Body Confidence

Wednesday Words of Wisdom- Saranne

With October being breast cancer awareness month, I asked a fellow Kiwi lass, Saranne aka Pussy Galorrez, if she would like to share her story. I’ve know Saranne through facebook, vintage events and I’ve even had the pleasure of watching her perform.
I’ve watched her journey over the past year or two and found her incredibly inspiring and hope you do to…

Saranne

Photography by Miss T Pinups

October marks breast cancer awareness month. Three years ago on the 1st of October I was lying on an operating table having my right breast and all associated lymph nodes removed. I had been diagnosed with fast growing (Grade 3) breast cancer and I was just 32 years old at that time.

Photography by Miss T Pinups

Photography by Miss T Pinups

A little bit about me… I had always struggled with self-esteem and body confidence issues and these were made even worse during and at the end of a very difficult marriage. A year and a half after my separation a friend suggested that I try and give Burlesque a go. I just loved it and I flourished! I started to learn to love myself and my body even though I had gained a significant amount of weight during my marriage. I loved my breasts and my hour glass figure and I loved performing. When I found the large lump in my breast, I felt betrayed by the body that I had only just started to appreciate and love… it was a huge blow to me.

Seranne

Photography by Shifting Light Photography

With the help of my very close Burlesque friends and my specialists I decided to have a reconstruction performed at the same time as my mastectomy. This was crucial in me still being able to associate with myself. My surgeon was brilliant but as with all surgeries there were scars. I lost my thick red hair to chemo and I became bloated all over due to the steroids used during chemo. I gained 15kg while going through chemo and all of these changes made it difficult to love myself at the time…. However I still performed when I could, finding self-love in dance. I always presented myself in a manner that most people were not aware that I was sick and this was really important to me and helped me to accept me in that space.

Saranne

Photography by Shifting Light Photography

More changes were to come for me however. I needed to have a hysterectomy once my radiation was completed and following all of the medical intervention I was no longer able to tolerate gluten, dairy or many processed foods. This meant more changes in my body. I lost 55kg in less than six months and this also took a lot of getting used to. I required more reconstructive surgeries due to the drastic weight loss. In total I had six surgeries, six months of chemo and six weeks of radiation. My body had changed beyond recognition and while most people thought that I should be over the moon with my smaller size, I can tell you that it took a lot of getting used and acceptance. I felt more vulnerable than I ever had and this started a new journey to love and acceptance.

I was truly blessed to have the support of wonderful friends (they know who they are). I started to perform again and started dabbling in modelling requiring me to bare my imperfections. Through this I found self-acceptance and love for my ‘imperfections’.

Saranne

Photography by Brett Abbott Photography

Looking back now…. Even though I have many and extensive scarring… my body is truly incredible. It has carried two babies, got me through a rough separation, survived cancer and has now settled into where it is. I take better care of it now through diet and exercise. I try to eat clean (although I still have a weakness for dairy free chocolate) and I have learnt to cook delicious baked items using clean ingredients that I can tolerate and that nourish me. I make sure that I am active as well… I want to make sure that I treat my amazing body well so that it will serve me well for many years to come. This is the only body that I have and while it has its battle scars and pieces missing it is beautiful. I now get to hold my children and celebrate their wins with them… I get to spend time and love and laughter with my truly amazing friends and I get to feel my body being wrapped in the loving arms of my partner as I go to sleep….. What more could I ask for?

Thank you so much to Saranne for sharing your story, to donate to Breast Cancer Research, go to www.nzbcf.co.nz.

 Follow Saranne on Facebook

Categories: Body Confidence

4 replies »

  1. What a truly inspiring story…much to be learned from her journey having gone through a total hysterectomy, then removal of breast implants, dealing with a chronic pain condition and my fiftieth birthday rapidly rushing towards me I am having a hard time embracing all the physical and emotional changes or myself as it all happens…reading her story makes me realize how blessed I am and inspires me to try to embrace myself more.

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