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LES ECHOS

Diary Of A Double Mastectomy

A Parisian breast cancer patient kept this journal in the week leading up to her surgery, and sent it to Le Monde.

Waiting
Waiting
Florence Aubenas

PARIS — The emails started arriving in my inbox, following a countdown that the anonymous sender reminded me of each day. Ana (not her real name) had cancer and was writing about her final week before surgery to remove her breasts. As the week wore on, I found myself waiting impatiently for her next dispatch. And, ultimately, I met her. She intrigued me, although at the same time I was a bit suspicious that the whole thing was a fraud. I felt embarrassed when I saw her sitting outside a café in Paris, her hair shaved after chemotherapy. She had left her wig on her son’s piano.

Ana agreed to let me share her countdown diary, which she entitled Journal of a Body Change:

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Families wait for news of their missing relatives following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Barev!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where 21 are killed in a school shooting in Texas, Davos focuses on Ukraine, and a vertigo-inducing world record is broken at Mont-Saint-Michel. Die Welt also offers a psychoanalyst’s perspective on how war survivors pass trauma onto their children.

[*Armenian]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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