Have you met Paulette? Most of us probably haven’t in person but many of us got the pleasure of seeing this picture on our time lines last week. I use the word “pleasure” with purpose because when you first see the image you feel a ton of emotion. You feel sad because you are looking at a woman who has lost something many of us view as part of what makes us a woman.

In our sadness we are reminded of when Maya said these words:

I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Then in the moment our emotion changes from sadness to bravery. We wonder could we do that? Could we go through what this woman endured and bare our very soul for the world to see? Then we discover the power, the power of a picture that has no words, the power of a woman who has gone though a little something!

You see Paulette is a powerful phenomenal woman, she is a mother, a servant, and most of all a woman that carries a message that so many of us need to hear.


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I read her post she wrote on September 4th that told her story in ways she could never imagine. I know that cancer can touch the best of us and the worst of us. I know that if it does and if by His Grace we are allowed to survive it, we will have a powerful message to share.

Our message might not be the same as her’s but it will be our message. Out of something so hard came something so beautiful and pleasurable which is where my thoughts rested as I looked at Paulette’s picture

I wanted to share her words on September 4th in case you have not seen it because it sums up the power of a woman who was brave enough to share her story and one epic photo.

I have nothing–NOTHING–against reconstruction, or prosthetics. I’m just saying that presenting yourself as with breasts, even when you’re not, is not the only answer.

I was told I was not a good candidate for reconstruction. Because of other health reasons. But after a second opinion, I was given the green light if I choose to have reconstruction. When I thought about putting fake breasts back into the place where my real breasts… one of which had cancer and one that didn’t , I was put into the awful position of “what if I have no breasts? What am I then? Am I still sexy? Am I still a woman?” And after 4 terrible, stomach churning, back in forth with myself.

I decided I would still be amazing without boobs. I would still be female, still beautiful and (gasp) sexy, despite what breast cancer wanted to steal from me. And I am proud of that decision….. though not altogether understood by the world around me for making it. And going shirtless bearing my breast-less chest in public.

After a few months of living without breasts, and trying prosthetic s, I felt like a phony. I felt like I was misrepresenting me. I had breast cancer, my breasts had to go….and putting on fake boobs was like a bad costume party in my mind, and it made me feel bad. So I dumped them. For a year and a half I’ve lived as is….no breasts, no bumps, but plenty of life.

In a movie about breast cancer what would have amazing impact to me is seeing a woman..or more than one woman….who chose to not have reconstruction and doesn’t wear fake breasts. I am not saying me. I am just saying someone. Someone who says, “hey society, guess what? I love myself, as does my children and I have NO BOOBS. How bout that,society?”

I am not saying all people should make my decision, I am saying that many of us out here do. We make a hard, horrible decision that less is more, as the saying goes…especially in the face of chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy surgery, recovery, and all the pills you have to take for the next 5 years to keep breast cancer at bay. It’s not always about reconstruction or fake breasts after breast cancer. It’s about living.‪#‎Thankful‬‪#‎blessed‬‪#‎CANCERFREE‬‪#‎TeamJesus‬

I would like to add – #teamphenomenalwoman!

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