3 stories of life-changing breast surgeriesMay 02, 2022
As a massage therapist, I am privileged to hear people's stories of how they came to experience breast surgery. One thing that's so fascinating is the correlation between getting breasts worked on, and having a major change in one's life.
It is common that one does not come to getting breast surgery without having something major going on in their life. Below are 3 stories of people who, through getting their breasts worked on, facilitated a major life transition for themselves.
"Honey, I've got a second family"
This patient initially got breast implants as a young woman to help her self-esteem by changing her body contour and producing what she felt was a more womanly shape. The increase in confidence did help her attract a mate that she subsequently married and had children with.
All was well for about 10 years, and then she started getting these unexplained signs of illness. It was very hard to know why the symptoms were there, or where they were coming from. She struggled with her health for another 10 years, feeling like she was aging quickly. She was gaining weight, sore all over, stiff joints, had a general malaise and low-grade depression.
Then her husband came to her and told her he'd fallen in love with another woman, and not only that, he'd started a second family with her and was leaving his original family for his second family. This came out of the blue, she was blindsided and felt extremely betrayed.
She started looking more into her health and realized she was getting Breast Implant Illness. This made sense! She'd had all these unexplained symptoms for so long, and now her husband had just dropped a bomb into her family's life, and she decided she was going to get these things out.
So she had explant surgery to remove the implants, took control of her health in a new way, started regular exercises again, started losing weight and decided she was not going to change her body to suit someone else ever again.
She was reclaiming her body for herself!
This began a beautiful journey towards self-empowerment and self-connection. Even though many days were difficult, it was a steady effort towards owning her own body, her own health and her own shape which changed her life for the better.
"I'm not a girl"
At a young age, this patient realized he was not female and did not want the breasts that nature was growing on his body. He bound his chest for several years, and in his final year of high school got his breasts removed in a total bilateral Trans mastectomy as a part of his medical transition.
It was not a sad process for this patient, in many ways it was matter of fact and as he had a very supportive family, did not feel alone or isolated, which is wonderful and not always the case. He went through a major life transition to radically change the body nature was growing and instead create the shape that better affirmed his gender.
"I'm finally making time for me"
This patient had lived a life of self-effacing care for everyone else in her life, commonly not making time for herself and truly felt guilty anytime she dedicated any resources towards herself, as it felt like she was taking away from other people and really, was she that important?
Then she got diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a devastating experience for her, so complicated and fraught with fear. The medical treatments were brutal, the surgeries were complicated by adverse reactions and she found she needed multiple revision surgeries to get the result she was looking for.
What she found through this was that she was required to spend time on herself. This in itself was a revelation, but what was more amazing was that other people actually supported her taking care of herself. They didn't view it as selfish, they viewed it as necessary and smart, as it increased her chances of survival.
This whole experience gave her permission to have self worth, to insert herself into her day as important. She was worth spending time, attention and resources on.
She liberated herself from years of self-denial and instead elevated herself to a position of prominence in her own life. What was so exciting for her was she found she was actually more able to be there for other people because she was now internally "full", so when it came time to give she had lots of energy to draw from.
It took cancer and multiple surgeries to make her realize she was important, that she had self-worth, that she wanted to LIVE, and not just in lip service. She wanted to feel alive! So she started to do activities that made her spirit glow, and now lives a life that she says she never would have found without these challenges coming her way.
"I need a new focus to my practice"
If you've been needing a new direction and want to be privileged to witness someone else's journey through major life transitions, consider taking on breast surgery patients into your practice.
If you want to feel more educated, confident and also connected with other therapists doing heart-centred work and giving evidence-informed treatments, please join our Level 1: Introduction to Breast Surgery courses, offered both in-person and virtually.