Monday, October 8, 2012

Mastectomy Photos without reconstruction

Below are graphic bilateral mastectomy photos without reconstruction.  No, there are NOT any before bare breast photos, but there are several post-op bare chest photos of me.  
Why am I doing this?  Because when I was diagnosed and scheduled for surgery, Mark and I searched the web to see what a mastectomy looked like in the different stages of healing.  While we did come across many photos, there were also a lot of before photos of bare breasts which we were not interested in as we wanted to see more of the AFTER photos.  So, this is just another means of helping and supporting myself and other women who have to undergo surgery for breast cancer and are curious as to what it looks like.  We're all different so obviously the healing stage will not be the same for everyone, plus I'm a slow scar healer.  
Am I embarrassed about showing these photos?  Absolutely not.  I have nothing to be embarrassed OR ashamed of - I have no breasts, it is simply my chest.  We are taking photos of the different stages while I heal to see how I progress with the scar changes.  I'll be adding more in the weeks and months to come as it takes 6 to 12 months for complete healing.  Also, once I'm completely healed we are having professional photos taken - with and without our shirts. 
The first 4 photos are before and after with my top on.  Please be advised that the remaining photos are bare chest only, with and without surgery staples, etc.  If you do not want to see that part, please click away before you reach it - warnings are in place prior to the photos.
Peace and Love, Rocki 
(note: I just noticed that some photos have odd coloring of me as if I'm covered in freckles more than I am or oddly tanned.  This is probably from having to lighten them up as some were kind of dark.  Just sayin)
Two days before mastectomy surgery (without bra)

21 days after bilateral total mastectomy without reconstruction

2 days before mastectomy surgery (without bra)
21 days after bilateral total mastectomy without reconstruction 



2 days post-op, staples for closure and holding 'grenade' drainage bulbs

2 days post-op, side view showing where drainage tubes are located (each side)

5 days post-op, wearing mastectomy camisole

mastectomy photo without reconstruction - 12 days post-op

mastectomy photos without reconstruction - 12 days post op - smaller stapled section is where 3 sentinel nodes were removed on right side.  Scars below is where the drainage tube was

left side 12 days post-op 

61 surgical staples removed 13 days post-op mastectomy surgery photo
still have swelling and bruising

13 days post-op -mastectomy photo right side

13 days post-op mastectomy photo left side

bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction photo - 21 days post-op

The mastectomy scars will continue to lighten up and become less visible in time.  The staple scars will eventually disappear.


Luthien Thye said...

I LOVE YOU ROCKI!!! you brave brave lady!! you exude positivity!! AMAZING!! ... sending you positive energy for super turbo healing :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Rocki Adams said...

Oh my gosh Winnie, YOU rock girl! Thank you so much, truly from my heart I thank you! ♥Rocki

zenbooyaya said...


Rocki Adams said...

Thanks zen! ♥Rocki

Mellisa said...

I have no doubt that this will be an absolute Godsend for others who are facing what you have just gone through (and what you have kicked in the teeth, driven over and tap danced upon). Lots of healing thoughts your way :)

Mark (aka Bullwinkle) said...

For those of you who know her, Rocki has truly earned her name! Life had already thrown a good many obstacles at her that a lot of other people would have given up on. Not Rocki! She's a fighter! She lives her life naturally and treats herself naturally as well. When life threw the "C" word at her, she didn't flinch! She knuckled down, dug in, and totally kicked its ass! I could not be any prouder of any person than I am of my kind, loving, and tough wife!!!

If you need, Rocki will really show you how to "Fight Like A Girl!"

Truly inspired, lovingly devoted, and always by her side, I will continue to support my wife with everything I can possibly give to her!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I am sure this post especially will help anyone one that searches and finds information and perhaps reassurance of what to expect.

Its only a body. Your inner beauty is radiating.
xx, Carol

Rocki Adams said...

Melissa & Carol, thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate it! The support I continue to receive from so many people is amazing, to say the least.

Hon, That made me cry, thank you! But you know I always tell you that without you by my side, I would not be the strong person I am today. I love you more and more with every breath I take.
Muah! ♥xo♥

artangel said...

*Stands up and gives round of applause*
Topless pictures eh - whatever will you get up to next? ;)
Your photos are brave, strong and beautiful Rocki - just like you xx

artangel said...

PS your Mark sounds rather amazing too - I'm glad you have such support and love around you x

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Angie!

Thank you SO much for your sweet comment! Yes, Mark is very supportive - always has been and always will :) I'm very blessed!

I don't know how I can top the topless thing (lol!), but I'll think of something ;)


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your journey! You are very brave and a light to many! Keep shining bright! You're a rockstar! I noticed your not wearing the beautiful jewelry that you make. Would love to see how they look on. Thanks again and rock on!

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Latosha :-) Thank you so very much! This is simply my little way of trying to help others.

Funny as this may sound, but I wear minimal jewelry and always wear my Buddha necklace. I am wearing my hoops and nose ring though...which is pretty much all I wear unless I'm testing new wires.


Meridy said...

Rocki, I came looking for you today to try to find out why I NEVER see your Facebook posts anymore but found my way here to see how you were doing. I'm so glad I did! I already knew how strong and brave you are, but your posting of these photos of your mastectomy process and healing just brought tears to my eyes...and pride to my heart that I know you. Seeing these photos of you laid bare the fears and horrors that we all feel at the dread word "Cancer." You have done ALL of us a service by showing us your way of dealing with it. Love, love, love and blessings to you! I hope to see more photos as your healing process continues, as I saw your body healing and strengthening with my own eyes in the space of only 21 days! I am so glad I came to find my old jewelry buddy today. : ) and <3 to you. xoxo meridy

Rocki Adams said...

Awe Meridy, you melt my heart! Thank you SO much for your kind and heartfelt words, it means a lot! I'm actually doing more photos this month as it is my 6 month mark at the end of the month that is. I can hardly wait to see what I'll look like at the 12 month mark :)

Oh and I haven't been on Facebook much lately, obviously. Tried to get back into the swing of things, but... anyway, I'll try to pop in more and visit my dear sweet jewelry buddy!

Much love and many hugs to you my friend,

Melly Testa said...

Thank you for posting these photos. I too am a flat chested survivor. I wonder if you would mind my 'pinning' one of the photos to my pinterest board related to 'Flat Awareness'.

Rocki Adams said...

Hello Melly - fellow Sister Survivor!

Feel free to pin to your board as you like. In fact, I'm on my way there now to check it out.

Be well,

mariell said...

Thank you so much for these brave and wonderful pictures.
My mum has just been diagnosed as having breast cancer and is due to have the same operation in a few weeks.
Thanks to your picture i have been able to show her and prepare her for what surgery will look like, for this i thank you as she did not realise the severity of the op.
Thank you very much again i hope that your recovery is going well
mariell xx

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Mariell, Oh thank you so very much for you kind words! Terribly sorry to here about your mum and I wish her the very best. I'm sure she has a great support system, and that will truly help during this time.

My recovery is going along better than expected, thank you!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your story and photos. I stumbled across your blog today because as we speak my sister is undergoing a double mastectomy today. She is 35. We have a history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in our family. My sister and I have been geneticlly tested for the mutated breast cancer gene, we both have the brca1 gene. My sister has already had a hysterectomy last year and today she is finishing off with the mastectomy. To give her the best chance of living a cancer free life. Our mother died from breast cancer 8 years ago. She was 51. Mum's sister died from ovarian cancer 14 years ago, she was 43. I am currently pregnant with my last child. I am 33. Next year I will be starting my journey of surgeries. I am sorry for the long story. I guess I am scared of the road ahead for me and I am worried about my sister today. Your blog brings me hope and I just wanted to tell you that I think you are such a brave lady and you give me hope for my road ahead. I wish you all the best for the future, Thanks Rocki! xox

Rocki Adams said...

Kelly, Your story truly touched my heart and thank you for sharing it. I'm so sorry that you lost your mum at such a young age (mine was 53 when she passed suddenly of an undiagnosed heart disease) I was 51 when my BC was discovered last year. You both are just too young to have to go through heart aches for you both. I wish you and your sister the best of health. Keep me posted on how she is recovering and how you are doing as well :)

Much love,

Unknown said...

Rocki, I am having to decide next week on a double mastectomy and your wonderful pictures have helped me a lot. Other websites show very discouraging post-mastectomy photos with jagged scars (look like my kind of sewing) and hanging flesh and skin left over, etc. Yours are wonderful and how fast they healed too. I am much older than you but my daughter went through double mastectomy and reconstruction at 52I am not interested in reconstruction. It is just more surgery. And I don't want the radiation after they "save" my breasts. I don't need them. Thank you for doing this for us. You have a wonderful family and so do I and I am very thankful for their love.

Rocki Adams said...

Thank you Zully, I appreciate your comment. Sorry to hear that both you and your daughter have/are going through this. I hope your surgery goes well and wish the very best for you :)


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for posting all of your pictures. I do NOT have cancer (Yes I am Blessed) however am having to have a double mastectomy due to a recurring infection that only affects my breasts, I am not now or will ever be a candidate for any kind of reconstruction . It began 10 years ago after getting my nipples pierced. 9 surgeries later they can do nothing more for me, I am ok with that however until your page I have not found anything on mastectomy without reconstruction.Thank you again! You are an amazing woman!

Rocki Adams said...

Wow Dax, that sounds horrible what you went through! Hope all goes well for you :)

I sincerely appreciate the kind words!

Cynthia said...

Thank you - I am having mastectomy surgery soon. I could not find info on post mastectomy picts without reconstruction. Thank you, Thank You.

Rocki Adams said...

Hello Cynthia! Glad you found my blog :) I wish you well!


EnchantedWoods said...

Thanks so much for sharing these pics Rocki. I had bilateral mastectomies and all lymph nodes removed on the right during two long surgeries in the past 4 weeks. I have looked and looked for pics that don't tell me I should have reconstruction - when I don't want it - so I was thrilled to find yours.
Thank you for sharing. I'm still in that terribly bruised stage and seeing your recovery gives me hope. I'd love to see some more recent pics if you are willing to share those.
May angels bless you and keep you safe.

Rocki Adams said...

Thank you Kyles :) I understand the bruised stage... hope you are healing and recovery is going well. I have a short video on my Youtube that I did in August of this year that shows my scars and healing process at that time: I'll be doing an update video, among others after the holidays.

Be well and best of wishes,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the progressive pics! My total double mastectomy is tomorrow, and I'm very firm about not wanting reconstruction. Yet, no pics out there that aren't related to reconstruction! Thank you for showing me my future!

Rocki Adams said...

You are most welcome! I wish you the best of health and healing :)

Be well

palbers said...

Thank you for helping me find peace with my decision to have a unilateral MS...the fear of the unknown is what was making the decision so hard but seeing your pictures helped me immensely - I copied them to show the surgeon what I expect to have after surgery. Blessings to you!

Rocki Adams said...

You're very welcome palbers and I wish you health, speedy recovery and happiness!

Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

I just had drain flashbacks lol! So cool you posted pics and shared your story! I am 30 days post-op, decided to go flat which was a very easy decision for me. My biggest fear was my hubs still thinking I'm sexy. He just wants me alive, sweet man :) Bonus, I didn't realize how uncomfie bras were until I didn't have to wear one every day :) And no more nipple chaffing when I ride my dirt bike :):):):)

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Kira! Drains were the worst and I was soooo happy to have them removed! Hope your recovery continues to go well :) I hear you about bras... I've NEVER liked to wear them though and SO happy I don't have to deal with them anymore :)

sm2672 said...

Thanks to all who posted positive things about going flat. honestly I'm scared about how I'll feel, but decided to go this route. After having double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and ending up having 1 implant removed because of infection after chemo and radiation. I am so uncomfortable and hate the prosthetic. Although its only 1 side.. I am going for it April 17. I am inspired Thank you so much

Lauren Darman said...

Thank you Rocki. I am one week out, now less scared of what is under bandages. THANK YOU!

Rocki Adams said...

sm2672 - so sorry to hear about the complications :( I wish you the best of health and recovery on your upcoming surgery. There are many more of us flatties than is realized :)

You got this, hang in there!

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Lauren,

Glad to hear that and may your recovery be uneventful and quick :) I wish you the best and than you!


Unknown said...

I had a right mastectomy May 20 2014 and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your pictures.

I only wish I could have seen them before my surgery. I have had so called friends say to me,"Don't know what the big deal is" Well yes it is a big deal and as you have done, one has to become comfortable with us.

I am doing pretty good there. I lost my husband to cancer 7 years ago and I would love to have him here as a support now. But one can make it on your own.

Kim said...

Rocki, Thank you for posting these. I am newly diagnosed and likely facing this same surgery - probably next week. I was looking for pics and came across yours. They were helpful and I'll be sharing them with my husband later today. I'm planning to look through the rest of your site too when I get a chance later. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Kim :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Rocky, I am so glad I came across your site. 2weeks post left breast mastectomy and go tomorrow for staple removal and node results. terrified of both!!! Is the staple removal painful????

Rocki Adams said...

Hi Lea ann :) No, they didn't hurt - was only a tug type sensation (nothing like the drain tubes - ouch!) Maybe because it's still numb across there at that point, but don't stress :) Best of luck to you on the results and I wish you good health!

Unknown said...

Well, seems it's in 5 of the 8 nodes he took. Have oncology appt scheduled for Thursday, 7/ not looking forward to chemo!!!!

Karin Bartsch said...

I will have the same surgery tomorrow morning. Thanks for the pictures, they totally calm me down. You look as lovely without breasts as with those, even younger - if that is possible with you at all....Karin Bartsch (

Rocki Adams said...

Oh gosh Lea Ann, I'm so very sorry to hear this! Keep your chin up and your support group close. I wish you the best and feel free to keep me posted.

Rocki Adams said...

Karin, I sincerely appreciate the compliments (blushing!). I hope the surgery went well and may your recovery be quick. Best of health to you!