I'm Not Getting a Double Mastectomy For Me -- I'm Doing It for My Babies

Mary Katherine Backstrom

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.

  • Advertisement
  • 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 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?

    Who DOES THAT?

    *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:


  • 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. 

    Here's 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.

    This post was written by Mary Katherine Backstrom of Mom Babble and reprinted with permission.

health & safety breasts cancer illness parenthood