Special Guest Post and Book Giveaway by Lois Hjelmstad


Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad

I am honored to feature this special guest post from Lois Hjelmstad, alongside a gift from Lois to readers. I’ve known Lois online for several years now, and her beautiful poetry never fails to touch me.

How Do You Say Goodbye—to Your Breast?

How do you take a body that looks and feels healthy into treatment for breast cancer? How do you deal with a world turned upside-down? How do you say goodbye—to your breast?

The night before my first mastectomy, I wept as I wrote:

Goodbye, beloved breast
Shall I ever forget you?
Will I ever end my grieving?

When first you developed in sweet innocence
I was dismayed—
I was afraid of emerging sexuality…

But you became beautiful
My lover treasured you
My children nuzzled you and were nourished
I cradled you in my hands to cherish your softness…

Now a dark menace has invaded you
And somehow I must bear our parting…

Goodbye, beloved breast
Goodbye, beloved part of me
Goodbye, symbol of my femininity…

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines ©1993, 2003, Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

In my pain, poems continued to spill out. My oncologist insisted that I “do something” with them. And thus my first book, Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness, was born. (I was a little old piano teacher in tennis shoes and planned to teach until I was ninety-six.)

This book opened doors and I began to speak to support groups, doctors and nurses, college classes. Now some twenty years, 600 plus speeches, and 400,000 miles (all 50 United States, England, and Canada) later, I am turning eighty-five on October 1.  My beloved ninety-three-year-old husband is ill with congestive heart failure. We can’t travel. (I have made my books available on amazon.com in print and eBooks.)

But I still want Fine Black Lines to help people, if it can. I still really, really, really want it to bring courage, comfort, and validation to thousands more women.


Today and tomorrow, September 14 and 15, I am offering the eBook FREE for those two days on Amazon Kindle at http://ow.ly/vfHCQ. And I would so appreciate your letting “your people” know.

Much love to all of you, Lois