Meet Chloe

Chloe is a breast cancer fighter! Diagnosed in June 2021, Chloe has had a bilateral mastectomy and axillary clearance, 6 months of chemo, and has finished 3 weeks of radiation. Let’s hear more from Chloe:

Site Identity

Talking with Chloe:

There are a few common things that people say to people with cancer that often aren’t received that well – while we know that you mean well a bit of education about what to say/what not to say can go a long way! One of the worst things is to use the expression “At least…”. And be careful comparing a non-cancer experience with a cancer experience (I heard of someone comparing their boob job to their friends mastectomy, which for one obviously has a huge difference in emotions involved).

Check your boobs! (and any other bits that you should be keeping an eye on) If you have a feeling that something isn’t right, get it checked. If you don’t feel satisfied with your medical professional’s opinion, get a second opinion. If you’re not eligible for a free scan, you can probably opt to pay for one privately…

I opted not to have a reconstruction so am flat chested–at least for now. This means lots of my old clothes don’t fit any more! (I was a DD cup previously). It took a while for me to have full mobility in my arms after surgery. Even now I am still getting cording in my armpit and through my chest and ribs–which can be tight and painful. The chemo had a myriad of side effects including nausea, fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, joint pain, etc. So far radiation (as of the middle of the treatments) has been pretty mild with a little bit of fatigue and nausea, but I am expecting some skin irritation/burning to show up later this week or next week.

I am constantly going through a huge range of emotions – sadness, anger, depression but also hope, joy, and feeling positive. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. I think I will forever be scared of recurrence, and sometimes that is hard to push to the back of my mind. Sometimes I feel like there isn’t much point in making long term plans (eg. planning on buying a house or going back to study for a new career) because I might not be here in five years. But I’ve also had some times where I’ve felt very creative and positive–possibly more creative than I’ve ever been in my life. I get loads of ideas for things I want to do at the moment.

While in some ways I’m happy to be flat chested now (I always felt my breasts were too big), I often feel very self conscious with my body now – sometimes I feel less feminine. I often feel that my tummy sticks out a lot and is much more obvious now {that} I don’t have breasts to balance it out. I’m learning to dress differently for my new body shape.

I do feel more creative and I want to do more creative stuff in my life.

I am forever thankful for my friends and family members who’ve helped me and my family out while I’ve been going through treatment. They’ve looked after the kids while I’ve gone to appointments, brought round meals, sent meal vouchers, flowers… and many others have constantly offered to help–but I haven’t needed to call on them yet. I appreciate it all so much!

Chloe, thank you for being so open and honest. Your helpful insights and experiences will be a help for others going through cancer or supporting others. Thank you!

Help support the NZ Cancer Society

Similar Posts


  1. Such an inspirational person. Wishing you all the best Chloe. Will always feel privileged of having the chance to meet you. The clothes look

Comments are closed.