Tag Archives: coming of age

The Other Side of the Shore


Bras Across The Bridge – Breast Cancer Awareness – 2011

I managed to make it this far without going through the social rites of passage for a Jewish-American girl. No Bat Mitzvah, no Sweet Sixteen, no Prom, no graduation party, no wedding. No ceremony to mark the crossing of a line, the shift in status from childhood to adulthood. No ancient rituals, no reading of texts, no scarifications.

Maybe scarifications. I’m counting down the days to top surgery (December 8). If top surgery is my rite of passage, it is not clear to me what is on the other side of the shore.

I’ve been low-key about it because I don’t want to put a hex on it. I am thankful that Donna remains nominally onboard and reconciled to my going through with it. I’ve read up on tips for top surgery and what to expect while you are recovering. I ‘m making a list of what I need to do around the house to prepare. I want to make it as easy on Donna as possible.

Over the last fifteen years I’ve had four surgeries (one to repair torn knee ligaments, two to remove fibroids, and a partial hysterectomy). I learned that I get nauseous and depressed from anesthesia. I learned that I am impatient to recover, that I get bored staying at home, and that I don’t like to ask for help.

But, I am channelling all of my anxiety about top surgery into the realization that I don’t have the right outfit to come home from the hospital in. Or for lounging around in while I recover.  Or for taking a walk to cool my cabin fever. Continue reading