“I found a lump in my right breast Feb 2019. The mammogram did not indicate it the day I went. I had dense breasts.”
My GP had requested an ultrasound along with the mammogram. The breast clinic declined the request.
I left concerned but was reassured that my age 51 it was most likely a cyst. I had a cyst in my left breast found on my annual mammogram in 2017.
I went for a core biopsy and the cyst was no longer there.
The breast clinic reviewed my previous mammograms ,I had mastitis 10 years prior and felt that everything was fine.
Ten months later I found the same lump in my right breast ,this time it had invited friends.
I was diagnosed with stage 1 IDC .
Mastectomy was my only option .
Given my previous experience I insisted that my left breast would be removed at the same time.
The girls took early retirement.
I had no interest in reconstruction you can’t recreate the past .
I had to advocate for myself to get my double mastectomy and researched flat closure .
I showed my surgeon the results I was expecting and that I planned on being topless on the beach . My beach days generated interest with CBC. A local reporter interviewed and filmed me on the beach. My interview went international . The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It prompted a second interview about how my first interview impacted ,inspired many people ,other survivors and women just starting their breast cancer journeys. I am a positive person and always feel there are silver linings that arise from the most dire situations. Breasts don’t define women . Society views them as a woman’s calling card. I have never worried about what others think . Living life flat and cancer free is ok for me. Looking forward to each day and taking one day at a time. @christinabelding