Mastectomy and Self Image

Author: Johns Hopkins Medicine

When I was diagnosed, I was 38 years old. And it certainly did come as a shock to me. I don't know if that, because I thought I was a nurse I would be immune to getting the types of diseases that I also took care of.

But I was truly in shock. I also was very disappointed with the type of surgery that I needed to have done... In order to rid me of this disease. I had what's called multicentric disease, more than one tumor in my left breast. And that resulted in me needing to do a mastectomy. And for some other medical reasons, I wasn't a candidate to do reconstruction. And I worried about my self image.

Part of it was tied up here on my chest. I would even be identified in a crowd based on my breast size. Because I have 44Ds on my chest, I was very easy to spot.

I hadn't seen my toes when I looked down since I was thirteen years old. And the realization that I would look down and be able to see my left foot very much worried me. My husband was the one who taught me how to take a look at this particular surgery and not view it. As an amputation of an important part of my body. He said, that's not what you're having done. You're having transformation surgery done. The surgeon's mission is to transform me from a breast cancer victim, into a breast cancer survivor.

Mastectomy and Self Image

And I thought he was right. I am exchanging my breast for another chance at life. That is truly a fair trade. [blank_audio].

Mastectomy and Self Image

When I was diagnosed, I was 38 years old. And it certainly did come as a shock to me. I don't know if that, because I thought I was a nurse I would be immune to getting the types…

By: Johns Hopkins Medicine
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