I met Paige @paige_previvor via Instagram. Instant LOVE for this woman. She is such a strong, courageous and beautiful woman inside and out. She helps so many others, including myself. I look forward to many more shoots with Paige!!!! ✨✨✨✨
Here's her powerful journey which she wrote last fall, its not quite up to date. I am a little behind on my blog postings :)-
"In the months leading up to my preventive double mastectomy, I spent the majority of my free time training. The same way people train for races, I trained for my surgery like it was a marathon. It was the only way I was able to feel like I was in control of my body, because once I tested positive for the BRCA 1 mutation I felt like my body no longer belonged to me. I immediately rejected my breasts because I felt like they were ticking time bombs ready to kill me. For two years I struggled with the decision to have surgery. Was I making the right choice? Was I ready? Nothing in my life has ever really stressed me out, I usually can take things in stride, but for the first time I was riddled with anxiety and fear. Every time I looked in the mirror I thought, 'Is today the day I’m going to get cancer? Is today the day I’m going to find a lump?' I knew I could no longer live like that and I knew I wanted to go from being a worrier to a warrior. Once I set the date for my surgery I asked my doctors if there was anything I could do to prepare and I asked if working out and eating healthy would help in my recovery, but they told me I was fine and that it wouldn’t make a difference. What?! Working out isn’t going to make a difference? I didn’t listen to them. Instead I ramped up my workout routine and tried to eat healthy every day. Incorporating interval workouts, alternating between cardio intervals and intense workouts for my abs, arms and legs really made a huge difference for me. Each workout, I pushed myself to hold my planks a little longer, run a little farther, and work a little harder. When it was finally time for my surgery, I felt stronger than ever. After my surgery, my doctors were amazed by my results and recovery. They said that I had changed their minds about getting fit before surgery and that they would now encourage their other patients to do the same. I felt so alone when I was making the decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. I didn’t have anyone who understood what I was going through and I didn’t want other women to ever feel as alone as I felt so after my surgery. I made a vow to help as many other women as possible and I created the @paige_previvor account to document my recovery and create a platform for other women to see that they too can make this decision and feel empowered and sexy. Since my surgery I have spent less time working out and so much time talking with other women who are in similar situations. For the past 8 months I have thought to myself, 'Would I rather spend an hour at the gym or spend an hour helping another person go through this?' But now that I have my exchange surgery scheduled, I know I need to get myself as mentally and physically strong as I was before my preventative double mastectomy. It hasn’t been easy getting back into the swing of things and I have found it hard to motivate and push myself. I was at the height of my physical abilities before my surgery, so its been discouraging how weak I feel now that I have lost so much upper body strength. But I know that this is something I need to do, and I am ready to get back to warrior mode."