This month’s readings, “Things Taken” and “Pathology Report” offer insight into the disparity between the physician and patient perspective on hysterectomies. The loss of these female organs leave the characters feeling devoid of the trait which plays a role in defining their femininity; the private and unique capacity women have to experience the rhythmic cycling of their menses and to be reminded of their capacity to sustain life. These pieces enable us to realize that the feelings of loss linger long after the scalpel wound has healed.
Things Taken (Isabel Hoskins) A woman imagines her excised ovary and uterus sitting in the pathology lab. She mourns the experience of having parts of her “cut” from her body and handled by the anonymous, uncaring hands of the pathologist.
Pathology Report (Veneta Masson) A woman undergoes a hysterectomy to treat ovarian cancer. Though grateful for her survival, she spends her days thereafter mourning the loss of her menstrual periods – “[rhythms], predictable and cyclical and intimate”.