Rita Wilson talks frankly about breast cancer and a woman’s connections to her breasts 12



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Ladies, let’s not beat around the bush: our breasts are important to us. Big or small, they represent so much to us and reminds us of giving birth, intimate times with people we love and just that pure femininity. But when they’re taken away by cancer, it can feel like a part of you is missing and it’s not to do with body confidence or needing to look good, it’s something much deeper.

One woman who explains this beautifully is Rita Wilson, the American actress and Tom Hanks’ wife. She has just announced she is cancer-free but didn’t do the usual ‘I’m happy to just have my life and be here’, she admitted it was a God awful journey she’d been on and said, in an interview with the New York Times, that her mastectomy “was an amputation”.

Another message Rita wanted to get out there was that not only is breast cancer a real eye opener, in the first instance, if you suspect you might have a lump and your initial consultation doesn’t find anything, do not be dissuaded from seeking a second opinion. An early test had come back negative for Rita but something did not feel right, she said. Only after she demanded a second opinion was the cancer discovered.

“For me, this is about telling people, ‘You can get a second opinion — your insurance will pay for it, even Obamacare, God bless it, will pay for it,’ ” she said. “It’s so easy to say, ‘I’m just being paranoid,’ but you should trust your gut”.

In her wide-ranging interview with the paper, she told of how her husband Tom Hanks was her rock before, during and after her mastectomy.

“Who knew it would make you even closer?” she said.

“You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this,” she added. “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time”.

And although she had her cancer detected early, Rita Wilson still feels exhausted. “Right now, the expander feels hard and weird and looks nothing like what breasts should look like”, Ms. Wilson said. She said can’t wear a proper bra and the time being, she is sticking to loose tops. She doesn’t feel the urge to get big replacements and is instead taking it easy and getting used to live without the breasts she had her whole life.

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  1. I was fortunate that the man I my life then was low key supportive. My way. However, cancer free is different from cure. Like Angelina I have a mutant gene, have lost my mother, maternal Aunt, both my sisters and, my daughter and I have cancer. Life sucks sometime.

  2. Breast cancer affects everyone. But I’m assuming that during those quiet moments, there will be emotional pangs of incompleteness with a breast or breasts missing – also ovaries. Real men support you! In thought, word, deed and prayer, we support you!

  3. My husband was low key supportive too, which was what I needed. I did have a bit of a very personal grieving times and said to my husband how awful it looked. He replied it’s better than the alternative. The cancer was 2 months after five years of Tamoxifen and my surgeon recommended the bilateral mastectomy as I’d had cancer in both breasts and my younger sister died of breast cancer. It is the best decision I could have made, I have been cured. I am in my early 70s, didn’t have a reconstruction, a horrific operation if you have previously had radiotherapy, which I did in 2008. Prostheses are good, or sports bras anchored to underpants with suspenders (so they don’t roll up around your neck). Around the house loose t-shirts and freedom is all that is needed. I am one lucky lady 🙂

  4. Better than the alternative. ….been 20 years for me..Michael Lodder you are so right….many marriages break down because of it.. so pleased mine was not one. My husband was great & I think it made us closer…. but men also get breast cancer. …

  5. You are also the ‘good kind of tough’ and you seemed to deal with it in such a positive way. You still do. I like that you’re not afraid to tell it how it is too because we all need to know a day be vigilant. Thanks Maggie The. Xxxxxx

    1 REPLY
    • I didn’t mean people I know to see this. Must learn more about how this all works. Thanks for your wonderful comment and support, Josie!

  6. This hasn’t affected me personally but as a nurse I have seen what people go thru and how they deal with it. It’s very hard for all.

  7. A niece had hers removed yesterday and is not well, she has 4 children, her cancer is a pretty bad one. We are all hoping for the best outcome for her. Shes emotional wreck and needs a lot of support from family and is getting it.

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