When you have breast cancer, or get a BRCA diagnosis, it can feel overwhelming. Friends and family members mean well, but sometimes you need to hear from people who’ve had a similar experience. We reached out to the Resensation community to share their stories, because who better to help those who want and need encouragement than those who know what they’re going through.
what is the most important piece of advice you have for those starting their breast cancer journey?
“Positively, absolutely be informed. Don’t be afraid to ask 20 questions. Then ask 20 more. There are NO DUMB QUESTIONS. Never ever give up or give in.” – Diane
“Ask lots of questions, no matter how stunned and scared you are.” – Gwynne
“Research and do NOT make any rash decisions. When diagnosed, your first thought is, ‘How do I get rid of it and survive?’ Take the time you are comfortable with to make life-changing decisions. Research your doctor, surgeons and any procedures that are out there. I would never have known about Resensation if I had chosen a different surgeon. If I had known before radiation, I would have chosen the mastectomy with Resensation first.” – Toni
what is the most important advice you received when you started your journey?
“I cannot control everything that happens.” – Jessica
“Find a good balance of being proactive and taking your time to think through decisions. Do not just rely on a google search or read the possible side effects of surgeries, as this will only create unnecessary fears and compound what is already a difficult situation for you. It’s good to know the risks, but make sure these are given to you straight from the doctor’s mouth, not the internet.” – Tara
how did your diagnosis impact your outlook for the future?
“Being diagnosed with breast cancer was the first time in my life that I truly realized I wouldn’t live forever. I was scared—what would happen to my husband and children if I wasn’t around? It led me to pause and figure out what aspects of my life are the most meaningful to me. Every single day, I now feel gratitude and love for myself, for my family, for my friends and for the life I have made.” – Christine
“The word ‘cancer’ will stop you in your tracks, and make you question if you are going to have a future. You not only take it one day at a time, but some days it’s one hour or minute at a time, like when you’re going in for a bilateral mastectomy or lying on a table alone uncovered, receiving radiation treatments while shaking from the inside out.” – Diane
what impact did loss of chest sensation have for you?
“Tremendous grief! I did not let anyone hug me anymore, because it was painful to me. I lost complete sensation of my torso and could not feel any ‘emotion.’” – Jessica
“I became really physically guarded and refrained from participating in many physical activities and some social events. I was fearful that I would not be able to recognize that something was wrong, as I would not have those warning signals that pain provides us. I was insecure in certain clothing, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to feel if a tank top or lower-cut shirt was slipping down too low and exposing me. I felt very physically vulnerable much of the time, having loss of sensation, loss of connection to that part of my body.” – Tara
“Everything that was once familiar is now unfamiliar—hugging my kids, dancing with my husband, getting dressed in the morning, working out, slinging my camera gear, carrying my purse, and even jumping into my car and throwing on my seatbelt. I had no idea there were so many everyday actions that could remind you of loss.” – Christine
how has resensation changed the way you’ve thought of breast cancer?
“Resensation has impacted the way I feel about breast cancer. I didn’t want to feel different, and now I don’t. I know my body is different, but it feels almost exactly as it did before.” – Gwynne
“In the beginning all I could focus on were my losses. Then in one moment I was given hope, a ray of sunshine that I could be given feeling back. Of course I said yes. Answered prayers to just look and feel normal again.” – Diane
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