In October 2010 I had a phone call to tell me that the results of my mammogram were not good. Breast cancer. I was 60 years old.
After studying the statistics and the side effects I decided to refuse chemo after my mastectomy. I had not been ill, was not ill and didn’t want to be ill. They had taken the cancer with the breast so I wanted to be left alone to get on with my life.
As the days and months passed I became more and more depressed trying to mask my absent breast with a padded bra. I was uncomfortable and really hot in the Queensland summer. I chose not to venture out and spent most days at home in my nightdress. My doctor prescribed antidepressants but they really didn’t help. I was not small breasted so this large right breast manifested as an abnormal growth on my body. I hated it.
Two years later and the surgeon agreed to remove my right breast. As soon as I woke from the operation I was at once relieved and excited by my new look. I might not have any breasts but I feel great. I don’t have to wear a bra and do not feel at all embarrassed by my body image now. The doctors said there was no evidence of cancer in the right breast and after two years I am still cancer free.
At 62 years old I am not interested in having reconstructive surgery, in fact I am quite enjoying my new body.
I am now embracing life again, feeling younger and happier.