Ericka Hart was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2014. “It’s just different when you’re the one that needs to be taken care of,” she says.
Her mother passed away due to breast cancer when she was 13, so the disease wasn’t new to her.
But when she received her diagnosis, four months before her wedding and while going to graduate school for human sexuality education, it felt very new.
“I had a lot of questions. And I had the thought of, ‘Am I going to die?'” she says. “But I knew we were going to get through this. I had the best doctor in the country, who was also my friend.”
Hart remained optimistic, even after having a double mastectomy. Her wedding gave her something to focus on. While others were concerned with the fact that she didn’t have breasts, she spent her time planning her ceremony.
“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, you don’t have breasts.’ We get lumped into these conversations, and people say we should just focus on breast cancer,” she says.
“But that isn’t fair. We have other things to focus on.”
The following year, Hart prepared to have reconstructive surgery for her breasts. She says it was challenging for her doctor to find images of reconstructive scars on black skin.
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