Christine, Ambassador, Stage 2, Florida

Christine Handy: Navigating Multiple Mastectomies and Breast Implant Illness

Discovering the Unseen: The Early Signs

I was diagnosed with breast cancer October 1, 2012. I was 41 years young with no family history of the disease. I am allergic to sugar, exercise almost every day and was the healthiest person I knew until my diagnosis.

The Turning Point: Diagnosis and Fear

After 28 rounds of chemotherapy, which took about 13 months, I had a double mastectomy. I elected to reconstruct my chest with implants. Unfortunately, that led to multiple surgeries and revisions. Implants are often not one stop shopping.

Navigating the Treatment: Challenges and Choices

Years later, in 2020, I was diagnosed with breast implant illness and my chest was ultimately excavated in an emergency surgery. Technically, I have had four mastectomies.

The Aftermath: Recovery and Reflection

For me, the emotional trauma was greater than the physical. Both the physical violence and the emotional terror have made a large imprint in my life. In many ways, my life is better now. My perspective has changed. But the trauma has lingered which manifests itself in different ways.

Embracing the New Me: A Journey of Self-Acceptance

Since my cancer journey, I have become an advocate for breast cancer patients and survivors to offer a hopeful story. During the disease and treatment, I believe my faith kept me sane during the darkest times. I also believe having a supportive community makes a huge difference in the outcome of a diagnosis.

Empowerment Through Shared Stories at Learn Look Locate

“Learn Look Locate is a community that cares about each person. As a survivor, I am grateful for the stories of hope and the communities we are able to draw from. It would be the first place I would go if I was newly diagnosed. Learn Look Locate is an incredible source for all information on breast cancer.”