April 17, 2018 KimHarms

2:36 a.m. The February night is moonless, black, as you turn your head to the left and gaze out the second-story window. The limbs and leafless branches of the huge maple tree just outside are like cold, barren, groping arms, sinister in the streetlamp’s dim glow. Lying flat on your back in bed, each arm is propped up on a large pillow. Except for your elevated arms, you are nestled like a caterpillar in a cocoon. You would think this should make you feel safe and secure. You would think. Where did they put your breasts? Were they tossed in…

November 9, 2017 KimHarms 4Comment

The Bosom Buddies: Connie, Jan, Becky and Judy 525. That’s the number of mastectomy pillows the Bosom Buddies have made since August 2016. Women in 29 states have received their pillows. 4 cancer centers currently keep their pillows on hand to give to mastectomy patients. And new pillow requests come in through this website regularly. Cancer is a taker. Breast cancer sometimes takes one or both breasts. It often takes hair. It always has financial cost. And it always steals away sweet time. One woman who went through a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, intensive chemo and radiation…

October 31, 2017 KimHarms 1Comment

Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts where I feature women who have undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement. Amber and I had a sleepover when I was in Chicago for a writer’s conference this summer. 🙂 Amber and I grew up together. She’s my cousin and lived just two blocks away…

September 20, 2017 KimHarms

On Tuesdays, starting next week, I will begin featuring profiles of women who have undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most of the women to be featured have been through reconstruction of some sort, and a few have opted to go flat as it’s called in the breast cancer world. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s a decision all of us in the “mastectomy club” have to make. These profiles are not meant to be exhaustive interviews. Instead they will highlight some key parts of the process, providing insight and encouragement to women who have unwittingly found themselves…

February 25, 2017 KimHarms 7Comment

Given a choice between the hard things and the easy things, I’d pick easy. But sometimes God doesn’t let me choose. One year ago today Corey and I faced a really hard thing. A 5-hour surgery to remove my cancer and my breasts. I remember it with an ache in my heart. But right beside that ache there is joy. JOY. Because God is good and the giver of the good things. Even in the wake of bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction. The good thing of experiencing  peace that passes all understanding deep down into my bones as I was poked, prodded,…

August 4, 2016 KimHarms 31Comment

I used several breast cancer specific supplies as I recovered from my bilateral mastectomy earlier this year. Some were useful- like the above mastectomy pillows. Some were not- like the two post-mastectomy camis that someone convinced my husband I needed for $70 a piece. And they gave him their sales pitch when he was in the hospital waiting room during my surgery. Oh My Word! Leave the poor men alone while their wives are in having their breasts removed! I’m still a little perturbed by that. My mom and two of her friends have started making mastectomy pillows to give away FREE to women who…