A New Hope Emerges

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Welcome to our Hope Emerges blog, things have definitely grown from when we launched this little project a few months ago with the aim of dispelling the fear and taboo around mastectomies and breast reconstruction.

Sticking my head above the parapet, I did get it slapped by a few. Daring to bare reconstructed breasts in their natural form in an artistic, creative way seemed to upset a few. But when the only images you see of mastectomies and reconstructions are rather stark, I wanted to show another side, one that showed women’s bodies in a beautiful and feminine way, and showcased hope.

I was so humbled and privileged then to have met a group of gorgeous heroines who have also dared to bare to help empower other women facing the daunting decision of having a mastectomy and reconstruction.

Showcasing the beautiful female form, Anna, Carol and Rosemary demonstrate how Hope can Emerge from a cancer diagnosis. Their images highlight contentment and happiness in life, in the simple pleasures it can bestow, even amidst the trauma that is cancer.

Plastic surgery has come so far, our surgeons are so skillful, they can recreate the female form to give us back our body confidence and self esteem after facing one of the most harrowing and daunting decision we may ever have to make as women: the removal of our breasts.

The journey to getting our ‘girls’ back can take up to 18 months and numerous surgeries, but to me, it was worth it. I am comfortable in my body and I wear my scars like stars. Nine years on from my own diagnosis, I am content and happy in life.

It took me time to get here. The trauma of 2005 left its mark. From watching cancer paralyze my gorgeous 3 yr old daughter Kenzie, to the horror of losing her to cancer, while facing my own cancer battle at the same time, I can only describe as hell on earth. Hell certainly couldn’t be any worse.

I knew there was only one-way to go from there, and that was up. I wanted to ensure my gorgeous son still had a good childhood and that cancer did not deprive him of that too.

So, one day at a time, I started to rebuild my life again. While undergoing my own cancer treatment, I went back to university to complete my degree and post grad, shared our cancer story and became the face of the Herceptin campaign in NZ, established Kenzie’s Gift (www.kenziegift.com) to provide one on one psychotherapy to children and families affected by cancer and embarked on numerous endurance races, sky dives, white water rafting and challenges to raise money for the charity I established in memory of Kenzie.

I think this quote sums up how I approach life to a tee…

The purpose of life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave with a well-preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, completely used up, yelling and screaming, what a ride!

What best sums up how you approach life? We would love to hear from you, so please do get in touch.