Simply Devastating

Cancer, and life after a life-saving mastectomy.

The simple, ugly, truth of it.

But so worth it.
Oh yes!
posted June 19th, 2010  
That's a neat scar and a great tribute both to those who performed the surgery and also to your positive attitude. It clearly was worth it!!! God bless.
posted June 19th, 2010  
Wasn't sure if I should post this...but Brad encouraged me to.
posted June 19th, 2010  
Thankyou both! XO
My heart was pounding when I hit send! ;-)
posted June 19th, 2010  
Of course it's worth it, and we're glad you're here to talk about it :)
posted June 19th, 2010  
so strong and powerful
posted June 19th, 2010  
Yes, 365 is a safe place. Your photograph is a moving testimony to your victory over the disease and to the progress in modern medicine. It isn't a "nice" picture... but it is a truly good one. Who knows how many will be encouraged because you took this courageous step? I've never walked in those shoes (or should that be worn those backless gowns) but meet many who have. Thanks for doing this.
posted June 19th, 2010  
PS... this may amuse you... feel free to delete... at first glance of the thumbnail I thought it was a freshly baked loaf!!!! Oops!!!
posted June 19th, 2010  
There is nothing wrong with posting this. You are one strong woman...
like Elizabeth said...365 is a great place to share your feelings. That's one reason I love this site...people are so understanding..so thoughtful, so respectful, so nice, so uplifting, so encouraging. Now THAT's a family for you! and I'm glad you are a part of mind Barb Kilburn :) :) :) :)
posted June 19th, 2010  
Oh...thank you everyone!
I hope you can feel all of the hugs I am cyber sending you!

OH Elizabeth...You're right! It DOES look like a freshly baked loaf!
That made me laugh.
And you always know just the right thing to say!
Lauren...you're so right too, this is SUCH and understanding and respectful place. And I am glad you are a part of mine, too! XO
Chris J..you always make me laugh, and Malena...I adore your work, and always, kind words! Chris, too!
Thank you, Michelle. You have the perfect name: Joy! :-)
posted June 19th, 2010  
Barb, I see that I am the first male to post a comment here, so let me be the first to say that it surely must have taken a lot of courage to post this, but as your other friends have said, it is so good that you can talk about it. So many try to avoid the conversation. I think your healing has gone far beyond the phsyical aspect of this. May the Lord bless you and your family.
posted June 19th, 2010  
I seriously can't imagine what you have had to go through. I don't know that I would have made that choice. Yet, no matter what...what is the right choice when given a situation such as this. There clearly isn't one. It's just all unfair. I really think that it's important that you speak out and share this. People need to talk about these things. I think it only makes some things harder to handle when you don't share it or "sweep it aside." My parents never did share things such as this. That's their generation, I suppose. In fact, sadly...they never even speak Chris's name. Ever. I know that they are grieving in their own way, so I respect it...and look for other people to find a place to talk about Chris. So, my point...I think I have one...is that no matter what...it's important that you share. We shouldn't ever be afraid of being judged in this world. Life is about experiencing the big and small things without fear. So hugs to you for your strength. I too wish to be more like you.
posted June 19th, 2010  
You must be such a brave,strong women Barb. God bless!
posted June 19th, 2010  
You are amazing, Barb. xoxo
posted June 20th, 2010  
Les
Good for you...and so lucky to have such support from your hubby! I agree with everyone...you are a very emotionally strong person :) That is wonderful to share!!
posted June 20th, 2010  
You are always beautiful in every way but your greatest beauty is your way of looking at life.
posted June 20th, 2010  
Wow, brave pic Barb, well done for posting it!
posted June 20th, 2010  
Hi Barb. it's been a while since i visited your site and i know that vacationing is no excuse but we have been awful busy while in Bremen where we visited friends and fill every day with excitement. now that we are in Remscheid in Germany (R. is what they call "Das Bergische Oberland" all hills and valleys so walking for hours is often quite strenuous but i love it .it reminds me of when we were in West Virginia. Here we finally have a little time to ourselves but with all the brothers 4 and one sister it is often hectic. today is Fathers Day for you and me in Canada and tomorrow is my hubbies birthday. Saturday was our anniversary 31 glorious years. so you can image all the celebrations going on here. but enough, now to you ..after i thought someone made a nice meatloaf i read your story and i must say it took nerve to upload that picture but i'm happy that you share your experiences with all of us. many will take your courage to heart and will make the only decision available to them to beat this terrible disease. Barb you are a great insperation to us and i bet all the people around you. keep being positive and trust in God.love B.
posted June 20th, 2010  
it is beautiful in a way. i am so glad you are still here!
posted June 20th, 2010  
You are so brave for posting it and I can't thank you enough - I am having to currently decide between a lumpectomy or full mastectomy, problem is neither gives me a cure, and stats show differing info regarding each procedure, it's a horrible and hard decision to have to make and I've struggled everyday with it now for about 6 weeks...oncologists not happy :-/
posted June 20th, 2010  
Barb, you should have no doubts now that this was a great photo to post. Brave but look at the repsonse it has generated.
posted June 20th, 2010  
wow this is so brave - what a great, honest photo. you should be proud of yourself for being so brave
posted June 20th, 2010  
I really thought this was a loaf of freshly baked bread. The caption "simply devastating" made me think "hmm well, yes, if you eat too much.." And what I learned when I clicked on the picture is that you are a survivor and a great inspiration to us all. I will happily follow you through your journey. I noticed that you recently added me and a dear friend of mine, Cristen Farrell. You should check out another friend of ours; joannemed
posted June 20th, 2010  
I don't know what to say...except...thank you, everyone, for lifting me up and warming my heart! :-)
posted June 20th, 2010  
This is so brave & beautiful. It is a battle scar. It takes a lot of courage to post your mast scar. I am still trying to figure out how to tastefully photograph my tattoobies for my cancerversary in September. Keep up the great work!!!!
posted June 20th, 2010  
Barb thanks for pointing out the chance to encourage a fellow "sister", I'm sorry I haven't been on 365 much this summer. It's so hard to keep up with it while traveling and being with grandkids. I posted photos of myself bald on facebook which I thought was tough but showing my scar would have required way more courage. It's the scars on the inside which I personally think are more devastating than the ones on the outside.
posted June 20th, 2010  
Barb, since we've all banded together here as a community these last months, I think it's you (and Carla, in her way) who've stepped forward in the bravest fashion to bare your soul and share your story of survival. I know you realize that your story helps all women to be brave about looking after their health and to know that there's support in sisterhood and the men who love and understand us. This community outpouring should lift you up as you ready yourself to have your next surgery on Monday. You're in our thoughts and prayers, both as you go forward, but for your bravery in the past, and for sharing so honestly.

I hope Sarah Jane finds strength in her confrontation and an uplifted spirit from the story you were willing to share. We'll stand behind her as well with words of emotional support as the story could belong to any of us.

Others here who have survived their cancer or who still battle it have often had my attention and prayers. It's the lottery none of us wants thrust upon us, and in that, there's empathy.

You have so much love and support of family and friends in your real world, I'm happy for you to know you've got such a circle. With so much to look forward to, I know you'll continue to fight the brave fight and make heartwarming memories for yourself and those who love you. We, here, can write and reach out as best we can with words of support; you've got a world community thanking you and praying for you. Did you ever imagine at the outset, how many you'd affect? Think of us there behind you as we, too, think of you. My best wishes for a successful outcome and speedy recovery after tomorrow. xox
posted June 20th, 2010  
Ira
This is so beautiful in many ways! Thanks for sharing and being such an awesome person.
posted June 20th, 2010  
wow. you are amazing.
posted June 20th, 2010  
Continued good health to you! It's a rough journey - I'm so glad you made it through!
posted June 21st, 2010  
Thank you all...I am so very humbled!

Sarah...I am thinking of you, too!
I hope you don't mind that I called in "The Sisterhood!"
posted June 21st, 2010  
Oh....and, I almost can't look at the thumbnail anymore...cuz it really DOES look like a loaf of bread, or meatloaf..as Bruni suggested! I cringe.
Too funny!
posted June 21st, 2010  
Barb, you are one brave woman...and I know you probably do not feel brave but it takes a strong person to share their story in hopes of helping others...and by helping others you help yourself. None of us knows what we might have to face ourselves tomorrow or the day after that, but you are an inspiration for all of us. I am also blown away by how caring, understanding, giving, non-judgmental, thoughtful and on and on this 365 "family" is. Ross never had to post rules about being kind and considerate or not doing this or that. The 365 community as a whole just instinctively does what's right and good. If only everyone we encountered in life could be like this. Praying for a successful surgery for you tomorrow and that you will soon be on the mend once again...and hopefully that can be the last of the surgeries.
posted June 21st, 2010  
Ahh....the scars are the true badge of honor for cancer survivors---and give some insight into the trauma. We who survive life with NED (no evidence of disease) because once you have it you know there is never an assurance of a cure. Barb...thank you for sharing this badge of survival...and doing it so bravely. I adore you!
posted June 21st, 2010  
i think it is beautiful. one of my best friends is a breast cancer survivor, and has had surgery after surgery. praying for you as you recover today.
posted June 22nd, 2010  
you are a very strong woman Barb.. we all pray for your recovery. thanks for posting this.
posted June 22nd, 2010  
If someone asked me today why they should join 365, I would point them immediately to this picture. The photo, the words, the truth of it all and the amazing people swooping in to surround you with love, encouragement and strength... I know why I am here. It feels like a gift to be able to share these things with everyone here. Truly.
posted June 22nd, 2010  
You are so strong!!!! Continue beating the monster!! Hope for a speedy recovery.
posted June 22nd, 2010  
Its a great shot, and well done for posting!!
Its also such a positive message, and would be good for anyone to see. I've diced with the old C too (and my brother, mum and dad) and its good to be able to share good news instead as it can be so scary. We all beat it... so far so good anyway!
Hope you are good and are resting at home. x
posted June 22nd, 2010  
So brave.. so strong.. so real.. It really touched me.. hope everything is alright now! xoxo
posted June 22nd, 2010  
Just read all the comments on your photo and am touched...you are in my thoughts...
posted June 22nd, 2010  
Barb, I don't know how I missed looking at your wonderful photos...and your epic posts even though I have been a 365r since January! I want you to know that I am so moved by your bravery and honesty. I know you are and will be an inspiration to so many. You are in my prayers.
posted June 22nd, 2010  
sorry Barb maybe it wasn't so niced to have said meatloaf. i dint' mean anything other by it only what i thought i saw in he thumbnail!!!!
posted June 23rd, 2010  
Barb, I am just catching up with your story.
This is a beautiful shot and you are a brave and strong soul.
Sending positive energy :)
posted June 23rd, 2010  
Hello Barb, I saw this photo when you first posted it but have just realised that I did not comment and I had wanted to. You are so incredibly amazing to have posted this photo - you are an inspiration.
posted July 1st, 2010  
I read about your dilemma in posting this, Barb. I don't think I expressed how awesome I think you were for doing so with my short comment (I was thinking it in my head, does that count?)
posted July 1st, 2010  
and it totally doesn't look like a loaf of bread!
posted July 1st, 2010  
Thanks for reaching out to me, Barb, and for sharing this pic. I loved that we had the eggs & tomatoes pix so similar. Ironically, I had been thinking of posting a pic of my breast cancer journey. I wish I had taken more pix right after the big surgery - I would love a pic of those stupid JP drains. Lol ... thanks again & many hugs! Sarah Jane, hugs to you and make a decision soon, Honey!!!
posted July 11th, 2010  
wow...I'm so proud and amazed by your strength, it's women like you that I really truly look up to. I want to thank you so much for sharing this with us.
I read about what you posted in the breast cancer thread, and again I think you are so strong and courageous for being able to post what you did. It's amazing and just so inspiring.
I really hope that your next ultasound (I think that's what it was) that you mentioned in the thread, brings no news, because no news is good news. I really wish you the best of luck with everything, and again you are such a strong willed women, and I really admire you. :)
posted October 3rd, 2010  
such an awesome thing to post a personal shot of such magnitude. bravo to you! pray all goes well at your next appointment. cheers to your strength and courage!
posted October 6th, 2010  
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.