My Double Mastectomy Is In Four Weeks


My mastectomy is in four weeks, y’all.

My boobs are walking the green mile and they don’t even know it yet. After years of begging to join the IBTC, my wish was granted.

Not quite how I expected to get in, but here we are. (Do I get a t-shirt or something?)

I joke about this a lot, but the truth is this:

I’m scared to death.

I mean, when I wake up after surgery, what kind of Frankenstein science project will my chest look like? I know I’m a mom and everything, but still.

I want to at least FEEL beautiful.

But there’s that pesky word again.


Dammit, to be honest, that little word is the reason I made this choice.

I could’ve done a form of chemo.

I could’ve chosen radiation.

I could’ve done surveillance for a couple of years and simply waited.

But when I heard “cancer” the very first thing I thought, aside from a 4 letter word word was…Well, you probably already guessed it, right? My babies.

It’s wild how parenthood changes everything.

Here I am, 35 years old, voluntarily signing up for the chopping block. It’s the most aggressive option I have possible.

Who in their right mind chooses “Option C: Cut Off Everything”?

Who on earth volunteers for scars and pain, for a single digit percentage decrease in the possibility of cancer recurrence?


*raises hand*

(I do.)

It’s not like I’m some sort of fearless Marvel superhero, either.

The truth is, I’m terrified. I’ve never been so nervous.


I’ve never been so SURE, either.

You see, I heard “cancer” and I instantly thought of my children.

There isn’t a mountain I wouldn’t climb for them.

There isn’t an ocean I wouldn’t cross.

There isn’t a fire I wouldn’t walk through, or a scalpel I wouldn’t face.

My mastectomy is in four weeks, y’all.

This mountain is VAST.

It’s perilous and scary as hell, and it will most certainly leave me a changed woman.

But I’m 100% ready.

Oh second thought, maybe I am sorta like a superhero?

At least, I have a super power: Love. The love I have for my children.

It compels me to be courageous. It compels me to be fierce. It compels me to do impossible things.

There is NOTHING I wouldn’t do for the chance to spend ONE MORE moment with my babies. And if walking the Long Green Mile to the land of Frankenstein Boobs is what I must do,

Well I’m putting on my walking shoes. Here’s to love—a mother’s super power.

Here’s to scaling mountains we all have to face. They look different for each of us, but daunting as heck.

Heres to the courage it will take to make it to the other side.

And here’s to ALL of us who voluntarily march into our life battles, no matter what they look like

For the love of our children.

My mastectomy is in four weeks, y’all.My boobs are walking the green mile and they don’t even know it yet. After years…

Posted by Mary Katherine Backstrom on Monday, April 8, 2019


  1. My girls were 16 mos and 4 mos old when they found the first tumor. Lumpectomy all the way. Wanted to keep my boobs. 3 months later MRI finds another tumor just before starting radiation therapy. NOPE! I’m done. TAKE THEM! They are just boobs. They can give me new ones that will always be perky. Not gonna lie, it took me about 5 years before I started missing REAL boobs. But still being here almost 7 years later…SO worth giving them up.

  2. Good for you! I have the BRCA 2 gene and had a preventable surgery October of 17. And getting my nipple tattoos next week. Final step. Unfortunately my sister also has the gene but has stage 4 breast cancer.


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