Margaret’s Story

“I feel my most powerful and beautiful this way. I wish I could just get over the social stigma of not having breasts as a woman. I prefer it this way. There’s no hassle. I don’t have to worry about a bra. I’m free.”

© Image Credit

Twenty-eighteen felt like the start of a new chapter for then-28 year-old Margaret and her young family. She, her husband, and their toddler had just settled into their house. Then, her father was diagnosed with cancer that April. The following month, she learned that she, too, had been bitten. She was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was about Stage 3. I say ‘about’ because I never did anything conventional. No surgery made sense to me. They all made me cry. I saw four surgeons and thought, ‘why can’t you just leave my body alone?’” Margaret explained.

After several months of deliberation, Margaret began an integrative medical protocol in October of 2018. That November, she underwent bilateral mastectomies. Despite her penchant for alternative therapy, Margaret initially had one conventional intention: breast reconstruction.

“When I went flat, it was never with the intent of staying flat.”

picture of patient
© Image Credit

As she consulted reconstructive plastic surgeons, she found herself once again uncomfortable with the options. The idea of using a foreign body inside of her own struck her as wrong. Natural tissue reconstruction felt invasive. None of what she learned made sense to her. At the same time, she reflected on her experience with her breasts before mastectomy.

“My breasts were always a sensitive subject for me. I hated my breasts. I didn’t think of them as feminine at all, even though I wanted them to be. I could never hide them in a shirt. I had so many insecurities,” she said.

Margaret’s introspection made her own feelings clear: if it were up to her, she would remain flat.

“I feel my most powerful and beautiful this way. I wish I could just get over the social stigma of not having breasts as a woman. I prefer it this way. There’s no hassle. I don’t have to worry about a bra. I’m free.”

In the meantime, Margaret had a second child, who is now three-and-a-half. While her husband—who fully supported her decision to do whatever made her comfortable with her body—wonders whether her flat closure is impacting their children, Margaret has a different take. To her, she is their mother, first and foremost.

“When my husband asks, the answer is that I don’t know if seeing me this way is impacting them, but I don’t think it is. My second child only knows me this way. This is how I’ve always looked to him,” she said.

Margaret continues to live with metastatic disease. Her treatment is ongoing, but she remains comfortable with her flat closure, despite the societal pressures that creep in from time to time.

“I don’t wake up in the morning feeling like I miss any of it. It’s strictly societal.”