Tahlia Friedmann

March 3rd, 1986

The surgery went quickly; it’s so routine anymore, and her inevitable nauseous onset in recovery was anticipated. The nurses mitigated her discomfort with antiemetics and caring after-care as she began to come out of the haze. 

Her quiet family waited anxiously in the lounge, hopeful for good news. Answering their prayers, the doctor said she’d come through the surgery fine. “You’ll be able to see her soon,” came the reassurance, while the room full of relatives released a collective sigh.

With bandages tightly strapped to her disappeared mounds, the pressure of remaining whole had taken its toll. Her strength had waned during this battle and had challenged her fortitude. It was to be expected. 

The family entered the room. “How are you feeling, dear?” Their worry plastered all over their faces, their love too. “Okay, considering I lost my husband and my boobs,” her attempting a joke. That was to be expected too.

A Refusal to Withdraw

Bad things alert us
Focus energy inward
Living fully free

The Stages

1) Awakening
     a) Sensing
     b) Exploration
     c) Discovery
2) Living
     a) External pressures
     b) Responsibilities
     c) Chasing Joy
3) Ending
     a) Family sorrow
     b) Graceful exit
     c) Peace

A Good Day

I hear the daffodil’s laughter as I walk by. My smile, a hello, and thanks for brightening my day. The gentle breeze steps with me, guiding me along. Its feathery wisps enveloping on my way. Deeply, I inhale the goodness of today, hoping it will last for an eternity. The sun above reassures me, and the birds sail by singing me a love song. I am enveloped by natural grace. It’s a good day.     

With Me No More

Body parts removed
My essence went off balance
But cancer didn’t win


Tahlia Friedmann has two marriages behind her, and is also a breast cancer survivor. She lives on a farm, and quite likes her life now. This is Tahlia’s first feature on The Short of It.


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“All the tests are back. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s breast cancer.”

Hearing that from the doctor sucked the wind out of my lungs. So many of my friends knew someone who had it or dealt with it themselves. My knowledge about all the stages, chemo, double mastectomies, nausea, perky replacement breasts, and weed could fill a book. I never thought I would become the latest story in my circle.

“Mark, it’s advanced. Stage 3. We’ll need to make some decisions about your options fairly quickly. The good news is you’ll lose the moobs.”

NOTE – While it is rare, about 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man. About 500 men a year lose their lives to the disease. Everyone, check your breasts regularly!