Tradition & Innovation

A Tekhine for Before A Mastectomy

woman in white shirt with hand on chest

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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