I recently had the privilege of being the opening keynote speaker at the Financial Times Camp Alphaville 2015 conference in London. Attending were nearly 1000 people, including economists, engineers, scientists, and financiers.
As a feminist, I've always felt deeply conflicted about the whole boob job thing. On one hand, it's both sad and ridiculous that women feel compelled to pay thousands and undergo surgery to attain an ostensibly "more desirable" body.
After the initial fog lifted after my father's death, I began to consider my own vulnerability to more and more complicated complications that might arise out of my initial diagnosis, my treatment and all of the surgeries and hospital stays that followed.
Imagine a life extension technology that costs $100,000 per year, but for each year of use extended a person's productive life span another year. How much would you pay to have 20 healthy years between 70 and 90?
From the time I was a teenager, I was the girl telling her friends to be who they are and not care what anyone else thinks. I believe there is beauty in our imperfections. It is what makes us unique. Where I got stuck is in the perfections...
Why am I telling this story for what feels like the 100th time? Because I think it is important to recognize that I am just like you. I am not a hero. I am not particularly brave. If I could get through what I got through, then anyone can get through anything.
I had both of my breasts removed at age 36, following a diagnosis of breast cancer and in the six years that have followed, I have never ever, not for one nanosecond, looked back with even a modicum of regret.