Women's Health

Art from Scars - Taking Back My Body

The life changing diagnosis and the inspiration it would ignite

The stay at home mom was experiencing no symptoms when she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in May of 2016. “Like far too many breast cancer survivors, it all started for me with a simple mammogram” said Hamm. She had planned on undergoing a lumpectomy, however, doctors found additional cancerous tumors and the disease had spread to her lymph nodes.

As a preventative measure, Hamm decided to undergo a double mastectomy, where doctors inserted tissue expanders to prepare her for breast implants. “I lost my hair, my eyebrows, even some skin throughout my treatment” she said. The doctors also removed her right kidney after finding a tumorous mass and later removed her ovaries to prevent the disease from spreading there. “You ask yourself why, and there’s really no answer” said Hamm.

During reconstructive surgery, doctors took some skin from Hamm’s hip to create her nipples, which she later got color-tattooed to make them look more authentic. However, she missed her old breasts, which she had named Lucy and Ethel. She then decided to give her new breasts a different name – “Real Housewives” after the TV show.