Two generations of women on the maternal side of Birstall 26-year-old Emily Ranoble’s family have been affected by breast cancer. She has had radical surgery at Pinderfields Hospital to stop her developing the disease and is writing a weekly blog each Monday in the YEP.
It’s now been three weeks since my mastectomy and I really get the sense that I’ve come out on the other side.
Last week I got my first full view of my post mastectomy breasts. Until then the scar that runs horizontally across the front of each breast had been covered with tape.
Then came the day for the tape to be removed. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I was curious; after all my new boobs would be a different shape to before, the implants were not fully inflated, there would be a scar and there wouldn’t be any nipples, but I was surprised and relieved by what I saw.
The scar is not as bad as I had imagined. While each is as wide as the breast, it is not red or ugly; it is a very neat line and already surprisingly subtle.
Aesthetically things will only improve. This week I begin the first of four biweekly sessions to have the implants inflated through the ports that have been left under my skin; this should give my breasts a more equal appearance – currently the left one is beating the right one hands down size-wise.
I will then undergo one final procedure to have the ports removed and nipples tattooed on, then that’s me done.
The end of my mastectomy journey will not signal the end of cancer as a feature in my thoughts. It never could.
But I’ll be able to raise awareness confident in the knowledge I’ve done everything I can to protect myself.