'I had my breasts removed to avoid cancer, and I won't have them rebuilt': Woman, 29, with alopecia, reveals why she refused a reconstruction

"A woman who lost her hair to alopecia and then had a double mastectomy

says she tattooed her flat chest to take control

and create a body that felt 'most like her'

I know Marisa Kimmel online because we have 2 things in common, photography and alopecia.  Every once in a while, I come across a story that resonates with me and I really thought it was an important story to share.

Marisa, was diagnosed with alopecia at 9 and eventually made the decision to stop all treatments and shaved her head at 19.

Years later after the birth of her son, she discovered that she was at a high risk of having breast and ovarian cancer, she chose to have a double mastectomy.

Marisa said “'It took me back to my alopecia - I wanted to take control.”

"So, I decided to have the surgery and take those percentages and have a chance to influence them. 'They were genetics that I couldn't control but I had an option to face them."

Choosing to have preventative surgeries to hopefully be able to have the opportunity to watch her son grow up, Marisa finished breastfeeding her son and then underwent a double mastectomy.   This month she also underwent ovarian surgery to remove her fallopian tubes. Marisa also had to face the fact that she would no longer be able to breastfeed or have children again.

“Then she tried to prepare herself for a new body deciding to take control of how

she looked post-surgery and 'create' a body that felt 'most like 'her'.” 

'It feels heavy and full of all the emotions possible. 'But it also feels right,

and I've learned from my past that those hard decisions you sometimes have to make."

And then she said the most amazing thing, "The other side of that is more freedom."

More freedom. More freedom.  Think about that for a second.  She let go and gained freedom.  There is so much power in letting go of the things that bind us.  It may not look the same as Marisa’s journey, maybe letting go means something different for you.  But letting go is an option I cannot deny, because in regards to alopecia I know that freedom.

The article ended with this:

 "I have alopecia and had a double mastectomy.

I'm so proud of my body and all it has been through."

I would love to know if this story resonated with you as well.    Do you feel that you need to free yourself?  What would that look like to you?  Or maybe you already have and what does that look like now?

Feel free to inspire others by sharing this story.

You can read Marisa’s full story at dailymail.com :  I had my breasts removed to avoid cancer, and I won't have them reb...

Views: 264

Comment by Heather Lorelle Mattisson on November 26, 2022 at 11:56pm

Absolutely: the freedom is about freeing yourself from society's definition of beauty, and most critically, of "woman" and then, of desire and desirability. (Am I still beautiful, desirable, without hair, without breasts?) Claiming the right to author your own story and define beauty for yourself is one of the most powerful acts we can take. 

Comment by outforawalk on November 27, 2022 at 12:35pm

If I was in this situation I would have done done the same thing.   

I resent being treated like an oddity and a curiosity.   Some insensitive people have told me, "I would like to see you naked" when I've talked about my alopecia.    I always tell people the truth when they ask me about by hair.    I think a radical mastectomy with no reconstruction would be a good way to get through to people about your feelings.     

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