Pop singer, actress, television personality, personal trainer, model, YouTuber. There are many ways to describe Michelle Heaton but today she is just friend, mother and fellow boob transformer.
I am very aware the priority with my treatment is to get rid of the cancer but there’s lots of other things to consider too. The hair loss (although I cant deny getting out of needing to wax for a year has its appeal!), the inability to drive, the huge impact it will have on my social life and of course….The Breasts. The Boobs. The Kahunas.
Only focusing on the cancer is like watching BBC Parliament for 24 hours. You may need to know whats going on but you’d need to find so many other distractions to make it vaguely tolerable. Play games on your phone, read a magazine, talk to someone, watch paint dry….so that’s why today is all about the knockers.
I have read nearly every article there is about mastectomies and reconstruction. I am fluent in the new boob language; Subcutaneous mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, lymphedema, prophylactic surgery , necrosis, sentinel lymph node biopsy, pedicled flap, transverse rectus abdominis muscle reconstruction, deep inferior epigastric perforator reconstruction…. I’m feeling ready to take on Magnus Magnerson with Breast surgery as my specialist subject!
But what I don’t know is what is it like living with a reconstruction, how do they feel, how will I feel about my new silhouette, can I find nice underwear? Basically all the girly questions!
So that’s why I contacted Michelle. 4 years ago Michelle tested positive for the faulty BRCA2 gene and was told she had an 85% chance of developing breast cancer so opted to undergo a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction. Thanks to Michelle being so open about her surgeries, so much fear has already been taken out of the process for me. (I should probably mention I have known Michelle for a number of years as she used to be a patron for Kicks Count (when we were Count the Kicks), I don’t just randomly harass celebs until they agree to divulge personal information about their assets!)
While we are both women of a similar age, with 2 children and a huge respect for the NHS we occupy very different worlds. How many times do we see a celeb’s life/marriage/career called into question because they’ve filled up with petrol without wearing mascara? (THE HORROR!). Whereas I do the school run everyday looking like Wurzel Gummage in a hoody and no one bats an eyelid.
So as soon as they mentioned double mastectomy and reconstruction to me, from a cosmetic side I thought “well if Michelle Heaton can have this done and still fit neatly into the comparatively superficial world of celeb-dom, I can certainly handle it for the suburban school run and occasional night at the village pub.”
I arrived at Michelles and after the hell that was the ‘juggernaut’ appointment the previous day, I was feeling quite deflated (pardon the pun!). I had a quick sideways glance at her booby area when I arrived (I do this to everyone now, I’m pretty surprised I haven’t been arrested if I’m honest) and started to feel better. My first reaction was not “fake boobs” it was “cracking pair!”
We sat down for a chat and went through the things I just can’t get from leaflets. We covered serious and practical issues (like drains…who knew there was so much to know?!) and the less serious but equally important issues (In order to adhere to the unwritten girl code I will not be divulging this bit!) We filmed some of our chat for her Youtube channel, so others in my position can benefit from the things we discussed.
When I left I wasn’t the same shrivelled Cancer patient I had been the day before, I was a 36 year old woman undergoing life saving surgery with renewed optimism that I can still wear a bikini with confidence (but after seeing her instagram posts I sure won’t be standing next to Michelle in one!)
You will be able to view our chat on Michelle’s YouTube Channel soonYou can donate now to my Boobs and Babies Fundraising! Subscribe to this blog