautiful, the pretty never.”

    That popped in my head when I saw your picture. It’s oddly beautiful in its ugliness. Sort of like humanity itself.

    And it looks like it really fucking hurts. Take good care.

  76. Kelley

    TWISTY!!!! Hooray! Although that no doubt hurt like hell, I’m glad to see you’re back to kick the patriarchy’s collective butt! Just like patriarchal medicine…if it’s sick, lop it off. Clearly they’re not smart enough to find a better way. Many margaritas have been raised in your honor since Sunday…I hope the good wishes helped!! My friend and I kept candles burning continuously since Monday morning. Heal well and quickly!!! Welcome back!

  77. Hissy Cat

    I’m so relieved/ happy/ grateful to know you’re back.

  78. jenofiniquity

    Sending good thoughts your way.

  79. degan

    you’re so brave for sharing this! thank you! what an inspiration.

  80. DivorceDiva

    Twisty– those look suspiciously like staples across your chest. If they stapled you that is truly heinous and very patriarchal. If codeine(and its kin) makes you sick ask for Demerol tablets. They worked very well after my hysterectomy to keep the pain tamped down. All my best.

    BTW– I think a t-shirt with a photo of your chest might have more impact than a damn pink ribbon Pez dispenser.

  81. Dean

    Glad you’re back, Twisty. Many good thoughts are coming your way from STL. Hope the meds are of some help.

  82. badgerbag

    Twisty!!!!! We all love you!!!!!

    I keep thinking of this one scene from “Walk to the End of the World” by Suzy Mckee Charnas… i’ll look it up later and send it… A book well worth reading in this situation (dystopian feminist SF)

  83. Billie

    Twisty– I’ve been lurking for quite some time, and like others, I’ve been checking back frequently to see how you are doing. I cannot tell you how much I admire your bravery and strength. The pictures say so much more than words (or ribbons) ever could. Thanks for sharing this with us, and know that you have so many people behind you, supporting you. Love and peace,

  84. Joel Sax

    I lost an aunt to breast cancer when she was only 36.

    I am glad that Medicine has so advanced since then that you only lost a breast.

    May it proceed further so that future women lose even less.

  85. Lynsey

    Welcome back Twisty. Here’s hoping you make a full recovery soon.

  86. Ancrene Wiseass

    Oh, holy hell.

    I’m so glad to hear from you: I’ve been checking in compulsively, and I’m glad you’re upright. Thanks for posting.

    But, oh, oh, oh, how that must hurt.

  87. nolo

    I’ve got nothing to say that hasn’t been said. Glad you’re back, and I hope they gave you good drugs.

  88. TMo

    Twisty, you are beautiful, and I stand by my original post, courageous – not in the “buck up and be brave” kind of way, but for sharing an incredibly personal and difficult journey with us. You have affected many and hopefully we can give back to you in some way.

  89. SF Knitter

    That doesn’t look so damn bad to me. Because you’re there! Look! There you are – and you look solid and alive. I am so glad.

  90. SimoneDB

    Looks like you’re getting ready to kick some patriarchal butt. I’d hate to see what the other guy looks like, Twisty!

    Just make sure you’re getting enough sleep, you’re able to keep food down a bit, and you’re surrounded by good friends and novels. Take care, and good luck with the whole recovery process, which is in some ways just as brutal as the surgery. So it’s good you’ve got some patriarchy-blaming to keep you energized for the fight.

  91. liz

    I was sent by Bitch, PhD. Thinking of you and wishing all the best for you.

  92. Rexroths Daughter

    Your strength is absolutely awe-inspiring.

  93. CJ

    Twisty – I’ve been checking in and am glad to see you’re back. Never posted over here before but I’ve been a reader from… hell, way back to about when you did a guest stint on Dr. B’s blog.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and, as cheesy as this sounds, giving me a good swift kick in the ass. I’d been putting off getting a baseline mammogram. Got my appointment today right after seeing this pic.

  94. kabbage

    thanks for the pics. They’re hard to see but fascinating in their own way. I hope your healing goes well. Tellington TTouch can help minimize scarring and speed healing — would be great with the vitamin E previously suggested.

    hope the love coming in over the email helps soften the blow of what’s going on.

  95. mo

    Wow. Thank you for sharing. I will think some good thoughts for you. Be good.

  96. Rexroths Daughter

    My grandmother had a mastectomy when she was in her 70s. Part of our family narrative is this story about her. On the day after surgery, she picked up her hairbrush and proceeded to brush out her long, long silver hair and twist it into the bun she always wore. The doctor had said she wouldn’t be able to raise her arm for a while after such invasive cutting. We repeat the story as testament of her strength. Your photo reminded me of that story. You raise your arm to hold up the camera, a stunning self-portrait. My grandmother also shook her raised fist to the sky and cursed the patriarchal gods, had a fine recovery, and lived long. I wish the same for you, Twisty.

  97. Dylan


    You are as brave as you are interesting to read.

    Thinking good thoughts for you.

  98. Rana


    That makes me want to cross my arms over my chest defensively. The bruises, particularly!

    I’m glad you made it through. I hope they did give you enough pain meds, and that you’ve got someone to run errands for you while you heal up.

    (I now have a lot more sympathy for my late grandmother, who had a hysterectomy and double mastectomy when she was a young woman, something I only learned about after I was well out of college. We still don’t know why; the doctors wouldn’t tell her, and she wouldn’t talk about it with her. It’s cold comfort, but at least you know what’s going on, and why.)

    Sending healing thoughts your way…

  99. Thomas

    There are no words. Best wishes for recovery, Twisty.

  100. Songster

    A new(ish) reader wishes you an eas(ier) recovery and thanks you for the useful medical information. Canine therapy is an excellent thing (but you probably have learned that already)!
    I am hoping the purple-nosed chump or any of his relatives do not visit Canada for my de-fibroiding uterus festival in Dec. That guy needs to retire immediately!

  101. Denise

    I was just able to check in after working hard like the little ant I am all week, and all I can say is wow. Thank you for sharing these photos of such a traumatic part of your life. The more you share, the more respect I have for you and for my friends and family members who were much more private about their treatments. I hope that your incisions heal quickly and you can take full showers soon instead of sponging off (something I know my partner missed).

    I will repeat the sentiments about the anesthesiologist already said: this guy was a real bozo and doesn’t deserve to keep his job. Surgery is traumatic enough without incompetent people sticking you with needles then ripping them out of you.

    I’m wishing you a rapid recovery and some time to feel better before chemo. Also, props to Rachel for helping you out during your recovery.

  102. An Angry Old Broad

    Wow.That took some serious courage to post.

    A dear friend of ours went through mastectomy and reconstructive surgery a few years ago.She’s been cancer free for about 4 yrs now.Thank god,our lives would be lessened without her presence.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,with many,many years of good health to follow.

  103. mythago

    Glad you were able to stand up, at least for a bit.

  104. FoolishOwl

    Nothing original to say, just: damn, that looks horribly painful, but I’m glad to see you’re upright, and strong enough to post this.

  105. Jeanette

    Another delurk.

    Twisty, “You’re the tops. You’re like Dinah’s singing. You’re the tops.”. . . . I wish you a speedy recovery.

  106. GraceD

    Thank you for showing us the raw and unflinching truth.

    This is breast cancer. Fuck the pink teddy bears and little ribbons, all the infantile crap that’s shoved down women’s throats. We not only need a cure, but we need to identify the cause, and all the data points to the usual culprits – pesticides, petroleum refineries, corporate meddling in the environment. We should have an Avon Walk about THAT.

    I am deeply humbled and awestruck by your courage.

    I send blessings and strength your way for a speedy recovery.

    Stay badass,

  107. Kevin Hayden

    Izzat a maraschino cherry on that breast or are you just happy to see me?

    Though my imagination can’t equal your reality, I still imagine that, from discovery to excision, you’ve undergone enormous amounts of fear and mental trauma. That sucks.

    I hope this change proves only a brief dent in your spirit and just a temporary break from great health. May the cancer be gone forever and the fears soon permanently excised too.

    Your wit is a tonic to many. May the many – online and off – prove the reciprocal tonic for you so your healing is full and satisfying.

  108. whateverdidiwants

    Best of luck on a speedy recovery. In the last year one of my grandmothers and an aunt have undergone treatment for breast cancer, so it’s a subject very dear to my heart.

    Btw, arnica gel does WONDERS for bruising.

  109. Echidne of the snakes

    Thank you for posting this picture. My mother who had the same surgery wanted me to send you her thanks for showing the picture (she doesn’t speak English). She has saved it. She is sending you her love and encouragement.

  110. Jimmm

    You’re still beautiful–if that sort of thing counts in your book, ma’am.

  111. Sam

    That photo is heart breaking and scary and I appreciate you posting it I’ve never seen anything like it in my life why not I wonder I am almost 40.

    My God did they use a damn ax to do the surgery I refuse to believe that is the only way to remove a boob successfully.

    21st century medicine…hmph…

  112. Sylvanite

    I’ve been outta town for the last week – I’m glad to see you’re out of surgery, and, hopefully, on your way to a permanent recovery!

  113. rams

    I’m late to the party, but good girl, Twisty. I helped my mom strip those damned tubes every day — and wouldn’t you think they’d have come up with a holster for those drainage bulbs by now? Onward– these extra days are gravy, and you’ve got what it takes.

  1. DemiOrator

    Running with the Pack

    Update: She’s posted a picture of herself, post-operation. Not for those with weak stomachs but it’s worth looking at. I think it’s important to see the reality of breast cancer rather than the Hallmark version on a TV movie of the week. But that mig…

  2. Men Hate You at I Blame The Patriarchy

    […] Speaking of cancer, what’s with this retarded sexy-cancer image at NewScientist.com? Do I really need to trot out the picture of what cancer really looks like? […]

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