Got that Off my Chest

Today an article I wrote about going flat, breast cancer and gender went live at Role/Reboot. While I feel passionate about the topic, I feel some trepidation on how it might be received too.

Being flat after treatment for breast cancer is quite an interesting experience, our society is so focused on breasts, it can feel comical, degrading, mostly just odd to experience this obsession while ‘living flat’, especially in the face of a disease that kills so many. When we focus on our looks so much, we can loose sight of the end goal, living and life! Being human, experiencing the world around us, listening to music, seeing works of art.

I will always miss my breasts, but even with reconstruction, I would not have sensations that I had before, they would not be what they were. And to rely on a doctor to give you the results you hope and wish for? And even if the doctors does everything spot on, there is no saying that your body won’t reject the implants. Me, I just think it is easier all around to step away from the status quo, take responsibility for myself and  mourn the passing of a personal era.

Does this make me stronger? More confident in my body? No, I am just like the next person. I wish I had never had to make these decisions or to think these thoughts, but I did. Geez, I bought some time and I am going to enjoy it to the best of my ability! 

I would much prefer to be who I am today, without looking back.

So please go read the article and share it, like it, pass it on. Comment on it too!





9 thoughts on “Got that Off my Chest

  1. Melly..Walking your journey with words and pictures shared across the world with so many; opening up your vulnerable pieces, receiving the thoughts and prayers of minions of us has all been a wonderfully painted picture that freely has been given to the world. Appreciation for your honest, open, sometimes frightened self as the journey moved forward has provided for me a most amazingly warm, caring and encouraging journal of lessons for my creative, exploring artist self. Thankful each time I see your face, read your words, look at your videos and see your artwork that I have had the opportunity to embrace you in my life. Thank you for sharing another facet of the process traveled in your life.
    With appreciation,


  2. Your essay was very thought provoking. I hope you’ve seen the documentary “Miss Representation” which is about how women are represented in the media. The filmakers also have a FaceBook page and newsletter.
    Considering how many women have had mastectomies, it’s stunning to think of how rarely the clothes thing is discussed, or the gender identity issues.
    Men don’t talk about life after prostate surgery either, and it’s a challenge to get their partners to discuss it too. We really miss out on opportunities for education and empathy when people don’t speak up. Thanks for being so logical and honest!


  3. I have shared your article with many today. My doctor who helps those whose bodies have turned on them, a friend whose 7 year old son who has struggles of his own yet sees people with his heart and not his eyes, and to a friend who has battled an eating disorder for years. Each reacted as I did. The ability to embrace ourselves and others not by a societal yardstick, but with love and compassion. To embrace the neck that is crooked or the little pouch that arrived with middle age, or to find a way for the young to learn while keeping their self esteem intact. As my little friend says, your neck isn’t crooked, it is bent that way from listening to the kitties and birdies and from the hugs that I (he) give you. (That caused me to fight back tears. Such wise words from a little guy.) Thank you for touching me and many others with your words. xoxo


  4. Melly – the two close friends I know who had reconstruction have had some serious problems with theirs. I think you made the right choice. I’ve lived most of my life almost entirely flat chested (couldn’t even come close to filling an A until after kid #4) – fitting clothing is an issue but you have the talents to get around that and still be beautiful and sexy. Ignore the magazines. Ignore the movies. Ignore the ads. None of those are real. YOU are real!


  5. Thanks so much for your bravery, creativity and perspective on life. I’ve benefitted and appreciated all of it so much.


  6. Hi Melanie,

    What a wonderful article you wrote. I have forwarded the link to a friend of mine who is about to undergo the same surgery. If she reads it, I believe she can make a more informed decision about reconstruction. As of now, she is going with it, but not with implants.

    You are an amazing woman in so many ways. I truly admire you.



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