Christina

Stage 1, Canada

“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.⁠

Fast forward.⁠
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

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