Lynsey Ritchie threw a "Thank You For The Mammaries" party to celebrate everything her breasts had done for her.
It's never easy to get a cancer diagnosis, especially when you have a family and that includes four children under the age of seven, but Lynsey Ritchie is not letting her breast cancer diagnosis get to her, according to BBC. The 43-year-old teacher from Denny, near Falkirk, made sure it was not going to affect her life nor her kids' life in any way. So, she "stuck a smile on" and addressed her treatment with a positive attitude. She decided to bid adieu to her breasts in style, and so, before her double mastectomy, she invited friends and family to take part in a "thanks for the mammaries" party.
To celebrate what her breasts had given her, she threw a party, complete with a 'boob cake', 'nipple biscuits', and plenty of laughs. "I was actually still breastfeeding my baby when I was diagnosed last June," said Lynsey. "I breastfed all of my children for over a year each, I donated my breast milk for premature babies and also helped mums as an NHS breastfeeding peer supporter," she added. =
"I feel, on the whole, over 42 years, my boobs have done more than most people. So I felt it was only fitting that I should give them a celebration - a send-off - to say thank you for giving me this wake-up call." Lynsey found a lump on her breast when she was packing so she could move homes last year. Her husband, Neil, a soldier, was away on duty at the time. However, he's been given permission to return home to lend Lynsey support during her treatment.
The party took place in December last year after Lynsey went through 15 rounds of chemotherapy at Forth Valley Hospital. She was scheduled for a double mastectomy a week later. She adds that she never had any second thoughts about getting the surgery done. Lynsey told BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams program: "The minute I was told I had breast cancer the first words out of my mouth were 'take them both off'.
"I thought I can either cry and be upset and hide under the pillow or I can stick a smile on and just go for it. And anything I do I always give it 100%, so it was just another way to do it." She wants to be the best mother ever to her kids, breasts or no breasts. "I have my moments. I allow myself 10 minutes to get upset then get myself together because I didn't want my diagnosis to affect them in any way."
"Their lives have pretty much been the same —they have never missed football or Beavers and I have made all the school events. I couldn't go a bit depressed and woe is me—I just had to get on with it." For Lynsey initially, her cancer felt like a death sentence, but now her perspective has changed, thanks to Maggie's Cancer Center in Forth Valley. "They told me to treat it like diabetes or epilepsy. People die from those but also people live with them and that changed my perception of it," she said.
Lynsey underwent surgery on December 20th and the surgery was a success. Now, she aims to look at the positive side of life. "I would never have wished for cancer but it has changed my life and I am actually much happier and much more contented since my diagnosis," she said. "When I was diagnosed, I had to work through it mentally and get into a place where I could heal from breast cancer - it's a message for me to change my life for the better for my boys. I am thankful for my body and want to heal. I won't be negative. I want it to be as positive as it can be. There is always a positive—you have sometimes got to look a bit harder to find it."