Day +41 Beautification #100DaysDIEP
I’ve written about how my DIEP reconstruction was a weird overlap of cancer treatment/non-treatment for me (Day -7). The night before surgery I told a nurse that I felt I’d been landed back in the Cancer Shitshow. “No”, they said, “this is beautification!!!”. It’s not a good idea to piss off people who are going to take care of you when you’re at your most vulnerable, so I bit my lip. Hard. Frustratingly, their comments are a variation on a familiar theme. A DIEP isn’t a ‘boob job’ with a bonus ‘tummy tuck’ (as even the most well-meaning have referred to it). Well, technically its component procedures may be, but the cosmetic connotations of these terms are often associated with beauty and therefore also the converse. I get that people are trying to make nice - I truly do - but I take exception to the implication that my pre-DIEP breast (mastectomy scars, pumped expander and all) was ugly and needed to be made beautiful, and therefore that my DIEP was cosmetic. And it’s not just me: it’s a common refrain to women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. This post isn’t about shaming people who get it wrong. (Neither is it about saying that people shouldn’t have cosmetic procedures if they choose). . It’s about highlighting that if a health professional can get it so wrong there’s obviously a lot of work to be done in raising awareness about #TrueCancerBodies and bodies with scars. . Go follow thems that are on the case: @truecancerbodies@wildfire_bc_magazine and @behindthescars (whose Facebook account has inexplicably been censored).