A Long Road of Healing
- Nearly ten years after beating breast cancer, TV star Michaela Strachan, 56, still feels proud of her surgery scars and imperfections.
- Since Michaela didn’t have the typical risk factors for breast cancer, she didn’t alter her lifestyle following her surgery, though the health experience understandably changed her perspective on life.
- Suffering from body image insecurities after cancer surgery can be tough, but just know that you should be proud of your body for getting through it, no matter what form that it’s in.
“There’s no point worrying whether it will come back, so I’ve shut that out of my mind,” Michaels said in a recent Zoom interview with the Mirror. “I have a friend who was in a very similar situation to me and her cancer has returned, and I am on that journey with her.”Read More
“A lot of my friends and family have asked, ‘Has that made you scared?’ And no, it hasn’t, because what’s the point in living in fear every day, thinking that something’s going to happen?”
South Africa-based Michaela—who predominantly works out of various parts of England—says she is blessed to have a supportive partner, film producer Nick Chevallier, whom she has been with for over two decades.
“We’re very well matched, we love each other and we support each other,” the All Star Musicals alum shared.
Although the couple never tied the knot, they share a son, Ollie, who just turned 17.
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Blessed with a loving family and thriving career, Michaela does not believe in having insecurities about her body.
“Yes, I could have reconstruction that looks perfect – because mine’s not perfect – but why would I? I don’t want to be perfect,” she expressed. “The scars tell my story and I’m at peace with that. They are far more interesting than perfection.”
Since Michaela didn’t have the typical risk factors for breast cancer, she didn’t “make any huge lifestyle changes” following her surgery, though the health experience understandably changed her perspective on life.
Often times, the animal and nature lover is outdoors staying active, which is sure to lift you up on down days. While everyone may not have the same cheery demeanor as Michaela 24/7, there are proven stats on exercise and nature—along with diet—boosting your mood.
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Michaela’s Breast Cancer Journey
Michaela was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 after a routine mammogram, and underwent a double mastectomy, which is the removal of both breasts during surgery. Although she had reconstructive surgery in 2015, Michaela admittedly says they’re not perfect looking, but has since embraced her breasts.
“There are a number of factors to weigh when considering a mastectomy, chief among them is whether breast-conserving surgery (or lumpectomy) is possible,” Dr. Ann Patridge from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute tells SurvivorNet. “Your doctor will look at the size and features of your tumor—as well as your family history—in order to make a recommendation.”
Once Michaela felt ready enough, she started getting involved with advocacy work, and became an ambassador for Breast Cancer Now to provide hope and strength to newly-diagnosed warriors.
“I was lucky and was diagnosed early but not everyone is so fortunate,” she shared on the organization’s site. Now that Strachan feels she can put most of her emotions behind her and be “strong enough” to deal with other people’s feelings on top of her own, she feels compelled to do her part and continue helping to raise awareness. Michaela loves to lift up other women, providing comfort with her own story of healing.
As far as her career? The multi-talented entertainer doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
“I don’t think I’d ever step down,” Michaela says of her travel series’ Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch. “I love it and I tend to get incredibly connected to the series I do.”