Monday, May 29, 2023


It actually all started with wanting to have a baby, and since the normal way is not an option for me, I had to take fertility drugs, which led to irregular menstruation, which led to being prescribed hormone replacement drugs for three months in order to correct the problem. One morning, while getting dressed, I noticed my left breast suddenly grew into this huge balloon on my chest. The difference was definately not subtle. So, knowing that you don’t play around with abnormalities in your breasts, I ran to my GP, who told me he is not worried, but to be on the safe side, let’s do a mammogram. Microcalcifications were found, and I was referred to a specialist, who said he is not too worried but to be safe let’s do a biopsy. So, one biopsy and a terrible scar later I was told that it looks like DCIS, but the specialist thought it safe to leave it for a year and see what happens. Being pro-active by nature, I went for a second opinion, since I read too many scary things regarding DCIS etc. I ended up with Dr. Benn, who, after another biopsy and an MRI suggested a lumpectomy of the left breast, but upon hearing that I still want to have children, she suggested a bilateral mastectomy, but I could only opt for one. Diagnosis was pre-precancer (my words), since no definite DCIS or LCIS was found, but my breasts were “busy” as she called it, and my gut told me they were up to no good. So I opted for the bilateral with immediate reconstruction, because I would rather avoid having to deal with cancer later in life. Yes, it is bad to lose your breasts, but I am blessed because I could be pro-active, and I know I did everything in my power to prevent the BC-monster from changing my life in more ways than a mastectomy did. For six months I was on the wrong side of the statistics every time, from doctor’s not being worried to having to have this operation, and I feel relieved and safe now, at least from the BC monster. Thank God I had a choice!

And so, after the op the healing is still happening. Let’s be honest – it is a big thing to lose your breasts! And it is difficult not falling into the breast cancer group by default, because I never had breast cancer. But exactly that is the reason why I group myself with the BC survivors. I fight with you against the monster attacking your bodies, because I am thankful that I was spared the trauma, and I want to spread the word that early detection can make a difference. I want to fight together with you to find a sword that will kill this monster, so that nobody will have to face the fear, the uncertainty, the pain, the sickness, the loss and the change. I am no lucky bugger, I am a lucky warrior who will fight side by side with those who can’t hold the sword themselves. And, even the lucky ones face their own challenges. Getting used to no breasts is quite a challenge, cancer or no cancer. Seeing the scars though became my daily reminder of my close shave, my gratitude, and my mission! I adopted my new boobies, they are mine, they are my safety-net reminder, they are my sword, my testimony, and I will use them to fight this fight… it is almost as if they shield me… Maybe I should just call them silli-shields!

So here is to rising the silli-shields and marching forward for all with or without a choice!

Retha Buys
South Africa
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The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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One comment

  1. Johana

    I hadn’t read a story where someone said BC because that is really where I feel I fall into that category I went thru something similar and do my check ups every 3 mts and feel bless to say I was spare but I do feel I owe it to others to fight for a cure and it motivates me to help raise funds and to help others thank you for sharing your story

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