In 2007, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 37. I had a mastectomy on my right side, 4 months of chemotherapy, and 30-days of radiation. I then had a prophylactic mastectomy to remove my left breast, and expanders inserted, and after 4 months of expanders, had the expanders exchanged for implants. My implants almost immediately began to cause me a lot of pain, and eventually made me very sick. After nearly 5 years of having my implants, I decided to go flat.
Through my work with Going Flat Fashions, I work to advocate, and be a source of support for women who I hope will benefit from my work, and gain confidence and take steps toward reclaiming their bodies after surgery.
"More and more, women are choosing to opt-out of reconstruction after mastectomy surgery, but often, it’s still not offered as a viable option. Things have changed in the decade since I was in treatment and there is now much more awareness and advocacy around the issue, but there's still work to do. When I was in treatment, I was never presented with the option to not undergo reconstruction, and it’s still often not presented by health care professionals as a choice – in fact, it is often resisted by the medical community. I am empowering women and helping them love their bodies no matter what the shape. Women are told that 'clothes won't fit them properly', that they won't be 'sexy or desirable', and I want to help them understand that this is truly not the case."