Nobody wants to hear the news that they have breast cancer, especially when a mastectomy has been recommended as part of the treatment option. What happens if you choose to have a mastectomy without reconstruction?
Juliet Fitzpatrick is a blogger, advocate and campaigner for choice. She was diagnosed with screen-detected breast cancer at the age of 54. Initially, she had a lumpectomy, but it turned out that her cancer was more widespread than anticipated and so breast conservation surgery was considered not possible. Her second surgery then had to be a mastectomy.
During the clinic consultation, her breast reconstruction options were discussed and explained. She was able to have an in-depth discussion with a plastic surgeon who outlined the merits of a DIEP flap based reconstruction and how she would be a suitable candidate. However, throughout this process, Juliet felt that the option of not having reconstruction and to simply have a mastectomy and ‘go flat’ was not really discussed.
In this podcast episode, Juliet explains why she decided not to have a breast reconstruction and talks openly about how she felt and coped with losing one of her breasts. We also talk about why she decided to have further surgery to her other breast and what impact that had.
Since completing her treatment, Juliet has worked tirelessly to increase the visibility of women who ‘go flat’ and encourages the conversation around the subject. Juliet’s work has also involved collaborations with various projects, one of which has lead to her photos being shown in Times Square and Picadilly Circus as well as adverts and billboards. It was an absolutely fascinating and uplifting story.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Juliet’s blog www.bloomingcancer.co.uk
Flat Friends public face book page https://www.facebook.com/flatfriendsUK/
Flat Friends webpage https://www.flatfriends.org.uk/
You can connect with Juliet on social media:
If you want to learn more about the various types of mastectomies that are available, then you can check out my blog about the subject here.
Fancy leaving a review?
If you are enjoying the My Breast My Health podcast and find it useful, I would be really grateful if you could leave a rating and review. This will help me produce more content and bring value to more people.
You can do this by clicking on Apple Podcast, scroll down to the bottom, rate with the stars and then select ‘Write a Review’. Do let me know which episodes you found useful and what you loved about them.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on future episodes, then do subscribe to the podcast. You can do it at Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts and other podcast apps that take your fancy.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING
DISCLAIMER: The content of this podcast and website is not a substitute for seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional. Please do not delay in seeing a doctor for a breast problem, because of what you have read on this website or heard on this podcast.