Lois Hjelmstad

Lois Hjelmstad.com

Compassion and courage for the times you need it.

It Seems Like Forever

It seems like forever since my last post about winning a nice award for Abidance: A Memoir of Love and Inevitability. It was such an exciting time for Les and me. And it has been eighteen months. It was August of 2019. We have all been through a lot since then. We can barely recognize […]

Transition to Cancer Survivor

This morning I read an excellent post on the transition from patient to survivor (http://quivervoice.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/picking-up-the-pieces). How do we go about our lives during/after a bout with cancer? Nancy's post prompted me to review what I wrote in Fine Black Lines and I'd like to share that with you. Be sure to read Nancy first! "Several years later, thinking […]

A Final Poem for October

Affirmation The breasts are gone but I am whole Disfigurement need not include my soul (Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, copyright 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)    

Questions No One Should Answer

Telling Knots has a great post on the thoughtless questions people ask of breast cancer patients and how people try to find reasons for illness and/or death. Somehow we think that if we can assign blame and identify what the patient did to get cancer, we will know what dumb things not to do and therefore we will be safe […]

Poem for My Flat Chest

In keeping with my recent posts on whether or not to reconstruct/replace one's breasts after a mastectomy, I offer one of my poems: Double Amputee I have looked this way before– flat-chested, pencil-thin when I was ten Strange it is to seem a sexless child again (Too bad about the graying hair and slightly sagging chin) (Excerpted […]

Reconstructed Breasts?

On my birthday last week, Nancy published a guest post that I had written for her. It was an especially nice thing for my birthday. I include an excerpt here: I missed my left breast mightily. I struggled for days, weeks, months to make my front look okay. I stuffed the empty side of my […]