The Short of It
A 32-year-old breast cancer survivor shared a photo of her chest on Facebook after having a double mastectomy in order to show how "the great bathroom debate of 2016" has hurt more than just the transgender community.
When mom Christi Salcedo was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, she chose to forgo reconstruction surgery after having a double mastectomy. Ever since, she said she can't help but notice people staring at her when she's out in public.
Why? Salcedo thinks it may be because they're wondering if her now-flat chest indicates that she's transgender. So the brave mama posted a topless photo on Facebook in order to tackle the topic head on.
"Take a good hard look at my chest," she wrote in the caption. "Don't feel weird doing it. There is nothing sacred or sexual left to see."
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Salcedo then went on to explain that having breast cancer is not easy or glamorous. "Breast cancer is ugly," she explained. "It robbed me of a precious part of myself that I once nourished my children with. It took away part of my sexual identity. When I chose to not have reconstruction it was for many reasons, but most importantly it was because my children had seen me down enough. I wanted them to see me strong again. I wanted them to have their Mother they knew."
You go, mama!
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Until recently, Salcedo said she's been comfortable with her decision. But then came "the great bathroom debate of 2016," which she says has hurt more than just the transgender community.
"It has hurt us survivors," she explains. "I notice more eyes trying to figure me out. At the grocery store, restaurants ... Walmart was the worst. I want to scream, YES! You are seeing it right! This is Breast Cancer... Please check yourself!'"
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"People just want to use the restroom," she continued. "Persons undergoing cancer treatment or post cancer treatment may lack hair & wear a baseball hat. They may have undergone a mastectomy like myself. Please consider these things. Rant over."
Well, this is basically amazing. What a wise, courageous, beautiful woman—and an inspiration to us all!
Scrutinizing a cancer survivor because you're confused or frightened by what they look like is ridiculous. These women are warriors who have fought hard to get where they are, and they've gone through enough without having to endure the added humiliation of being eyeballed every time they walk out the door.
Less judgment, more understanding. Rant over.