Two-time breast cancer survivor, 35-year-old Hannah Foxley, said her world was forever changed when she found out she had a lump in her breast back in April 2011. "I was grieving for my father, Bill, who’d died five months earlier, when I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with cancer. It was like being hit by a train. It didn’t feel real. Like most young women, I thought I was invincible," she told Cosmopolitan UK.
She had a lumpectomy and eight cycles of chemotherapy. Then, a week before her treatment was due to end, she found a second malignant lump. So then Hannah had a mastectomy, followed by five weeks of radiotherapy. The entire process has been grueling and heart-rending to say the least, but make no mistake: Foxley is a fighter who isn't backing down and refuses to be anything less than positive. So much so that she chose to pose naked in Cosmo, revealing what her body looks like today.
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Though Hannah confessed that her mastectomy "was difficult. Losing something that is so key to your femininity takes a lot of coming to terms with," she elaborates:
It’s still a shock every time I look in the mirror and see a breast missing, but I’m proud of my body and what it’s been through - it’s been poisoned, hacked and microwaved, and it’s still looking great. I have learnt to love it and adopt a positive body image, and I want to empower other women to do the same. I want them to see my pictures and say, 'she looks beautiful, and I can too.'
What Hannah has done is amazing, inspiring, and undoubtedly something we all need to see. Because while this may not be the first time a woman who has undergone a mastectomy has bared all in front of a camera lens, every time a woman does that, we're more likely to understand and accept our bodies as beautiful, even if they have been put through the ringer as the result of disease.
What's your reaction to Hannah's photos?
Image via Twitter