The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 8, 1976 · Page 14
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December 8, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 14

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Wednesday, December 8, 1976
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Page 14
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B4 Palm Beach Post, Wednesday, December 8, 1976 Breast- From Bl" tempted. I'd sit on the edge of my bed and he'd unwrap me and we'd yammer away and I would pick a dirt spot on the window and, as more and more of the wrapping came off, I'd stare harder at the spot. I knew what I was doing. I knew that one look might blow my whole act, and I wasn't going to do that. My act was all I had. (c) by Betty Rollin Singermann congratulated me for having such a good looking wound and for healing so nicely. (I suppose he was really congratulating himself, but I didn't read it that way at the time.) As far as having an attractive wound, I had to take his word for it, because I wasn't about to look. Most of the time, I couldn't look because I was bandaged. When he changed the bandage I could have looked, but I didn't. I was not even j -n.;in.:i.ifFK'':ii'Muiii;,Kin.uf I Boy's Tovne X jj Tka Intact ncklrtne lii L wm 11., . ... ... . - and, underneath, fourteen signatures that went up on a slant. Nice. And I loved the visits, especially the surprise ones. My old roommate, Molly Haslcell, came and brought me a pretty address book with Indian drawings, and Susan Wood brought me a leather Mark Cross writing folder that smelled wonderful, and flowers came and kept coming at least twice a day. It was like an ongoing birthday. Or a funeral. I loved telling the story about how I outfoxed the nurse in the recovery room. I told it over and over, and everyone agreed how clever I was. I told other stories, too, that week. And when I ran out of stories, I told other things. Except when I slept, I talked almost all the time. I talked to everyone who came, the nurses and the nurse's aides, even the ones who didn't speak English. I got many congratulations for being so brave and cheerful. And the more brave and cheerful I was, the more everyone seemed to love me, so I kept it up. I became positively euphoric. It pleased me, in a way, to hear about others who were not as heroic as I. I lapped up stories one of the nurses would tell me: about a woman who, for two entire days - 48 hours after her mastectomy - kept her eyes shut; about another woman, a doctor's wife, who went home after her operation and stayed there without going out once for six months. I pretended to feel sorry for those other women and for a few seconds I suppose I did, but these tales carried with them built-in congratulations for me for not being like the person in the story, and my chief reaction when I heard about their inability to cope was shameless, narcissistic, vain, self-contratulatory, competitive pleasure. I got something else in the hospital I liked, too: pity. Not that I got nearly as much pity as I did congratulations. Nor did I get nearly as much pity as I would have liked. People think that people who have awful things happen to them don't want pity and, further, that pity is not good for people. They are wrong. That disreputable myth was started, I suspect, by some relative of a disaster victim who didn't want to bother. Pity is delicious. I was crazy about the pity I got. It was the best kind, too. I did not get, nor did I want, the drooling, mewing kind. I preferred something more restrained but deep-felt. Quality pity. Aside from the pleasure I got from pity myself, it also served as a spendid lead-in for my brave act. All I needed to hear was a slightly choked, "Betty, my God, I just heard, I can't tell you how sorry . . , " and there was a perfect cue for "I'm feeling terrific, absolutely terrific, being spoiled to death - oops, guess that's not the best way to put it - heh, heh ..." and so on. My favorite telephone call of that kind came from a woman friend who said, "I hear you're coping, and I don't know how. I think I'd just plain die." "No, you wouldn't," said I, revving up for another favorite role, the Strong One. "If you have a choice, one thing you absolutely don't do is die." Then I would segue nicely into my Polly anna routine. Remember that creep, Pollyanna, the Glad Girl? During the week of April 7, 1975, in Beth Israel Hospital on the surgical ward in Room 343, the spirit of Pollyanna was born anew within ' the newly mangled frame of Betty Rollin. Most of the time I was too busy in the hospital even to think about anything so downbeat as the fact that I was missing a breast. But when I did think or talk about it, the Glad Girl kept shining through: I'm glad I only lost one breast instead of two; I'm glad I was sort of flat-chested to start with, so it won't look all that different; I'm glad it doesn't hurt much (no doubt about it, a good dose of pain and Pollyanna would have closed out of town); I'm glad it won't show when I'm dressed, say the way an arm or a leg or a nose would; and, oh, yes, I'm glad I'm not dead and well, who needs a breast, anyway, you can't do anything with a breast, you can't type with it and walk on it or play "Melancholy Baby" with it? And besides all that, a breast is something you have two of, so if it serves a purpose (I did remember vaguely that it figured in sex) there's still the other one. In the hospital I remember having almost no thoughts and only one conversation with Arthur about sex. "Do you still love me now that I only have one?" I asked, coy as all get out. "Of course, baby," he said and gave me a kiss. a ! Beautifully crafted.' ' ti IV Til 1 ffo I - HI 3 0 if UiYM U I HfTTfo fMfflMD Vested Suit ffv i) an asm $1 !H5PQE SOP G 0Tt Palm Beach Mall 1 JLT W$M FREE ALTERATIONS f eoD(35iaiia!isTflasHiffi en SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING HOURS: MON. Thru SAT. 10 A.M. TO 10 P.M. SUN. 11 A.M. TO 7 P.M. Prices Effective thru December 1 llh Key W est Hours Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. -9 p.m. Sunday 12 !Soon5 p.m. Sears cSpt VALUES SAVE 28 ,o 58 On Rugged Craftsman Warranted Tool Sets! ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS SIXTY 16"x20"s WERE $35-75 NOW $25-55 FRAMES $22-47 SAVE 19 On Craftsman ChestCabinet Combination 24"x48" WERE $110-245 NOW $65-175 24"x36" WERE $75-185 NOW $55-125 8"xl0" NOW AT $29.95 framed!!! THE JOY OF ART AT... ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS CUSTOM PICTURE FRAMING innnnnnnn $ 169 SALE! SALE! Standard or IMelric Set Keg. Separate priees for standard set total X, for metric $')6. J6; 60-pc. set features quick-release ratchets. 1 17-IY. Professional Set Regular $2 MM).; Features 3 fine-tooth quick-release ratchets, thinwall sockets, accessories, screwdrivers, pliers, much more! 99 s Reg. Sen. nriees total 20)." I: 3-drawer chest, 5-drawer cabinet. 7'i.')'; A Dr. :hel.b).W I2l.5; 5 Or. :hrsl..IO HRS.: 10-5 Mon.-Sat. 1121 No. Dixie Hwy. (U.S. 1) West Palm Bch. One Block South of Good Samaritan Hospital 179 I 80-IV. Craftsman Standard Full unlimited warranty If Craftsman hand tool fails to give complete satisfaction, return it for free replacement. Mechanic'! Tool Set q-p .r. .P -;'"ir" 59" &g 3 C i ' ,A sir :y.) Mm. si . "j " 'j 1 Unveil irkln-ii li Vt ith I' lakfboaril ioj titular $QO Oal'lMiian Itolan Id. M lot. I Kit .l'.)' tJ J SAVE 8 1.99 Craftsman 25-IV. Socket Wrench Set SAVE! 16.99 Craftsman 30-IV. Metric Add On Set SWi: !.!) Standard or Metric SocketWrench Set Regular .J7.')) $QQ our Choice 9 16-pc. set features Vi -in. drive thinwall sockets and rugged quick-release ratchet. With handy case. $ Regular Regular $.'l7.) $33 33 Metric add-on set features assorted drop-forged wrenches and thinwall sockets in the most popular sizes. Features V -in. drive quick-release ratchets, nickel-chrome plated sockets and many handy accessories. Save now, at Sears. Itucd Slet'l I. ...I I (-IV. ( iinihiiiiiliiiii Bo With 2 Drawers Craftsman French Set H.jubr H,.S,p. $)0 :l7.'l'l J pi li e. JlJ SAVE 3 On Sears Latex Flat Interior Wall Paint Save 2 On Vt hiu Kxlerior l alex Save '3 On Latex Semi-(iloss Interior Puint I lal House I'ainl 99 Regular Kegular Si."') 99 (allitu 21 alli.n 99" Regular 6 NOW LEASING! 1, 2 & 3 Bed room Resort -Apartments at newly completed VANTAGE POINT OF THE PALM BEACHES Furnished or Unfurnished! Hotel-like services! Seasonal Annual leases! Maid and linen service available! Vantage Point, the Palm Beaches' finest high-rise resort-apartments on-the-lake, offers you total luxury living features such as: complete electric kitchens; full-scale dining rooms; entertainment-sized living rooms; master bedroom suites with walk-in closets and private bath; wide-view balconies; master TV antenna; and an 'in-apartment' laundry center. Vantage Point's hotel-like services include: uniformed doormen; a sophisticated, closed circuit, round-the-clock TV security system; ample parking; pool attendants; individual storage lockers; 4 high-speed elevators; a telephone message-service; and our very own Courtesy Station Wagon! PLUS: lighted tennis courts; heated swimming pool; card and backgammon rooms; billiards room; party room; shufflehoard courts; men's and women's saunas and exercise rooms ... all at no extra cost ! Fifty-Six Hundred North Dixie On-The-Lake West Palm Beach, Florida H407 Model Apartments and Rental Office Open 10 A.M. 'til 6 P.M. 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