Six years ago today I had a prophylactic double mastectomy. I had lost my mom at age 63 a year or so before to breast cancer, and found out around the same time that I have the BRCA-1 gene mutation, which significantly increased my own risk. I decided that I could live without “the girls” if it would lower my odds and give me a bit more peace of mind.
They wheeled me into the operating room with my natural double-Ds, and wheeled me out 11 hours later minus my own breast tissue, but with a pair of adorable Cs in place. (Yes, they can special-order me some replacement DDs if I ever want to swap em out, as it seems the majority of those bodacious babies get shipped to Texas, where demand is the highest. True story.)
The anniversary of my mastectomy is always a little emotional for me. I remember being so terrified that day, even though I wore the bravest face. I still get a bit wistful when I think about the life circumstances of that time, and it’s only natural that I take a moment to fondly recall the breasts that used to be. But at the same time, I celebrate the immense and precious opportunity I’ve been given. I’ve blogged about how my post-mastectomy life has positively changed a couple of times before, and when I reread my posts, I knew there were no better words than the ones I’ve already shared:
- On my first “mammoversary” I wrote about the the surgery itself, living life without regrets, my abundant gratitude, my impatience with complainers and the value of true friends. These precepts still strongly guide my life six years later.
- Last year, I took some time to reflect on the small but fulfilling things I’ve accomplished since my surgery, focusing again on gratitude and happiness.
Both pieces are worth a read if you’re looking for a healthy dose of honest, positive inspiration.
I still feel my most important purpose is to make the cherished people in my life feel loved, give them comfort and spread a little sunshine to their lives. It’s been a meaningful and rewarding day for me if I go to bed knowing I’ve made someone smile or laugh or brightened up their day in some way—as trivial and insignificant as that may sound.
On this personally special day, I want to extend a most heartfelt thank you to my dedicated readers and social media acquaintances for your continual encouragement and for feeling comfortable enough to reach out to me privately when you think I might be able to help you in some way. It’s always my honor and pleasure to listen and lend support, and I’m sincerely touched that you’ve entrusted me with some of your most personal challenges.
Six years later, I am beyond blessed with amazing people in my life, and I’m most grateful that my family, friends and readers are part of my journey.