Flat Please. Hold the Shame.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 10th of 2022. After further investigation and an MRI, it was determined by cancer was multi-focal with the tumours distributed in such a way that a mastectomy was the only option. In talking with a friend I was introduced to aesthetic flat closure. The idea of a single surgery, a more rapid healing process, and fewer risks of complications appealed to me. After two plus years of COVID, I wanted to move on with my life. So I brought the idea of a double mastectomy with flat closure back to my surgeon and fortunately he was very supportive of my decision and extremely accomplished at oncoplastic techniques. I did a lot of mental preparation for looking at my new breastless body after surgery and I can say I have no regrets about my decision and quite like my new flat profile. Pathology showed small deposits of cancer in my sentinel nodes as well, and so I have also undergone 4 rounds of dose dense chemotherapy, and soon will be referred to radiation. But I began my cancer journey in very good health. I was fit and strong and so was able to recover from surgery very quickly with no complications, and I have weathered chemo very easily – with minimal side effects. If I were to give any one a piece of advice it would be to focus on becoming as healthy as you can be. One never knows what health crisis might come your way. But when your cup is full, you have more to draw upon. It may seem strange, but breast cancer has uncovered strengths and resilience I didn’t know I had, and it has made me grateful for the love and support of family and friends. I have learned I am far tougher, far more powerful than I would have imagined. I have also met the very best people on this journey, from healthcare workers to survivors who have shown me compassion, care and kindness. I will be forever grateful to them and commit to paying it forward as I move beyond my treatment phase and become a survivor/thriver. I have also become a passionate advocate for more inclusion and representation of women with breast cancer in brand marketing, and for more empowerment of women on their healthcare journey and I intend to continue to do advocacy work in this area.