A Tekhine for Before a Mastectomy

May the source of all understanding and blessing, transcendent of gender and of all institutions, give me the strength to part from my breasts – the breasts that nourished all four of my children, that have changed over time as my body changed, matured, grew more tired but more wise and forgiving of itself.

May I learn to accept my body without breasts, to trust that I will not be disfigured if I look different than I did before, that I can still be a font of beauty and desire if I don’t look the way I am told to look by people who don’t know me and never will.

May my surgery bring me healing and strength, not sadness and shame. May the changes I undergo as a result of this treatment be changes for the better – changes like learning to read or to play an instrument, learning to understand a new friend or a new child.

May I be kind to myself and may others be kind to me if I am different than I once was.

A Prayer of Gratitude to My Breasts

I thank you for your role in turning me from a girl to a woman.

I thank you for helping others to recognize my sex and leaving no room for misunderstanding or confusion at times in my life when clarity was important to me.

I thank you for adapting and changing as the need arose, for producing milk for my babies and pleasure when I sought that.

I thank you for softening my frame, helping my children and my partner find a comforting surface to rest their heads.

I thank you for containing my cancer, not letting it spread beyond your confines, for making me buoyant in the water and in the world.

I thank you.

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