“We’ve been through a lot in our lives. We’ve been married for 31 years and this was the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced together,” says America’s Got Talent host and actor Terry Crews about his wife Rebecca’s decision to have a double mastectomy right before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rebecca Crews, 54, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, and decided to immediately undergo a double mastectomy for treatment two weeks after her diagnosis in mid-February. Luckily for her and her family, she was able to have surgery right before shelter-in-place was implemented due to the coronavirus outbreak. Rebecca and Crews have been married for over two decades, and while this experience was tremendously difficult for their family, the actor says he’s thankful his wife took charge.Read More
“The wonderful thing is my wife is a warrior and she decided to become very proactive with her treatment,” Crews said. “By her being proactive we were able to skip a lot of the chaos that was going on because, at the time, COVID was far away. Once we had that order I got to be her nurse and was taking care of her bathing, the laundry and cooking. We got closer even though she doesn’t like my cooking that much! I don’t know any other time in my career or in my life where I would’ve had the time to do this. I tell her now in a romantic way that I think the world shut down so that I could take care of her.”
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“My family is my strength! 💪😄 They are my inspiration and motivation to reaching greater heights. To me, being a #family means that you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. However, family isn’t always by blood; it can be a friend, coworker, significant other, pets, etc. Those in your family are the ones who inspire you to reach higher, will accept you regardless, and the ones who will do anything to see you smile, all because they truly love YOU. I hope that everyone can find their loving family. ❤️ #thecrewsfamily #mondaymotivation #familyiseverything
What Is A Mastectomy?
For women who have a family history of breast cancer, or have received a breast cancer diagnosis, they might choose to undergo a mastectomy for treatment. This is a procedure which surgically removes the entire breast, and a double mastectomy removes both breasts. When considering this procedure, women should weigh factors such as family history and the size of the tumor.
Following this procedure, there are new technologies which will allow women to appear to have breasts again. These are called implant reconstructions, where an expander is put in between the skin and chest muscle at the same time as the mastectomy surgery or afterwards. The expander has a small valve that will be filled gradually over time with saline every one to two weeks, stretching the skin until the area is ready for the permanent implant. Another option for women is direct-to-implant reconstruction, but only a small number of women are eligible for that procedure.
Reclaiming Your Body After Mastectomy Surgery
Following a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s important that women focus on their mental health and cope with how they are feeling. For some survivors, dealing with life after a mastectomy made them appreciate the little things in their life, and they have been brave enough to share their experiences with SurvivorNet.
Breast cancer survivor Dana Donofree struggled to feel sexy after her bilateral mastectomy, and she decided to get tattoos to reclaim her body. Mastectomy tattoos are getting more and more popular, a lot of survivors see it as a chance to make something beautiful out of their scars.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin exposing my new body in an intimate or sexual setting,” Dana told SurvivorNet. “I wanted to feel sexy. I wanted to feel beautiful, and the only solution I found was tattooing over my scars.”
Taking from her own experience, Dana has made it her mission to help other women reclaim their own bodies as well. For those who don’t want to go the tattoo route, there are plenty of other ways to reclaim your sexuality. Dana created a lingerie company with bras that are both sexy and functional for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment.