About the Project
As a mastectomy patient I was left feeling overwhelmed by my experiences, and lessened as a woman. But I didn't have to be. If I had been shown post-mastectomy pictures that left me feeling hopeful and informed, instead of intimidated and unnerved, my experience would have been different. If many voices had been able to tell me I would eventually feel beautiful again, my experience would have been different.
So-what if among the many overwhelming materials you see at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis there was a simple book that inspired hope instead of fear, and showed beauty instead of disfigurement?
What if when you go into the doctor's office you see a book of amazing, real, beautifully smiling people of all ages who are showing different versions of mastectomies, lumpectomies, reconstruction...or not. This book may sit on the doctor's waiting room table, or be loaned to newly diagnosed patients, or be gifted by a friend who wants to help in a meaningful way.
Currently as you sit in that office asking yourself what you will look like if you make a choice to have surgery you currently see small, clinical-looking pictures on the doctor's back room computer. And then perhaps your doctor connects you with another woman who has undergone a similar surgery. You meet up with her at a coffee house and get a cup of coffee before going into the bathroom. You wait for it to be empty before the other woman raises her shirt to show what your own body may one day soon look like. Or perhaps (maybe worst of all, so please don't do this) you go to the Internet and search for images of mastectomies and see everything from “ok” to truly horrifying. This all feels cold, clinical, and uncomfortable.
"Beauty after Breast Cancer" is a coffee table style book for surgeon's offices, cancer centers, and breast centers that gives comprehensive information in an easy-to-understand book filled with informative and beautiful portraits of post-surgery results shown on real people. Each of those people share coping techniques and resources within their personal stories. We are a community for breast cancer patients who might otherwise feel overwhelmed, and isolated.