What NOT to say to a woman who had a mastectomy!
We all have done it - put our foot directly in our mouth. It tastes pretty bad for everyone! Sometimes it helps just to let go of the doozies someone has served up - it helps us laugh, it helps us recognize this person is a moron and, most importantly, it helps us move on.
Here's the thing: not all of us miss our breasts, but some of us do. Not all of us had an active choice in living without reconstruction, some of us do. Not all of us present ourselves as flat, but some of us do.
The statistics still show that the majority of women who have a mastectomy choose not to have reconstruction. Read that statement again, please. This means there are a lot of women in the world who need you to not say the following:
Let me know if you need anything. Except money, I can't give you any money.
I dated a girl once that only had one breast and it was weird.
My husband feels bad for your husband.
You're already married, so it’s okay!
I hate mine, can you tell me how I can get them to cut them off for me?
You've lost weight!
But breasts are what make a woman beautiful!
At least you can get a free boob job.
You can always get a new one....
When you get implants, definitely go up a few sizes.
My "best" friend told me that she cried for me after I showed her my bare chest and
radiation burns because she was so sad about how deformed breast cancer had made me.
I was angry and hurt and still have not forgiven her for that comment.
You can get perky new boobs now! How fun!
How big ya going? MIGHT as well go really big.
At least your boobs will always be perky.
So now what? You are just flat?
My husband would never be able to handle a flat chest like that.
My best mates husband was thrilled with the thought of playing with the horrible fake boob I
You can always change your mind later
Well, you're not 26 anymore so what do you need them for?
You can have half of mine! (That's my favourite so far)
At least you don't have to deal with underwires anymore.
How will you ever cope without them?
I am SO JEALOUS of your cleavage...seriously, you have the perfect cleavage! I
responded with and I only had to have my tits ripped out to get it...
Well, you’re not breastfeeding now so you don’t need them.
My daughter asked me 3 days after surgery How can you walk around looking like that?
Aren’t you embarrassed? But, she was only 12 at the time.
Whenever I complained about pain, baldness, whatever, I was told I should just be happy I
am alive. Um, so, I can't be unhappy about anything that happens to me? Ever?
Now that you are disabled and can't work, you have all the time in the world to do what you
At the gym one day a woman asked me how come you are the only middle aged woman in
here whose breasts are not falling to her waist? I replied cause I don't have any That left
her speechless as I walked out!
Had a woman who told me that I really should wear the foob at work so that I could look
more normal and presentable to the public. I told her in a very LOUD voice to MYOB.
She complained to corporate who told me they had my back!
Yesterday I was eating in the cafe where I work. One of our regulars asked if he could
share the table and I said sure. He introduced himself, as did I, and I said You know me, I
used to look so much different, I had long dark hair down to my butt and a few other
differences. Well, he said, what's hair anyway. I mean it's not as if you were dying of
something. My words froze in my throat. Then we had a conversation about pending
death etc. I never let on what I have been going thru. Then after awhile he looked at me for
a solid minute, then said, you are speaking from experience aren't you? I said yes, I am.
It was a weird moment. But you know I realized that we are the teachers and we have this
opportunity to show people grace, grace is good.
You handled it like you had a cold. Really… a cold?
At least you can lie on your stomach now.
I feel sorry for you having to live as half a woman.
You can have mine, I don't want them, and they are like tube socks.
The plastic surgeon I saw (who was a lesbian, and somehow I mistakenly thought that
would make her more sensitive…wrong) tried to "sell me" on her surgical prowess by
suggesting that without her magic I would walk around as the subject of everyone's pity. I
You'll get them replaced, right?
It’s not fair that she doesn't have to lift anything.
So, these are just a few of the crazy reactions we've heard. It's okay, we know it can be difficult to know what to say. Let us help you! Please say nothing instead of the above or try one of these:
Do you want to talk about it?
I love you.
Let's go have coffee.
I'm proud of you.