Samantha’s Story: She Wears Her Scars Like a Warrior

Samantha was only 31 with a young family when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She deliberated carefully and decided on a bilateral mastectomy with aesthetic flat closure. Her surgeon did an amazing job. Samantha wants women to feel empowered to make the right choice for them, whatever that choice may be.

“She wears her scars like a warrior for they are a reminder she’s alive.”

When I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 31 it seemed like my entire world had crashed down on me. I never really knew much about breast cancer other than the pink ribbons seen in October every year. With three kids and a family that needed me, I knew I would fight this beast with everything I had. After the treacherous journey through chemotherapy, I was then given an option of a single mastectomy or a lumpectomy.

I remember being so confused at first. After some research and support from a fb page of women who had gone flat, I knew what I wanted. I went to my surgeon and said, “Can you just take them both off?” She looked at me kind of puzzled and replied, “Absolutely!” My way of preparing was to purchase “foobs” a bra with some stuffed breasts in it. I also tried to find every shirt I could that would hide my flat chest.

The day of surgery came and while having a quick chat with my surgeon before hand, I said, “Please make sure it’s a nice flat closure… I’m terrified to have skin hanging everywhere.” She reassured me and said she would do the absolute best she could. I remember waking up from surgery and feeling like my chest was so tight. The healing was easier than I thought… seven days later I went to have my drains checked and bandages removed. When I looked down I cried. I was very pleased with the outcome and how perfect my incisions were but it was a shock.

My breasts were part of me. Not to mention my hair which was still gone from chemo. The first few times looking in the mirror were tough. I felt like a 12 year old boy. No hair and no boobs. It took a while… but today… I am so proud of my scars. I seen a quote that just fit so well: “She wears her scars like a warrior for they are a reminder she’s alive.” I had it tattooed on my ribs to always remind myself what I’ve overcome.

I found a new me. A stronger me.

I knew I didn’t want implants or expanders. I knew my body had been through so much and going flat was the best option for me. I found a new me. A stronger me. I encourage any woman facing this hard decision to do what feels right to YOU. There is no right or wrong way to navigate thru this journey. Regardless of the outcome it takes time. Time to learn and accept the new you… I cried many times just trying to find a shirt that I felt pretty in… or a bathing suit that I felt comfortable in. With time, though…. you will look at your scars with the mentality of a warrior and know you overcame and conquered.

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Disclaimer: Any and all information published by Not Putting on a Shirt (NPOAS) on behalf of a third party is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for medical or legal advice from a licensed professional. Views expressed and claims made by third parties do not necessarily represent the views of NPOAS.

Published by Not Putting on a Shirt

Founder of Not Putting on a Shirt, a mastectomy patients' rights organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for patients going flat.

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