2018. That’s the date (or at least year) set in my mind for the release of my new breast cancer book. This is the book that shows what the process of reconstruction looks like on a real woman’s body — my body.

But I am only one. One voice, one body, one choice of the many reconstruction options. That’s why I need you, Survivors.

I am looking for ten women who would be open to allowing my dear friend, a professional photographer in Athens, Ohio, take a picture from your shoulders to just above your belly button. No faces, no names. Just an honest look of what a woman can expect if she opts for a lumpectomy, mastectomy, bi-lateral, nipple reconstruction, tattoo, or no reconstruction at all.

It’ll look something like this (minus the big blackout bar):

When I was newly diagnosed, I was desperate to see what my body would look like “after.” Each decision seemed to be huge and confusing and insurmountable. When I googled images of reconstruction, I found hack jobs and pornography.

It’s time to open up the discussion and be brave enough to help our sisters with as much information as possible.

If you’re not in the Athens area, I have another way for you to participate.

In addition to photos, I’m looking for your best advice so I can create a cancer “cheat sheet” for the newly diagnosed in the following areas:

  • How to tell the kids
  • Chemo/Radiation advice
  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Questions to ask your potential tattoo artist
  • Caring for yourself during cancer
  • How to be a friend to a breast cancer patient
  • Navigating hospital protocol
  • How to dress to impress with only one breast — or no breasts at all
  • How to gracefully accept the kindness of others
  • Advice from husbands to husbands
  • Now what? Getting your life back after cancer

Please email me at Info@NicoleJPhillips.com (don’t forget the J). I can’t wait to hear from you. Thank you for letting me borrow your brave.