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Reconstruction not necessary

Breast cancer has affected my body image in that since my mastectomy I feel conspicuous at the beach in bathers and feel embarrassed, especially when children stare at me. It is common where I swim to be topless and there is the question about whether to cover up for children. I am not sure whether it’s to save me from stares and questioning or whether I really do feel deficient in some way.

I certainly haven’t considered a reconstruction. I am 70 and really don’t want to put myself through that kind of operation. I certainly feel the same person. It really hasn’t altered that and maybe it’s because of my age and the fact that I have had lovely experiences with beautiful breasts in my life. I have always been complimented on them and even now I feel tender and soft when I feel my one breast. I asked the surgeon at the beginning whether I should consider having both removed but he said there was no need. I am so grateful that I didn’t have the other one removed. I derive considerable comfort from touching my one breast and I think that without that as well I may indeed feel a significant difference.

My surgeon is an artist.

When I had the bandages removed after surgery I was delighted to find I still had a cleavage – he was so creative the way he cut. I will always be grateful to him for this. When I wear a bra I still feel very much a woman and feel I can show off this part of my anatomy.

Sandra, NSW