A Reader’s Thoughts On Body Image After Breast Cancer Treatment


A few weeks ago, a reader called Mary, left this comment on Journeying Beyond:

I’m glad I stumbled on this site. No one tells you how your going to feel after. The emotions, the dead nerve skin, pain where they removed lymph nodes. I can deal with the scars, those I expected.

Anger is there often. I don’t want to hear I’m lucky to beat cancer. Beat it…it’s always there. Everytime you look at your altered body. Still taking medication that put me into a second menopause.

I do my best to stay positive but sometimes it’s hard, like when I try to find a bra, enter all my info on website to be told I’m outside their size range, your size is only 17percent of women, or check back if anything changes, like I’m going to grow new boobs.

Nothing like making me feel like a freak.

So I’m destined to not have a bra, and continue to wear surgery bras. I’m not looking for fancy or sexy just something that fits and doesn’t fit.

So I’m happy I survived, I just wish I could feel normal.

My heart goes out to Mary and to all of us who have struggled with these issues around body image after breast cancer. I wish I had some practical advice to offer Mary around post-mastectomy bra fitting, but I’ve never found a bra that fitted me and I have just had to get good at padding out my lop-sided bosom.  I am reposting Mary’s comment here with her permission in the hope that perhaps some of my readers might have practical advice to offer.  Even if you don’t, it would be wonderful if you could reach out via the comments and let Mary know she is not alone in feeling this way.

Thank you!