"My Battle with Breast Cancer"
"I Took Charge of My Health"
Back at home, the emotional recovery was difficult. The tissue expanders, which were inflated to make room for the implants she'd have, looked "like two balls under my skin," Kristin says. She was upset and self-conscious, and not being able to exercise robbed her of her usual mood booster. At her high school reunion a month later, she felt ogled. "People were staring at my chest. I wanted to say, 'I can see you!'"
To help lift her spirits, Kristin eased back into exercise, riding a stationary bike and doing the elliptical trainer as soon as doctors gave her the okay. "Nothing compared to the moment when I could run again after surgery," she says. "It felt amazing!"
Today, eight months after implant surgery and a year after the double mastectomy, Kristin is moving on with her life. She's back to her hour-long five-times-a-week workouts, running and lifting weights three of those days and hitting the gym the other two. "It's great to feel like me again," she says. She and Andrew are planning on having kids soon because she'll have to have her ovaries removed in the next five to 10 years to prevent ovarian cancer. "I want to do all the things I'd planned," Kristin says.
She feels stronger and more confident than ever. "Everything that happened to me has been oddly empowering," she says. "I took charge of my life and my health, and I'm proud of the decision I made. Now I know I can get through anything."
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