Here's What It's Really Like to Have a Double Mastectomy and Reconstruction

An artist and breast cancer survivor documents her journey through having her breasts removed and rebuilt.
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New Breasts to Go With My Cancer-Free Life

by Jo Beth Ravitz

After her diagnosis with breast cancer, artist Jo Beth Ravitz, 58, had lumpectomies, a double mastectomy, and breast reconstruction in short order. During the various surgeries to prepare her body for implants, she couldn't move her arms enough to work on her art. She documented her journey with a diary, excerpted here, and her husband took pictures.

Warning: Graphic surgical photos ahead.

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