My name is Melissa, and this is my story I'd like to share with you.
At the age of only 23, I underwent a mastectomy in November 2013, after a long period of being in and out of hospitals. A difficult, voluntary decision that ultimately helped me to move forward and regain a liveable life.
I suffered from a severe form of mastopathy. I’ve been through surgery on my breast three times. In 8.5 years I’ve had to undergo an insane amount of different treatments in various hospitals, in the Netherlands and abroad.
The mastectomy freed me from my extreme pain, and I’m immensely grateful to have been able to take that difficult choice regarding my own body. I’m surrounded by a big family, a lot of friends, and a large social circle who supported me during this difficult time. Nevertheless, I often received (and still receive) comments such as "You're so young, surely you're getting it filled up, aren’t you?" or "You must be taking an internal prosthesis, right?" or "When is your next surgery scheduled to have two breasts again?", and the worst comment: "You don't plan on going through life this flat, do you?"
Wait a minute, it's my body! After having had problems with my health and with mastopathy for so many years, it feels best for me to leave it alone, now that everything is finally okay. And no, I'm not going to have silicones placed in my body. And no, I won't have belly fat moved to my bosom either. Leave me be, it’s my decision. My life. Live and let live, that's my quote for life. I’m happy with my decision myself and that's all that matters. Because how good does it feel when you’re allowed to just be yourself?
Through Liesbeth (my mom’s friend) I got in touch with Kamroen. She told me about Breastflower and showed me her creation. I was curious, but not immediately wildly enthusiastic. I did really want to test Breastflower since I believe it's important to create more awareness about mastectomy. Awareness about the voluntary choice to not take an implant. Awareness about the fact that you’re allowed to be happy with yourself and with the body that feels strong again after such a major operation. So my answer was a big "YES" when Kamroen asked me to participate in her test panel.
The moment came that I started using and testing Breastflower myself. I had a lot of mixed feelings about it. Why would I cover my scar when I'm together with my husband? Why shouldn't I just stick to my regular prosthesis, I'm happy with myself, right? I was plagued by doubts, but I had agreed on testing Breastflower, and so I would!
After attaching Breastflower to my body, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought to myself that this was extraordinary. A bald spot with a large scar turned into a unique and feminine part of my body. Everyone who knows me knows I love flowers, so this suited me perfectly. I felt a lot more confident when exposed and I didn't want to hide it right away. I felt special, and in my opinion, that's exactly what Breastflower is about. You matter! You are special and a mastectomy is a necessary evil. It just depends on how you deal with it. I compare Breastflower to my favourite perfume. I don't need it, but man, I feel so good when I use it. Breastflower is similar. I matter with only one breast, but it feels amazing to feel extra beautiful with Breastflower!
Accordingly, my user experience is positive. Besides the positive effect Breastflower has on your mind, it is also very user-friendly and pleasant to wear. The adhesive tape feels comfortable as well. I enjoyed participating in a photo shoot for Breastflower (see all pictures below).
Dear Kamroen, thank you for reaching out to me and for letting me experience that mastectomy is not just negative, weird, or even scary. No, we women have the freedom to be who we are and live our lives the way we want to: female freedom!